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Caffeine in Pregnancy

Coffee. I love it and I know so many of you do too. How do I know? Well, I get asked one question more than anything other question,

“Do I need to quit drinking coffee when I’m pregnant or when I’m trying to fall pregnant?”.

Well, the answer is “NO”! Quit drinking coffee? Who’d get pregnant?

You may need to reduce your intake, but you certainly don’t need to stop.

The issue with caffeine is that it can and does cross the placenta and it causes the same effect in the fetus as that it causes in us. It increases the fetus’s heart rate, it increases its breathing rate, it increases its level of arousal. So, you need to reduce your intake to what’s called a mild to moderate level of consumption because all of the evidence that’s available to us suggests that mild to moderate consumption does not cause any ‘adverse reproductive outcomes’.

But what’s mild to moderate consumption? Well, it’s about 200 to 300mg of caffeine per day.

How much is 200-300mg of caffeine? Good question! Let me give you a few pointers.

Instant coffee – instant coffee has about 95mg of caffeine per cup. Note I said, ‘cup’, not mug. So, you can have two to three cups of this per day, safely. But who drinks this?

Espresso – this has about 65mg of caffeine per shot. So, you can have three of these safely per day.

That American style brewed coffee – this has about 130mg per cup so you can have maybe two of these per day.

So, the overall take home message is, reduce your intake to 200 to 300mg of caffeine per day, but you can continue to drink your coffee safely.

I’m off to have mine now!

Dr Brad Robinson

Obstetrician Gynaecologist (OBGYN)

Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane



Caffeine in pregnancy blog by Dr Brad Robinson, Brisbane Obstetrician Gynaecologist

To speak directly with a team member please call 07 3188 5000