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Is it safe to drink coffee during pregnancy?

A cup of coffee (c) Maddie Binns

Culture

Is it safe to drink coffee during pregnancy?

A high intake of caffeine can affect your pregnancy however, many women don’t know how much caffeine is in one cup of coffee

If you are pregnant there are many things you are advised not to do and drinking coffee can now be added to the list. Pregnant women have been advised to limit their daily caffeine intake to 200 mg as high caffeine consumption has been linked with miscarriage, low birth-weight and foetal growth restriction, according to Tommy’s pregnancy charity.

Consuming caffeine during pregnancy has negative effects because it takes longer for the caffeine to be broken down in the body and it reaches the baby through the placenta. The developing foetus cannot process caffeine and it can therefore increase the baby’s levels of stress hormones.

So how much is 200 mg of caffeine? Most people when asked, didn’t know what their daily caffeine intake was and how to calculate it. The recommended 200 mg daily dose of caffeine is roughly equal to 2 cups of tea or instant coffee – and only one mug if it’s filter coffee. Although buying a coffee from a high street chain is most likely to be over the 200mg limit with the smallest size coffee normally containing 225mg of caffeine.

Tommy’s pregnancy charity has been looking at the effects of high amounts of caffeine in pregnancy and have subsequently made it easier for women to calculate their daily intake on their website.

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