Coffee, o’ the Java of it all! 80% of the population drinks coffee to wake up and for the extra caffeine-fueled energy it gives them. Let alone the taste with its fanciness, flavors, cream, and sugar make it a warm/cold delight. Coffee is derived from coffee beans, and that is also where the main source of caffeine is found as well
Caffeine is coffee makes it extra special way to get a flavorful energy boost to keep you awake and to help you to wake up as it is absorbed rapidly in the body.
However, caffeine taken in from coffee, sodas, and tea can be bad for you when consumed in excess. It is especially the case when you are pregnant. Most obstetricians advise their pregnant patients to limit their caffeine intake. Does this mean you cannot drink coffee while your pregnant- No it certainly does not, because you can also select DECAF coffee with is free of caffeine and a much safer alternative.
Can you drink decaf coffee during pregnancy- is it safe? Here is what our research shows when it comes to drinking decaf coffee while pregnant.
Decaf Coffee During Pregnancy: Moderation is Key
Some caffeine during pregnancy is not necessarily bad for you. Every once in a while you can have a full cup of caffeinated coffee without worry (this is moderation.) The same applies for Decaf coffee as some decaf coffees still have a small trace of caffeine in them. The average rule of thumb when gauging how much caffeinated coffee to drink is to keep your caffeine intake at a minimum of 200 mg per day. That is about two cups per day with one cup usually containing 100 mg of caffeine. Decaf coffees average an amount of 1-14 milligrams of caffeine (you could actually drink a pot and be fine.) However, with coffee being a diuretic its important that you remember to eat a balanced diet and also replace water-loss with other fluids such as juices, water, and milk.
Coffee During Pregnancy: Studies on Caffeine Intake for Pregnant Women
The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study with 562 women who miscarried at 6-12 weeks. The researchers found that more than 5 cups of coffee increased the mom’s risk of miscarriage (1). Now, keep in mind, that’s a lot of coffee, probably more than most people consume, and certainly not advised for a pregnant mama. (There was also a 2001 study that showed that consuming more than 300 mg of coffee doubled a woman’s risk for miscarriage in first trimester (2).)
Up until 2008, the general consensus was a few cups of coffee was fine during pregnancy. Then, a study led by Dr. De-Kun Li from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research told a different story. This study was unique because for the first time, early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, which often lead to a natural caffeine aversion, were taken into account so that researchers could determine the true effect of caffeine on miscarriage risk.
Looking at over 1,000 pregnant women, the study determined that “women who consumed 200 mg or more of caffeine (in any form) per day had twice the miscarriage risk as women who consumed no caffeine.” (3) To put this into perspective, 200mg of caffeine is the equivalent of more than two cups of most coffees, or five 12-ounce cans of soda.
Decaf Coffee During Pregnancy: Bottom Line
During pregnancy all caffeine intake by way of coffee should be moderated and drank sparingly. There are many reasons why it is safer to manage your intake of caffeine during pregnancy and as aforementioned in the study noted above including.
- Increased risk of miscarriage
- Increased pulse and heart rate
- Raises Blood Pressure
- Coffee is a diuretic (it can dehydrate you)
- Fetuses can metabolize caffeine (it can stun their ample development)