According to research study results, consuming moderate caffeine amounts in pregnancy may not be detrimental to fetal growth and health. Results fall on both sides of the debate with some research studies resulting in negative effects during pregnancy and others showing no negative effects of moderate caffeine consumption during pregnancy. Researchers are particularly concerned about the potential effect of caffeine on miscarriage rates and preterm birth.

Researchers and doctors are concerned about the effect of caffeine on the fetus because caffeine crosses into the placenta after consumption. Clinical studies have been completed with no definitive results as some reveal moderate caffeine consumption increases the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth while other studies show no clear link between the two.

United States Department of Agriculture 2000

One study completed in 2000 by Weng, showed a significant link between miscarriage rates and caffeine consumption. A total of 1,063 women were included in the study. Women were broken into three groups - those who consumed no caffeine, those who consumed less than 200 milligrams of caffeine daily and those who consumed more than 200 milligrams of caffeine daily. About 170 women suffered miscarriages during the study with an increased number of miscarriages in the group consuming 200 milligrams or more of caffeine daily.

Another study with a large population of women by Dr. David Savitz of the Mount Sinai Medical Center included more than 1,000 participants but found no link between miscarriage rates and moderate caffeine consumption.

Current Recommendation on Caffeine Consumption During Pregnancy by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

As of July 2010, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claim there is no reason to be concerned about consuming moderate amounts of caffeine during pregnancy. The definition of moderate is less than 200 milligrams per day.

Caffeine Totals in Food and Drink

  • 8 ounces coffee, brewed - 137 milligrams
  • 8 ounces coffee, instant - 76 milligrams
  • 8ounces tea, brewed - 48 milligrams
    8 ounces tea, instant - 26 to 36 milligrams
  • 12 ounces soft drink, caffeinated - 37 milligrams
  • 1.45 ounces dark chocolate - 30 milligrams
  • 1.55 ounces milk chocolate - 11 milligrams
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - 26 to 28 milligrams
  • 1 square baking chocolate - 23 milligrams
  • 16 ounces Monster Energy Drink - 160 milligrams
  • 16 ounces Full Throttle Energy Drink - 144 milligrams
  • 8.3 ounces Red Bull Energy Drink - 80 milligrams
  • 8 ounces Sobe Essential Energy - 48 milligrams