Pregnancy And Caffeine - How Much Can You Safely Consume?
Most of us need a little caffeine boost every now and then. Kendamil HQ is powered by a good cuppa! However, when you are expecting it can be tricky to get to grips with just how much caffeine you should be having in a day. But, don’t worry! We’re here to help you navigate how much caffeine is safe while pregnant, some alternatives to caffeine and some steps you can take to manage your caffeine intake.
How much caffeine can you have during pregnancy?
It is recommended that you limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day during pregnancy. This is equivalent to
- 5 cans of caffeinated fizzy drinks,
- 2 cups of instant coffee, or
- 2 and a half cups of tea
However, it’s important to note that caffeine content can vary widely depending on the type of coffee or tea, so look for low caffeine or caffeine free alternatives.
On top of just what you’re drinking, there can be caffeine in more things than you think. Caffeine is contained in many medications such as headache remedies and even certain foods like energy bars or chocolate, so it’s important to read their nutrition labels and watch your intake overall.
Alternatives to caffeinated drinks
Don’t worry, there are plenty of alternatives to tea and coffee that you can enjoy during your pregnancy! Here are some options:
- Herbal Tea: Herbal teas are a great way to stay hydrated and can often be low caffeine caffeine-free, making them a perfect alternative to coffee during pregnancy. Some popular options include Rooibos tea, chamomile tea, and peppermint tea.
- Decaffeinated Coffee: Decaffeinated coffee is a great alternative to regular coffee. Just be sure to choose a brand that uses a chemical-free decaffeination process.
- Fruit Juices: Fresh fruit juices can be a great source of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. Some good options include orange juice, grapefruit juice, and cranberry juice. Just be aware of the sugar content and stick to around 1 glass a day
- Milk: Milk is a good source of calcium, which is important for both you and your baby during pregnancy. You can drink it plain or add it to your favorite herbal tea for a creamy taste- rooibos is great with milk
- Water: Water is always a great option to stay hydrated during pregnancy. You can also add a slice of lemon or lime to make it more interesting!
Reducing your caffeine intake can also be an ideal opportunity to start increasing your water intake. Water can help with a number of pregnancy related problems such as nausea, constipation and tiredness, plus if you’re struggling with sickness then you may be losing more hydration than you realise.
You should be aiming to drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water a day, so grab yourself a reusable bottle and fill up on plenty of plain H2O throughout the day.
Ask the experts
Struggling with reducing your caffeine? Chat to your GP or midwife, and use your appointments to talk about your concerns. Your GP or midwife might also be able to recommend alternatives that would allow you to still get the energy boost you need during pregnancy without having to drink as many caffeinated beverages.
- NHS: Foods to avoid in pregnancy: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/foods-to-avoid-pregnant/
- Tommy’s: Caffeine in pregnancy: https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/pregnancy-complications/safe-sleep-pregnancy/caffeine-pregnancy
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Caffeine and pregnancy: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/patients/patient-leaflets/caffeine-and-pregnancy/
- BabyCentre UK: Is it safe to drink coffee during pregnancy?: https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a3566/is-it-safe-to-drink-coffee-during-pregnancy
- The Independent: Coffee during pregnancy: How much is too much?: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coffee-during-pregnancy-how-much-is-too-much-9121241.html