How Much Coffee You Can Have While Pregnant, According To Science

Pregnancy. It gives you a special glow, it makes you love nesting on a Friday night, it makes you feel your baby’s little kicks and grin — yes, a growing belly is quite spectacular.

But it also makes you extremely tired.

Sometimes you nap, but what if it’s 2 p.m. and you’re at work when the yawns kick in? Your old fall-back to keep your head from bouncing off the computer was guzzling coffee, but what are the rules now? Turns out, knowing how much coffee you can have while pregnant is pretty helpful.

"As a rule, I recommend to stay under 200 milligrams of coffee a day," says Dr. Yvonne Bohn, an OB-GYN at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, in an email interview with Romper. "Studies show that consuming over 200 milligrams of caffeine per day can increase miscarriage risk."

So what does 200 milligrams of caffeine look like? It’s technically about one 12-ounce cup of coffee, but it’s important to know that the amount of caffeine in various brews can differ. For example, a 12-ounce Featured Dark Roast at Starbucks has 195 milligrams of caffeine, but a 12-ounce Blonde Roast has 270 milligrams. On the other hand, a 14-ounce medium coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts has 210 milligrams of caffeine.

In addition to miscarriage, experts say the rules are in place to avoid other issues during pregnancy, like premature labor or low-birth weight in babies, noted the American Pregnancy Association. The key to decreasing risk of complications, Bohn says, is to stay diligent not only about coffee consumption, but health in general. "Taking a prenatal vitamin two months before conception significantly decreases birth defects and miscarriage rate," she says.

If you’ve met your daily coffee quota, but still need a pick-me-up, then Dr. Sweta Singh tells Romper that a brisk walk or piece of fresh fruit can help boost energy.

And if you are sipping your java and catch a judgmental stare, then consider what my pregnant OB-GYN told me when I asked about my beloved coffee: "Oh, honey, you think I get through these long shifts without coffee?"

Spoken from the mouths of docs.