Do I have to cut out caffeine while I’m pregnant?

Our experts answer your pregnancy questions.

Typically, I ask a woman if she drinks coffee every day, and if she answers yes, I’ll ask how much. The studies have shown that 200 milligrams a day is a safe amount of caffeine during pregnancy. Depending on how strong the coffee is, that’s about two cups.

Espresso has more caffeine per ounce. If you get a big latte at a coffee shop, they’ll put two or three shots of espresso in that. That could be more or less than the regular coffee there, depending on the size of regular coffee you order. So do your homework when going out for coffee. For the large chains, such as Starbucks and Caribou, you can look up the caffeine content of each drink in each size on their websites. 

Remember that there’s caffeine in lots of beverages, including most tea and pop. There’s caffeine in chocolate, so think about energy bars and ice cream and pudding that might have chocolate in them. There’s even caffeine in some medicines for headaches and menstrual symptoms. 

The other big thing to watch for is energy water and energy drinks. They can have a lot of caffeine. 

The main thing I teach people about caffeine is to read labels. So no, you don’t have to cut out caffeine entirely, just read those labels. 


Melissa Kitzman, certified nurse-midwife
Fairview Clinics – Bloomington, Oxboro
Fairview Center for Women – Edina 

To learn more: 

Make an appointment with a midwife or OB doctor or book a tour at The Birthplace.

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