Factsheet for professionals
Nutrition in pregnancy
A healthy diet providing a range of nutrients is important at all times of life, but especially during pregnancy. Maternal nutritional status at the time of conception is an important determinant of fetal growth and development and, therefore, a healthy balanced diet before, as well as during, pregnancy is important.
Coffee can be part of a healthy, balanced diet in pregnancy, though women should follow guidelines on recommended levels of caffeine intake, which vary across Europe.
Coffee, caffeine and pregnancy
- The onset of nausea, vomiting and appetite loss in early pregnancy can often result in a spontaneous reduction in coffee and hence, caffeine consumption1.
- Women with healthy pregnancies may have a higher level of circulating hormones, provoking a stronger avoidance of caffeine in early pregnancy than those women who later miscarry.
- Therefore, lower caffeine consumption may be a consequence of pregnancy viability, rather than a higher caffeine intake being related to any reproductive complication.
- There is no convincing scientific evidence to suggest that consuming a moderate amount of caffeine (200-300mg/day from all sources, not simply coffee*) increases the risk of any reproductive or perinatal complication1,2.
- The EU Scientific Committee on Food states that “While intakes of caffeine up to 300mg/day appear to be safe, the possible question of effects on pregnancy and the offspring at regular intakes above 300mg/day remains open3.”
* A regular cup of coffee contains approximately 100mg of caffeine.