Caffeine and Pregnancy

Caffeine is a stimulant present in coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and some over-the-counter medications. Recent studies have shown that heavy caffeine consumption – that is, over 300 milligrams per day – can increase a woman’s of delivering a baby with a low birth weight.

A 1993 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association report consuming the amount of caffeine in 1 1/2 to 3 cups of coffee per day nearly doubled the risk of miscarriage. In addition, drinking 3 or more coffees a day during the month before becoming pregnant also increased risk. Other studies have not always agreed. An article in the same journal months earlier reported that drinking three or fewer 8-ounce cups of co per day did not increase the risk of miscarriage or affect fetal development. Drinking 1 or 2 cups a day may not harm your baby. On the other hand, you are pregnant for only 9 months and should do everything possible to ensure a healthy child.

Caffeine is found in many common food and nonfood items. It is also sent in products that you may not associate with being high in caffeine.

Many delicious decaffeinated coffees and teas are now available However, milk, water, and fruit juices should make up the bulk of your fluid intake for maximum nutrition. Coffee has no nutritional value.

Caffeine Levels in Common Sources

Source Amount Caffeine Content
Root Beer 12 ounces 23 milligrams
Caffeinated water 16.9 ounces 50-125 milligrams
Cappuccino, instant 8 ounces 25-102 milligrams
Cappuccino flavored ice cream 1 cup 8-15 milligrams
Chocolate Bar 1 average 10-31 milligrams
Cocoa, prepared 1 cup 6-42 milligrams
Coffee, brewed 8 ounces 135 milligrams
Coffee, decaffeinated, brewed 5 ounces 3 milligrams
Coffee, instant, prepared 5 ounces 66 milligrams
Coffee flavored ice cream 1 cup 40-85 milligrams
Coffee flavored yogurt 8 ounces 45 milligrams
Cola 12 ounces 37-37 milligrams
Dr. Pepper 12 ounces 41 milligrams
Anacin 1 tablet 60 milligrams
Mountain Dew 12 ounces 55 milligrams
Orange Soda 12 ounces 40 milligrams