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    Home ›› Caffeine in pregnancy and breastfeeding 

    Home ›› Caffeine in pregnancy and breastfeeding 

    Caffeine in pregnancy and breastfeeding – your questions answered


    Reading time: 4 mins.


    Pregnancy and breastfeeding are exciting times. Lots of things are new and you probably have plenty of questions about nutrition, especially when you’re expecting your first child. But can you drink coffee while pregnant and during breastfeeding? Here you can find out everything you want to know about caffeine in pregnancy and whether coffee and breastfeeding can be combined.

    Dauer: 5 Min.

    Can you drink coffee while pregnant?

    Can pregnant women drink coffee? Let's start with the good news: you don't have to give up your beloved morning coffee during pregnancy. But exactly how much caffeine can you have while pregnant? 

    How much caffeine can you have when pregnant?

    According to the NHS, up to 200mg of caffeine (up to two cups of instant coffee) per day is safe during pregnancy.1 So can you drink coffee in pregnancy? Yes, you can – but in moderation. 

    Caffeine in pregnancy beyond coffee

    It’s not only coffee that contains caffeine, however, but also black and green tea, energy drinks, certain soft drinks and dark chocolate. So it’s not just about whether pregnant women can drink coffee – it’s also caffeinated tea and other foods and drinks you need to consider, too. If you’ve already had two cups of coffee, with an additional cup of tea you exceed the daily caffeine limit in pregnancy. The NHS provides these figures as guidance:

    • A mug of filter coffee: 140mg
    • A mug of instant coffee: 100mg
    • A mug of tea: 75mg
    • A 50g plain chocolate bar: up to 50mg
    • A 354ml cola drink: 40mg

    Energy drinks are amongst the foods and drinks to avoid during pregnancy, because they contain caffeine, several unhealthy additives and lots of sugar. Soft drinks like cola should be avoided because they contain a lot of sugar and additives. Of course, there's nothing wrong with a little dark chocolate here and there as an energy boost! 

    What you need

    Is it okay to drink coffee while breastfeeding?


    Caffeine passes into breast milk and is difficult for the baby's body to break down (just like alcohol, which is amongst the drinks and foods to avoid while breastfeeding), so you should only drink coffee in moderate amounts while breastfeeding. It’s the same answer for the limit of caffeine/coffee while breastfeeding as for how much caffeine can you have while pregnant – that’s up to 200mg a day.2

    Too much caffeine can lead to restlessness, abdominal pain and flatulence in your baby. About one to two cups of coffee a day during breastfeeding is considered safe. If possible, drink your coffee directly after breastfeeding so that most of the caffeine can be absorbed by the next meal. 

    Alternatively, you can conveniently express some breast milk using the Philips Avent breast pump range before drinking coffee. You can personalise your settings with 8 stimulation and 16 expression levels. Then you’ll be able to feed the expressed milk to your baby with a Philips Avent Natural baby bottle after you have drunk your coffee. The soft, breast-shaped teat mimics the feel of a breast, making the switch between breast and bottle as smooth as possible for occasions like this.

    Can you drink decaf coffee while pregnant and during breastfeeding?


    If you’re a real coffee lover, decaffeinated coffee may be an alternative for you during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Decaf coffee and breastfeeding/pregnancy make a safer pair than caffeinated coffee. 

    Looking for other ways to deal with the caffeine limit? Pregnancy-friendly alternatives include decaffeinated tea and herbal tea. Bear in mind the NHS advises drinking no more than four cups of herbal tea a day while pregnant, and avoiding teas containing liquorice root.

    So, can you drink decaf coffee while pregnant or breastfeeding to your heart’s content? Well, the answer is no. There are limits. A decaf brewed coffee (8oz/237ml) might contain 2-12mg of caffeine, while a decaffeinated espresso coffee (1oz/30ml) might contain up to 15mg of caffeine and decaffeinated instant coffee (8oz/237ml) might contain 27-173mg of caffeine.3 So you’ll need to go back to the question ‘how much caffeine can you have when pregnant?’ Check the details of the specific decaf so you know how many cups you can have without exceeding the 200mg daily limit.

    It’s worth noting you should only choose decaffeinated coffee that has been decaffeinated without chemical processes. If the package says "naturally decaffeinated" or "produced without chemical processes", then you can safely go for it, as it should be free of chemical residues.

    Now that you know the answer to the original question ‘can you drink coffee in pregnancy and while breastfeeding?’ you can relax and treat yourself to an occasional brew when you feel like it. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are special times, and you don’t have to give up everything.



    1. NHS: Foods to avoid in pregnancy
    2. NHS: Breastfeeding and diet
    3. Holland & Barrett: Caffeine in tea vs coffee

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