A Cup of Coffee When Pregnant? Experts Say Go For It.


Wow, ACOG is all about giving pregnant women permission to do things today! First they announce that vaginal birth after cesarean is a fine idea, then they tell us we can all have cappuccinos.

I must say I’m not surprised. When Rebecca and I were doing research for our book several years ago, we found data pointing to risk of miscarriage and premature birth going up only after more than FIVE CUPS of coffee a day had been consumed.

That’s way too much coffee for anyone! Since then, we’ve read lots of things about caffeine- this many cups, that many cups– studies have been conflicting. But now ACOG is “comfortably” telling us that about 200 millegrams of caffeine isn’t going to hurt. “I think it’s time to comfortably say that it’s okay to have a cup of coffee during pregnancy,” said Dr. William Barth, the chair of a College committee which reviewed the evidence.

They looked at two studies: One, out of The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and involving 1000 women, found no increased risk of miscarriage for women who consumed small and even large amounts of caffeine in pregnancy. The other, from Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland, did see an increased risk of miscarriage in women who consumed more than 200 mg of caffeine per day– the equivalent of a cup of coffee or one caffeinated soda.

I was frankly, repulsed by coffee for most of my two pregnancies. But I remember coveting a 4pm cup of tea. That post lunch hump would have been insurmountable without it.