We want to do what’s best for our growing baby inside of us. Once we get that positive pregnancy result, we clean up every bit of our lives to be sure our babies have the healthiest start possible. And so many of us wonder: is it safe to drink coffee while pregnant?
I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ve seen the love, devotion, and urgency many mamas have around their morning Joe. We can give up a lot when we’re pregnant, but please don’t touch our caffeine!
Caffeine is a drug and it will cross the placenta. It can limit blood flow to the placenta, as well as increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also puts additional strain on the liver, which is already busy processing the increased hormonal demands related to pregnancy.
Caffeine should be limited since some studies have linked high intake of caffeine may be associated with growth restriction, reduced birth weight, preterm birth or stillbirth.
WHO advises all women of reproductive age to consume no more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day.
One small (6 ounce) cup of coffee has 75 to 145 milligrams; the same serving size of weakly brewed tea has 18 to 25 milligrams. (Strongly brewed tea has 78 to 108 milligrams of caffeine per 6 ounces (link to chart).
Other sources of caffeine include cola drinks, dark chocolate and energy drinks.
Be careful if you’re planning to switch from coffee to herbal tea. Not all herbal teas are safe during pregnancy.
Avoid chamomile teas and teas with Aloe, Coltsfoot, Juniper Berries, Pennyroyal, Buckthorn Bark, Comfrey, Labrador Tea, Sassafras, Duck Roots, Lobelia, Senna Leaves, Hibiscus and Chicory Root.
In general, tea with Ginger, Orange Peel, Red Raspberry Leaf, Peppermint Leaf and Rose Hip are considered safe during pregnancy, if taken in moderation (no more than 2 to 3 cups per day).
Pregnant women should ask their physician before consuming any natural/complementary health product or herbal therapy.