Coffee, Tea and Baby Makes Three

Pregnant mom with son drinking coffee on bed
  Tatyana Tomsickova / Getty Images

Most people are quick to agree that pregnant women should cut caffeine out of their diets, but current research has shown that a moderate intake of caffeine won't do any harm to a developing fetus. ​Moderate intake would equal approximately 3 cups of coffee per day (300 to 400mg of caffeine). Of course, you can't forget to count the hidden caffeine in soft drinks and some over-the-counter medications.

Caffeine and Pregnancy

Past studies of caffeine and pregnancy have pointed to all manner of problems, such as stillbirths, heart defects, and other congenital problems. Further examination of these studies, however, shows that other lifestyle and environmental factors (such as smoking or poor eating habits) were not properly taken into account.

Caffeine is a stimulant, an addictive one at that. It has the same effect on your baby as it does on you. If nothing else, high caffeine intake during pregnancy will create an addiction in your child and force them to suffer withdrawal symptoms once they are born. Some studies have also shown a higher rate of miscarriage and low birth weight babies when the mother has had more than a 'moderate' amount of caffeine.

Herbal teas are a safer haven, but not all herbs should be consumed while pregnant. Herbs such as ephedra, mugwort, and cohosh should be avoided. Stick to safer herbs such as mint, chamomile, or fruit teas.

Try and cut your coffee or tea intake to no more than one or two cups a day. Removing all caffeine would be the safest route, but don't stress yourself over it if you feel you have to have a cup to get going in the mornings. Don't forget some of the caffeine-free coffee substitutes on the market, like ​chicory.