With a long list of things you shouldn't eat when you're pregnant, you may be happy to hear that indulging in a little coffee or caffeine-infused soda can be okay when you practice a little self-control.

However, when you're a mommy-to-be who can't make it through the day without a constant cup of Joe, you may be left wondering how much of this jitter-inducing ingredient is safe to consume. Read on to discover the risks of consuming caffeine during pregnancy, how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy and which of your favorite treats have the least amount of caffeine.

Risks of too much caffeine during pregnancy

When you're pregnant, your growing fetus shares everything you eat and drink. Some studies have shown that consuming caffeine during pregnancy can:

    • Affect your baby's cell development
    • Restrict blood flow to the fetus
    • Somewhat influence your fetus' birth weight
    • Cause a miscarriage
    • Escalate a newborn's breathing and heart rates

Safe amounts of caffeine to consume

Although still controversial amongst the medical community, "most physicians agree that modest consumption of caffeine is fine," advises Dr. Ringland S. Murray, M.D., Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist, Tennessee Reproductive Medicine. But, before you go dash off to see your favorite barista, try to restrict your caffeine intake during pregnancy to 200 to 300 milligrams per day. "Most studies show that more than 300 milligrams per day of caffeine is associated with a two-fold increased risk of miscarriage," warns Dr. Murray.

Caffeine-containing foods and drinks

You'll want to check the labels of your favorite treats and drinks for caffeine levels, but here are a few popular caffeine-containing pick-me-ups:

    • One milligram of caffeine in a single Hershey's Kiss
    • Four milligrams of caffeine per single Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
    • Five milligrams of caffeine in eight ounces of generic, decaffeinated coffee
    • 29 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces of A&W Cream Soda
    • 41 milligrams of caffeine in 12 ounces of Sunkist Orange Soda
    • 46 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces of Aquafina Alive Energize
    • 53 milligrams of caffeine in 12 ounces of Mello Yellow Soda
    • 70 milligrams per 12 ounces of Iced tea
    • 87 milligrams of caffeine in eight ounces of SoBe No Fear
    • 120 milligrams per 16 ounces of Crystal Light Energy

While caffeine is safe to consume in limited amounts, keep in mind that quantities of caffeine are higher in coffee shop brews than home brewed coffee. Then, so long as you keep track of how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy, you can still indulge in your favorite soda or sweet treat without the worry of harming your baby-to-be while pregnant!

More about the second trimester

Second trimester ultrasound: What to expect
Is it really ok to have a drink during pregnancy?
Pregnancy fashion for the second trimester

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