It is generally recommended that, whilst you don’t have to give caffeine up completely, that you reduce the amount you have to no more than 200mg per day. When thinking about caffeine, you also have to remember that it isn’t just coffee that contains it, but also tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, green tea and chocolate (yes chocolate!).
A cup of instant coffee has approximately 100mg of caffeine which would mean you can only have two cups a day. As you move from instant to filter and then to coffee shop quality coffee the quantity you can drink reduces as the caffeine in those types of coffee increases. So you can have one cup of filter coffee and a small, espresso based, coffee shop coffee e.g. Americano or Latte. Tea also has caffeine in it with around 80mg of caffeine per cup. An easy alternative to your coffee or tea habit is to switch to de-caf. The first mug or two is quite different but you will get the hang of the new taste – promise.
Other medication and foods can include caffeine. A can of regular cola can have 50mg of caffeine and a small bar of dark chocolate can have the same 50mg also – so if you have a chocolate craving, opt for milk chocolate with the same small bar size, having only 25mg of caffeine.
How does caffeine impact on me and my baby?
Drinking too much caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage and your baby having a low birth weight. Low birth weight can lead your baby to develop other problems when they are born.
Caffeine is also a diuretic, which means it pulls fluids and calcium from both you and your baby and it will keep you running to the toilet. Caffeine has no nutritional value and it can affect your sleep, mood and absorption of iron. So most health-care professionals recommend limiting intake during pregnancy.