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Is it safe to drink caffeine during pregnancy?

Many of us consume caffeine in our daily lives, whether it be coffee, tea or soda. 

I am often asked if it’s safe for pregnant women to have caffeine during pregnancy.

For the most part, if a woman drinks less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day during her pregnancy, which is the equivalent of a can of soda or a cup of coffee, it should be fine.

I would caution patients that caffeine can be found in some foods that they may not expect such as chocolate, so be sure to take that into account when keeping track of caffeine intake.

Ingesting large amounts of caffeine can increase your heart rate and even cause insomnia. If you typically drink more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day, coming off of that dose could cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, so I would recommend lowering, but not completely withdrawing, caffeine intake in that case.

If you doctor discovers that your baby has a heart arrhythmia during pregnancy, they may suggest you stop using caffeine as that could exacerbate the baby’s heart issues.

In general it’s best try to stick to drinking one cup of coffee a day during pregnancy.

About Michael Wolfe MD

Michael Wolfe, MD, is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist with Ascension Medical Group in Wichita, Kansas.