Can you drink decaf coffee during pregnancy?

Coffee is a popular caffeinated drink that is known to give you more energy and wake you up. 

But pregnant women may want to cut back or stop drinking coffee to avoid possible health risks. 

Decaf coffee is a popular choice because it tastes like coffee but doesn't have as much caffeine. 

Yet decaf coffee still has a small amount of caffeine, which may make some women wonder if it's safe to drink during pregnancy. 

This article tells you everything you need to know about drink decaf coffee during pregnancy.

Caffeine and a pregnancy 

Decaf coffee during pregnancy

Caffeine is a stimulant that can be found in many plants, such as coffee, cocoa, and guarana. It may help treat neurological disorders, heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. 

But during pregnancy, caffeine is broken down more slowly. It can also cross the placenta and get into the bloodstream of the growing baby, where it can't be broken down. 

Some studies have linked a high caffeine intake during pregnancy to a low birth weight, slow growth, miscarriage, and a higher risk of being overweight as a child, but the exact reasons are not yet known. 

The exact link between caffeine and bad pregnancy outcomes is still being studied, and the effects of caffeine may be very different for different people. 

Based on what we know now, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women get no more than 200 mg of caffeine from all sources per day. 

One cup (240 mL) of regular black coffee that has been brewed has 96 mg of caffeine in it. Most guidelines say that regular coffee consumption should be limited to about 2 cups (475 mL) per day. 

Caffeine is a stimulant that can be found in coffee, cocoa, and guarana, among other plants. Some bad birth outcomes may be linked to getting too much caffeine, so pregnant women are told to limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg per day. 

How much caffeine in decaf coffee? 

"Decaf" stands for "decaffeinated," which means that at least 97% of the caffeine has been taken out of the coffee beans while they are being made. 

Even though most of the caffeine has been taken out, there is still a very small amount left. 

A cup of brewed decaf coffee (240 mL) has about 2.4 mg of caffeine, and a 60 mL shot of decaf espresso has about 0.6 mg. 

Compared to other foods and drinks, this has less caffeine: 

  • A 2-ounce (60 mL) serving of regular espresso has 127 mg. 
  • One 8-ounce (240 mL) serving of regular brewed coffee has 96 mg. 
  • A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of dark chocolate has 80 mg of caffeine. 
  • An 8-ounce (240 mL) serving of energy drinks has 72 mg of caffeine. 
  • One 8-ounce (240 mL) serving of brewed black tea has 47 mg of caffeine. 
  • 12 ounces (355 mL) of cola has 33 mg of caffeine. 
  • Each 8-ounce (240 mL) serving of hot chocolate has 7 mg. 

It's clear that decaf coffee has a small amount of caffeine compared to other products that have caffeine. 

But it's important to know that some decaffeinated coffee sold in stores may have more caffeine than others. For example, one study found that a 16-ounce (475 mL) serving of commercial decaf coffee could have as much as 14 mg of caffeine. 

Even though these amounts are still small, if you drink a lot of decaf coffee or other products with caffeine, it may be a good idea to double-check how much caffeine they have. 

The amount of caffeine in an 8-ounce (240 mL) cup of decaf coffee is 2.4 mg. This is a lot less than what is in regular coffee and other caffeine-containing foods and drinks, like dark chocolate, energy drinks, tea, and cola. 

How much decaf coffee is safe during pregnancy?

There are no official guidelines about decaffeinated coffee and pregnancy. 

Still, decaf coffee has very little caffeine, so it's probably safe to drink in moderation during pregnancy. 

But some people say that drinking decaf coffee can make you more likely to have a miscarriage. 

Most of these claims seem to be based on a study from 1997. That study found that women who drank 3 or more cups (710+ mL) of decaf coffee during their first trimester were 2.4 times more likely to have a miscarriage than women who didn't drink any coffee. 

One 2018 study came to the same conclusion. 

Still, it's important to remember that the authors of the studies said that the results were probably caused by a bias in the study data set, not by the decaf coffee itself. 

So, you shouldn't be worried about switching to decaf coffee in the morning. 

Still, if you want to stay away from caffeine completely while you're pregnant, choose hot drinks that don't contain caffeine, like pregnancy-safe herbal and fruit teas, hot water with lemon and honey, golden milk, and mulled cider that doesn't contain alcohol. 

Even though there are no official rules about drinking decaf coffee while pregnant, it's probably safe in small amounts because the amount of caffeine is so low. 

In conclusion: is drink decaf coffee during pregnancy safe

Decaf coffee is coffee from which 97% of the caffeine has been taken out. 

To lower the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and growth restrictions, pregnant women should not have more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. 

An average cup of brewed decaf coffee has only 2.4 mg of caffeine (240 mL). So, as long as you don't drink too much, it's probably fine to drink while you're pregnant. 

But if you'd rather not have any caffeine at all, you should stick to alternatives that don't have any, like herbal teas that are safe for pregnant women.

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