However, when you're a mommy-to-be who can't make it through the day without a constant cup of Joe, you may be left wondering how much of this jitter-inducing ingredient is safe to consume. Read on to discover the risks of consuming caffeine during pregnancy, how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy and which of your favorite treats have the least amount of caffeine.
Risks of too much caffeine during pregnancy
When you're pregnant, your growing fetus shares everything you eat and drink. Some studies have shown that consuming caffeine during pregnancy can:
- Affect your baby's cell development
- Restrict blood flow to the fetus
- Somewhat influence your fetus' birth weight
- Cause a miscarriage
- Escalate a newborn's breathing and heart rates
Safe amounts of caffeine to consume
Although still controversial amongst the medical community, "most physicians agree that modest consumption of caffeine is fine," advises Dr. Ringland S. Murray, M.D., Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist, Tennessee Reproductive Medicine. But, before you go dash off to see your favorite barista, try to restrict your caffeine intake during pregnancy to 200 to 300 milligrams per day. "Most studies show that more than 300 milligrams per day of caffeine is associated with a two-fold increased risk of miscarriage," warns Dr. Murray.
Caffeine-containing foods and drinks
You'll want to check the labels of your favorite treats and drinks for caffeine levels, but here are a few popular caffeine-containing pick-me-ups:
- One milligram of caffeine in a single Hershey's Kiss
- Four milligrams of caffeine per single Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
- Five milligrams of caffeine in eight ounces of generic, decaffeinated coffee
- 29 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces of A&W Cream Soda
- 41 milligrams of caffeine in 12 ounces of Sunkist Orange Soda
- 46 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces of Aquafina Alive Energize
- 53 milligrams of caffeine in 12 ounces of Mello Yellow Soda
- 70 milligrams per 12 ounces of Iced tea
- 87 milligrams of caffeine in eight ounces of SoBe No Fear
- 120 milligrams per 16 ounces of Crystal Light Energy
While caffeine is safe to consume in limited amounts, keep in mind that quantities of caffeine are higher in coffee shop brews than home brewed coffee. Then, so long as you keep track of how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy, you can still indulge in your favorite soda or sweet treat without the worry of harming your baby-to-be while pregnant!