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Caffeine and Pregnancy

Caffeine can be viewed as a good, bad or neutral factor in your healthy pregnancy.

The Good

  • Caffeine can help migraine or "vascular" headaches of pregnancy
  • Caffeine can help to prevent constipation by its laxative effect
  • Caffeine can help fight the "blues".
  • Caffeine is energizing.

The Bad

  • Excessive caffeine consumption has been implicated in increased miscarriage rates
  • Excessive caffeine consumption has been implicated in increased premature labor
  • Excessive caffeine consumption has been implicated in low birth weight
  • Excessive caffeine consumption by mothers at term has been associated with withdrawal symptoms in newborns.
  • Stopping caffeine abruptly can cause migraine-type withdrawal headaches, restlessness and irritability.
  • Caffeine acts as a mild fluid pill, causing you to urinate out more liquids than you take in. The final result, especially in Colorado, can be worsening dehydration.
  • Caffeine interfered with the body's retention of adequate calcium, needed for the development of your baby's bones.
  • Caffeine can cause sleeplessness, irregular heartbeat and muscle spasm.
  • Excessive caffeine can interfere with concentration.
  • Excessive caffeine consumption seems to be related to an irregular fetal heartbeat.

The Neutral

  • Caffeine has not been implicated in birth defects
  • Small amounts of caffeine consumption aren't implicated in premature labor or low birth weight
  • The evidence of the association of caffeine with miscarriage is controversial and may be over-stated.
  • Although caffeine is a mild stimulant, it is not addictive.


  • Limit caffeine to 300 mg or less/daily-that's a maximum of 3-4 cups of coffee daily.
  • Wean off of caffeine slowly in the first trimester or better yet before you conceive.
  • Don't stop caffeine abruptly, instead reduce your intake of caffeine over 7-10 days.
  • Increase your water intake when consuming caffeine.

Caffeine Content of Common Foods and Beverages

Source Serving Size Caffeine/Serving
Coffee - Brewed 8 oz 133 mg
Cappuccino / Latte / Mocha - Starbucks 12 oz 75-95 mg
Cola 12 oz 34-44 mg
Soda - Orange, Root Beer, Mountain Dew 12 oz 22-45 mg
Soda - Sprite, Sierra Mist 12 oz 0 mg
Hot Cocoa, Chocolate 8 oz 5 mg
Decaf Coffee 8 oz 5 mg
Tea - Green 8 oz 25 mg
Tea - Brewed 8 oz 45-60 mg
Hershey's Chocolate Bar 1.55 oz bar 9 mg

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