Coffee and development

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Coffee and Pregnancy
Current recommendations advise that pregnant women should decrease their caffeine intakes during pregnancy to 200mg per day from all sources92. A regular cup of caffeinated coffee contains approximately 75-100mg of caffeine. Studies have failed to show convincing evidence for increase in risk of reproductive or perinatal outcomes with low to moderate caffeine consumption.

Studies assessing the effect of caffeine on fertility have evaluated a variety of outcomes including time to pregnancy, infertility and semen quality but the evidence is unclear and insufficient to provide guidelines for preconception advice93,94.

  • During the early weeks of pregnancy caffeine consumption tends to decrease, with the onset of symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and aversions to smells and tastes95. The reduction is likely to be a response to higher levels of pregnancy hormones rather than higher caffeine intake being related to any reproductive complication.
  • Two extensive reviews assessed the association between caffeine consumption, intrauterine growth restriction and reduced birth weight96,97. The results were inconsistent and do not provide convincing evidence that moderate caffeine consumption increases the risk of any reproductive complication.

The current evidence for any effect of caffeine on miscarriage is difficult to assess, due to a lack of well-designed studies accounting for all confounding factors, and does not provide an adequate basis on which to draw any conclusions.

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