Is Coffee Okay During Pregnancy?

If you’re pregnant and wondering whether you need to pass on that early morning cup of Joe, you can probably relax. Although the research is a little mixed on pregnancy and caffeine (high intake has been linked to increased miscarriage risk), most experts agree that a cup or two per day is okay.

To be more specific, the American Dietetic Association advises moms-to-be to keep their caffeine intake below the 300 mg. per day mark, which equals three cups.

In 2010, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists revised its guidelines about drinking coffee and caffeinated beverages and now say that up to 200 mg daily of caffeine does not increase the risk of miscarriage or preterm birth. Their recommendations were based on a comprehensive review of all published studies on caffeine risks during pregnancy.

Keep in mind though, that one 8 oz. cup of brewed coffee contains about 137 mg of caffeine, while a cup of instant has about 78 mg of caffeine – so make sure to avoid those big mugs that actually hold a lot more. And don’t forget that caffeine is found in many other foods and beverages including sodas and chocolate.

Remember, too, that there are other ways to get that much needed boost in the morning, including eating an apple. Seriously! Studies have shown that the good old apple delivers the same amount of pick-me-up as a cup of coffee, without any of the potential side effects. Plus, they do so much more: apples are packed with vitamin C; have 14 grams of fiber; promote weight loss; can lower cholesterol levels while lowering your risk for coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease and stroke! As they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Besides all those health benefits, apples are simply delicious. Try the Honey Crisp variety if you haven’t done so before (my personal fav). When you bring those babies home, wash them and store in the fridge until you’re ready to munch. They are a sweet, juicy treat that gives a lot of bang for the buck and pose no risk to the babe.

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.


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