Drinking Coffee During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

This Just In 29

coffeeIn what is no doubt some really great news for moms who can't resist having a cup o' joe every morning, there is new research showing that drinking coffee during pregnancy won't give your child behavior problems later in life. (Whew!)

The research showed that the children of mothers who drank up to three cups of coffee per day while pregnant did not have a larger risk of being inattentive than moms who did not drink any at all. (I guess caffeine isn't as bad as we thought.)

When I was pregnant with my son, I was very concerned with what foods and drinks I needed to avoid to make sure he developed properly and stayed healthy -- but the thought of having to give up my morning coffee ritual almost seemed like too much to take. What can I say? Mama loves her java.

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I talked things over with my doctor, and she advised me to limit my intake to one cup per day, but insisted that having that amount was perfectly safe and would not have a negative effect on my baby. I took her words to heart and enjoyed one mug of coffee every day until something very strange suddenly happened.

Somewhere in the middle of my second trimester, I developed a total aversion to the taste and smell of coffee. Actually, getting so much as a whiff of a freshly brewed pot almost made me gag. Though I had no intention of giving it up, I was forced to surrender my morning cup at that point, and it took me quite some time after I had my son to be able to drink it again.

I always wondered whether it was body's way of telling me having even a small amount of caffeine wasn't healthy for my baby -- like my maternal instincts were already kicking in or something. I figured if I hated it so much, then it just HAD to be bad for the baby. But after hearing about this study, I guess it was just some sort of bizarre fluke?

Whatever the reason for my sudden break-up with my java, I don't think I'd hesitate to try drinking a cup a day if I were to become pregnant again. At least this new research brings some peace of mind that enjoying a cup (or three) won't make my child a hyperactive kindergartner.

Have you been drinking coffee during your pregnancy?


Image via Phil Monger/Flickr

food aversions & cravings, pregnancy health, is it safe


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Véronique Houde

I am actually drinking my one cup of coffee a day while pregnant and reading this article right now!! ;) I had quite a similar experience to you during my first trimester actually! I think there's something about the smell and taste of coffee in particular that is difficult for many pregnant people to handle. I therefore spent the first three months of my pregnancy coffee-free. Now thank god I can enjoy it again, and try to keep my consumption to one cappuccino a day (which has less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee). My naturopath has already said that worrying about drinking that cup of coffee is worse than the effect of caffeine itself, and to go ahead and enjoy it! Plus in my case it's a diuretic and helps with digestion which I need :)

Stacey. Stacey.

I thought caffeine restricted your blood vessels causing the baby to get a lack of oxygen.....I avoided coffee but did have a cup of english breakfast tea every morning.

nonmember avatar Gretta

Yes. I drink a cup in the morning.

nonmember avatar Becky

I'm 30 weeks and I just had a cup. With both pregnancies, I compromised by pouring half a cup of coffee, then adding lots of milk. I found it impossible to kick the coffee habit and keep up at work just while trying to conceive, so I had to come with a solution to make it 9 months.

Nichole Hare

I am 8 months along. At the beginning, I tried cutting coffee out completely but it was very difficult for me to stay alert at work. So I just limited myself to one cup a day. Sometimes I mixed regular and decaf together. The warmth and taste was there, but with reduced caffeine.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I'm 30 weeks right now and I still limit myself to either one cup of coffee OR one soda in a day (which is about what I'd drink in my non-pregnant state as well just because I'm not big on them). Unfortunately those two things are things that I seem to be craving the MOST this time around, so its actually quite a feat for me to do.

nonmember avatar Kayla V

I loved coffee before my pregnancy. I use to drink one or more cups at least. But now I can't even drink a cup. I'm really hopeing it go away or end after my pregnancy.

Jessica Eaton

I love caffiene, but I'm not convinced it's safe for fetuses.  Researchers have gone back and forth on this for awhile now.  Someone is always saying it's safe, and someone's always saying it's not safe.  Why risk it?  I'm sure the one cup a day is fine, but I wouldn't be pushing it with 3+ cups!  As for me, I'll have an iced tea every now and then but other than that I pretty much stay off the stuff..  though I daydream about when I can start to drink my Rockstar energy drinks again after I have my twins!  I'm a total addict for those things.

nonmember avatar Jennie

When I was pregnant the first time, I was the typical over-worrying mom. I ate and drank--ot didn't--everyhthing I was supposed to. When my son was born, I went back to normal, not realizing that my b'milk would now carry the caffeine to him. It was tough. The 2nd time I got pregnant, I was living across the street from my sister. She told me drink a cup or two each day. That way when the baby is born, he'll be used to that amount of caffeine already and it won't cause problems. Worked like a charm. Now my 2nd is almost 6 and caffeine doesn't affect him half as much as my older son. And here I am preggo AGAIN, forthe 3rd time. Emjoying my coffee every morning. :) No more than 2 cups, but ahhh....those 2 cups save me!

nonmember avatar Raina

When I was pregnant I didn't have any caffeine. I wasn't big on coffee but I definitely missed my soda! I don't think food aversions have anything to do with something being bad for the baby...I could not bring myself to even look at broccoli when I was pregnant, and I normally love it. The smell of it made me want to hurl...and obviously it's not bad for the baby! Now my son is 2 and surprisingly, he loves broccoli. Pregnancy aversions make no sense :)

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