Nutrition During Pregnancy

Caffeine

Consider taking in as little caffeine as possible during pregnancy.  The recommended amount of caffeine to consume during pregnancy has varied over the years, but currently 200 mg or less per day doesn’t seem to cause any problems for you or your baby. (1) (2)

Realize, while you might be able to tolerate more caffeine than 200 mg/day, without becoming jittery or having a problem sleeping, the ability of the caffeine to be removed from your baby’s system and amniotic fluid takes time.  The more caffeine you have in a short period of time, the more caffeine builds up in your baby’s system and the more harmful it can become.

A good rule of thumb, if you enjoy something that has caffeine in it, is to have one serving per day:

Caffeine Content (3):

  • Regular or diet soda pop 4-60 mg/12 ounces
  • Coffee ground roasted or percolated 75=155 mg/8 ounces
  • Instant coffee 66 mg/8 ounces
  • Regular tea 28-44 mg/8 ounces
  • Instant tea 24-131 mg/8 ounces
  • Chocolate 5-20 mg/item

Note: typically the longer tea is steeped or coffee is brewed the higher the caffeine content.

References:

  1. Position of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome, J. Acad of Nutr & Dietetics, 2014; 114:1101.
  2. American College of Obstetrics Gynecology, Nutrition During Pregnancy, Available at http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Nutrition-During-Pregnancy#diet Accessed Sept 12, 2015.
  3. Pennington, J, Bowes & Church Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, 16th edition, 1994, Caffeine content, pp 381-82.