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How Much Caffeine is Safe During Pregnancy?

I think most of us can agree that there is nothing like starting your day with a hot cup of coffee. For some of us, it’s the first thing we do after opening our eyes. Some of us like it black and others prefer milk and sugar. However you take your coffee, the amount you consume may change after you become pregnant.

If you are pregnant you may have heard that you need to limit your caffeine intake and that may mean skipping the line-up at your local Tim Hortons or Starbucks for the next nine months. As a Mama Coach, I am passionate about supporting mothers at all stages of their motherhood journey and that includes educating pregnant Mamas about what is and isn’t safe in pregnancy. If you are a pregnant Mama and looking for some extra support, reach out to a Mama Coach in your area, we can help. 

What is coffee?

Coffee is a brewed drink, which can contain varying amounts of caffeine, depending on your preferred selection. A regular, 12oz cup of coffee contains approximately 260mg of caffeine and a regular, 12oz, cup of tea can contain anywhere between 30mg-130mg of caffeine. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, some soft drinks and energy drinks also contain caffeine and should be monitored during pregnancy. 

How much caffeine is safe during pregnancy?

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends a maximum daily caffeine intake of 300mg, a little over two 8oz cups of coffee, during pregnancy. This recommendation also includes natural sources of caffeine including herbs such as guarana and yerba mate. 

For a complete list of caffeine content at Starbucks click here.
For a complete list of caffeine content at Tim Hortons click here.

Why should you limit caffeine during pregnancy?

Have you ever noticed that coffee increases your trips to the bathroom? That’s because caffeine is a diuretic. This means that it increases the amount of fluid loss, which also means that too much caffeine can flush your system of important nutrients and minerals (including calcium) that your body needs. You especially need to hold onto these nutrients and minerals in pregnancy which is why it is a good idea to limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can also wake us up, which is one of the reasons why most of us love it so much. However, this is another reason why we should limit our consumption. Caffeine can negatively impact sleep for you and your baby. 

Lastly, Health Link BC suggests that too much caffeine may be linked to a higher incidence of miscarriage however, there is not enough evidence to know for sure. 


If you are thinking of switching to herbal products as a safe alternative there are some things you should know. The Public Health Agency of Canada suggests that some herbal teas, such as chamomile, are not safe during pregnancy. They recommend also avoiding teas containing the following: 

  • Aloe
  • Buckthorn Bark
  • Chamomile
  • Coltsfoot
  • Comfrey
  • Duck Roots
  • Juniper berries
  • Labrador Tea
  • Lobelia
  • Pennyroyal
  • Sassafras
  • Senna Leaves
The following herbal teas are considered safe (2-3 cups per day):
  • Citrus peel/orange peel
  • Ginger
  • Lemon balm
  • Linden flower (not recommended for persons with pre-existing cardiac conditions)
  • Rosehip      

If the herbal teas are just not comparing to that extra cup of joe in the morning you may want to consider switching to decaffeinated coffee or try mixing your regular brew with some decaffeinated coffee. 

So many of us appreciate our morning coffee, and pregnancy doesn’t mean we have to eliminate it completely. Educating yourself gives you the power to be the safest you can be during pregnancy. If you are looking for some extra resources during your pregnancy, The Mama Coach is here to support you!



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