Excess caffeine can cause miscarriage
It's official, caffeine and pregnancy don't mix - limit intake to less than four coffees a day, or risk a miscarriage
Pregnant women are being warned to limit their caffeine intake or risk miscarriage. Previously the Department of Health recommended moderation, but the official warning follows a review by the independent Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (CoT).
Going off coffee is often an early sign of pregnancy; and many pregnant women replace coffee with tea. But drinking in excess of six cups of tea can be just as risky. Taking more than 300 mg/day of caffeine is now strongly associated with low birth weight and miscarriage.
300 mg of caffeine is roughly equivalent to:
4 average cups or 3 average size mugs of instant coffee 3 average cups of brewed coffee 6 average cups of tea 8 cans of regular cola drinks 4 cans of so-called 'energy' drinks
The individual intakes are:
Average cup of instant coffee - 75 mg Average mug of instant coffee - 100 mg Average cup of brewed coffee - 100 mg Average cup of tea - 50 mg Regular cola drink - up to 40 mg Regular energy drink - up to 80 mg Normal bar of chocolate - up to 50 mg
If you are pregnant, calculate the amount of caffeine you are taking over the course of a day, and moderate it. Cold and flu remedies, and some painkillers also contain caffeine. The best strategy is to manage without coffee entirely for the duration of a pregnancy. Decaffeinated tea and coffee taste much better than they used to, and the odd chocolate indulgence won't do you any harm.