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Can I Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant? A List of Do’s and Don’ts

Congratulations! You’ve found out you’re carrying your bundle of joy and are excited to meet them. However, you know you have to make some lifestyle changes between now and birth, including cutting down on coffee.

Naturally, you might be wondering, “can I drink decaf coffee while pregnant,” and you’ll be happy to know that the answer is “yes” for most women.

The most common guideline for coffee consumption during pregnancy is no more than 200 milligrams a day, and recent studies continue to reinforce this as a safe guideline.  However, you must consult your doctor to determine how much decaf you drink while pregnant to mitigate any risks.

How Much Caffeine Is In Decaf Coffee?

Decaf coffee still contains small amounts of caffeine, depending on the brew and variety. The amount of caffeine in decaf coffee varies from 2 to 12 milligrams. This is significantly less than regular coffee, which ranges from 85 to 190 milligrams of caffeine.

Risks of Drinking Caffeine While Pregnant

While your doctor will likely say yes when asking them if you can drink decaf coffee while pregnant, it’s essential to understand the risks associated with drinking caffeine during pregnancy. As previously noted, decaf coffee contains caffeine, and therefore a possible minor risk.

High caffeine intake during pregnancy has been linked to pregnancy complications, including the following:

  • Causing blood vessels in the uterus and placenta to constrict, possibly reducing the blood supply to the fetus. This could result in lower birth rates.
  • Disrupting fetal stress hormones, which increases the risk of unhealthy weight gain later in life.
  • Miscarriages and stillbirths.

Even though these risks are serious, they are rare. Most experts will tell you that it’s okay to drink decaf coffee while pregnant, but there are some do’s and don’ts to follow before indulging.

Do Talk to Your Doctor

Be completely transparent about your medical history and any family medical history. This equips your doctor to soundly advise you on whether you can drink decaf coffee while pregnant.

Do Listen to Your Body

With an endless stream of blog articles, TikToks, and pregnancy books, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the foremost expert on your pregnancy: you. If you feel like something is “off” after drinking a decaf coffee, trust your instinct and shelf the coffee – even if your doctor gave you the green light.

Do Your Due Diligence

There are times when your doctor might not have the most current information. Doing your own research and digging into studies completed in the past few years gives you a comprehensive picture of the risks and benefits when deciding whether you can drink decaf coffee while you’re pregnant.

Do Find other Ways to Treat Yourself Through the Day

Pre-pregnancy, coffee might have been an indulgent treat or pick-me-up throughout the day. Now that your bundle of joy is on the way, you can find other ways to indulge and restore, whether it’s your favorite sparkling water, five minutes with a cooling face mask, or a little time to meditate and connect with the life growing inside of you.

Do Eat a Balanced and Nutritious Diet

Whether or not you decide you can drink decaf coffee while you’re pregnant, eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet throughout your pregnancy gives your little one everything they need to develop and everything you need to stay as healthy and energetic as possible.

Don’t Drink over 200 Milligrams of Coffee a Day

The recommended maximum amount of caffeine to drink during pregnancy is 200 milligrams. While a cup of decaf’s caffeine levels is much lower than that, it’s crucial to track your intake to ensure you don’t go over the limit.

Don’t Assume all Coffee is the Same

Different coffee brews contain different caffeine amounts. Do your research on your decaf coffee of choice to find out how much caffeine it contains, and be aware that other decaf brews might have more or less.

Don’t Take a One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Drinking Decaf Coffee While You’re Pregnant

Perhaps your friend went cold turkey off caffeine when she was pregnant. Or maybe she drank her maximum 200 milligrams of caffeine and felt great. Remember that no two people or pregnancies are the same, and just because going cold turkey worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it has to work for you. Listen to your body, consult your doctor, and do what’s right for you and your baby.

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