Safe Caffeine Intake Limit in Pregnancy | Gleneagles Hospitals
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Understanding Safe Caffeine Intake Limit in Pregnancy

09 April 2024 · 3 mins read


Are you pregnant and wondering how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy? Learn everything about pregnancy and caffeine in this informative guide.

During pregnancy, the mother and baby's health must be carefully considered. The use of caffeine is one factor that is frequently questioned. As such, we aim to shed light on the acceptable caffeine intake limits when you’re expecting.

Discover the risks and benefits, how to limit consumption, and explore alternative options for a healthy and safe pregnancy.

Products Containing Caffeine

Caffeine is a universal psychoactive stimulant. The NIH has classified caffeine as a pregnancy class C drug. Caffeine is present in drinks such as coffee. It is also present in other beverages, including expresso, tea, chocolate or cocoa, soda, energy drinks, and other soft drinks.

However, the amount of caffeine varies in different drinks. For example, caffeine levels in coffee depend on the preparation, bean type, serving, and brand.

Safe Caffeine Intake Limit in Pregnancy

Medical professionals concur that pregnant women should limit their daily caffeine intake to no more than 200 milligrams (mg).


A standard cup typically contains about 95 mg of caffeine, though this can vary depending on the brewing method and coffee bean type.

Black tea

Black tea contains around 30-48 mg per 8-ounce cup.

Green tea

Green tea contains approximately 20-45 mg per 8-ounce cup.

Soft drinks

Roughly 23-35 mg of caffeine in a 12-ounce can.


Dark chocolate contains approximately 12 mg per ounce.

Also read: Nutritional guideline for pregnant mothers

Potential Risks of Excessive Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy

The WHO advises that reducing daily caffeine consumption lessens the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight babies. Here are a few possible side effects of caffeine during pregnancy.

  1. Caffeine's stimulating effects can cause sleep disruption. Adequate quality sleep is crucial for both maternal well-being and foetal development.
  2. Caffeine consumption can increase heart rate and blood pressure. This effect, combined with its influence on enzymes that enhance heart contractions, may pose risks to both the foetus and the mother, potentially leading to preeclampsia.
  3. Caffeine consumption can contribute to indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy, which may worsen existing discomforts.
  4. Many pregnant women report feeling jittery or anxious after consuming caffeine, which can be distressing during pregnancy.
  5. Some reports suggest an increased risk of miscarriage, particularly in the first trimester, among heavy caffeine consumers.
  6. While studies have not conclusively linked high caffeine intake to preterm birth, it is advisable to limit consumption to recommended levels to reduce the risk of preterm birth.
  7. High caffeine intake, especially in the third trimester, has been associated with low birth weight in some studies. Infants born with low birth weight are more susceptible to early-life health challenges

Considering the above potential risks, it is prudent to avoid excessive caffeine consumption during pregnancy.

Tips to Reduce Caffeine Intake

You can start by reducing the daily intake of coffee over a few days or weeks to fewer than 200mg, swap out coffee for water to keep hydrated, and steer clear of late-night drinking.

Another alternative is to switch to caffeine-free alternatives such as herbal teas, decaffeinated coffee, and fruit-infused water as refreshing beverages.

You can also drink a glass of warm milk before bedtime.

Make an Appointment at Gleneagles Hospitals

Pregnant women should be cautious about caffeine use and seek individualised guidance from a healthcare professional based on their specific needs. If there are questions concerning caffeine use during pregnancy, it is preferable to consult them.

Remember to consume less than 200 mg of caffeine daily if you are an expectant mother.

Get in touch with us to book an appointment today to consult with our Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialists, or find out more about our Obstetrics and Gynaecology Services at your nearest Gleneagles Hospital.

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