In theory, guidelines for safe amounts of caffeine during pregnancy are great, but practically, they’re of little use if you have no clue how much of the stuff is actually in your daily cuppa—or sneaky stash of choc.
Too much caffeine has been linked to low birth weights, although the risk is small.
Current research advises pregnant women to keep their caffeine intake to 200mg per day—lower than the previous threshold of 300mg. But what does this mean in real life terms?
The most commonly imbibed sources of the stimulant include coffee, tea, and cola. Certain chocolates contain caffeine too *sad face*. Fear not, however, because abstinence is not necessarily the best medicine—provided you use the handy calculator (courtesy of stillbirth, miscarriage and prem birth charity Tommy’s to help work out how much is just enough of the good stuff.
Use the caffeine calculator here.
As an FYI, here are some estimates on how much caffeine is in a typical beverage (and choc bar!):
- Can of cola: 40mg of caffeine
- Mug of tea: 75mg
- Bar of plain chocolate: 50mg
- Cup of instant coffee: 100mg
- Mug of filter coffee: 140mg
- Energy drinks: a 250ml can: 80mg
And remember that occasionally exceeding the recommended limit is no cause for panic—a balanced pregnancy is a healthy one!