The advice regarding coffee and pregnancy has always been a bit iffy. Can you or can’t you? Well, new research has thrown cold water on our favourite hot drink coffee and experts have declared that pregnant coffee drinkers need to give up completely.

Up until now, pregnant coffee lovers were allowed to continue their caffeine guzzling…in moderation. Two cups of medium-strength coffee a day has been regarded as a safe level for pregnant women.

Pregnant Coffee Drinkers Have To Go Cold Turkey!

However, a recent international study, as reported in The Guardian, has warned all pregnant coffee drinkers that they need to cut out coffee completely to avoid dangerous pregnancy implications, such as miscarriage, low birth weight and even stillbirth.

In the most horrendous news for pregnant coffee addicts, the new guidelines are that there is no safe level for caffeine consumption during pregnancy, according to a peer-reviewed study published in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.

The research deep-dived into over 1,200 studies of caffeine’s effect on pregnancy and found “persuasive confirmation of increased risk…for at least five major negative pregnancy outcomes: miscarriage, stillbirth, lower birth weight and/or small for gestational age, childhood acute leukaemia, and childhood overweight and obesity.”

Big Blow

This will be a major blow for pregnant coffee drinkers, as well as those who drink energy drinks, tea and soft drinks which also contains various levels of caffeine.

This new ground-shaking study, led by Professor Jack James of Reykjavik University, found that “current advice … is not consistent with the level of threat indicated by biological plausibility of harm and extensive empirical evidence of actual harm.” It concluded that health recommendations needed “radical revision”.

“The cumulative scientific evidence supports pregnant women and women contemplating pregnancy being advised to avoid caffeine,” the report concluded.

Significant Associations

Prof. James said eight out of every nine studies on caffeine and miscarriage reported ‘significant associations’. Many studies suggested coffee consumption increased the risk of miscarriage by one-third, and others said the risk increased with every additional cup of coffee.

There was also an observed link between caffeine consumption and stillbirth, with the risk increasing by as much as five times in women consuming high doses of the drug.

school bans coffee

Coffee Is Safe!

As to be expected, the study was dismissed by the coffee industry, which said public health advice has not changed and it is regarded safe for pregnant coffee drinkers to consume up to 200mg of caffeine a day (equivalent to two medium-strength cups of coffee).

“This new study is an observational study, so importantly does not show any direct cause-and-effect link and also is subject to confounding factors such as cigarette smoking and wider dietary issues, which may limit its ability to draw clear conclusions,” said The British Coffee Association.

“The current evidence is based on a comprehensive review of all the scientific evidence available on coffee and health, which shows that pregnant women should limit caffeine intake to 200mg per day or less, and at these levels does not increase the risk of reproductive complications,” said a spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has acknowledged studies that suggest excess intake of caffeine may be associated with restricted growth, reduced birth weight, preterm birth or stillbirth. It suggests that pregnant women drinking more than three cups of coffee a day should cut back.

What do you think of these latest guidelines for pregnant coffee drinkers? Should we pay attention or is it scaremongering? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • I never drank coffee when i was pregnant


  • I’m not likely to be pregnant any time soon, thankfully my morning sickness prevented me from even liking coffee


  • I’m not a coffee drinker anyway but this would by good to bookmark for my friends.


  • I drink coffee every day.But did less during my pregnancy.


  • I never used to drink coffee that much anyway. If there’s a chance something may be harmful during pregnancy then I’d prefer not to have any at all.

    • Absolutely! Being cautious and careful during pregnancy is so important.


  • The smell of coffee made me nauseous. It’s not something I even considered drinking during my pregnancy as I was so sick for the entire 9 months.


  • There is so much information out there it is hard to know what to do. I guess it’s easier to give it up until its safe to drink after the baby.

    I would be interested in studies around caffeine consumption and breastfeeding. There isn’t much out there.


  • I think with evidence that strong, you’d be foolish not to pay attention.


  • I gave up coffee when pregnant or had decaf but I think I still would hve got quite a bit of caffeine from all the chocolate I ate


  • I’ve always raised eyebrows that drinking is no, smoking is no, but coffee is okay. Caffeine can be as much an addiction as tobacco and certainly too much has never been good for you so why would it be good for a baby?


  • I love coffee but did not consume it during pregnancies.


  • I’ve been drinking decaf for many years and continued to do so during pregnacies


  • Caffeine was something I stayed away from. Too many debates about it


  • I think one a day it’s fine, though I’m not a doctor..


  • I switched to de-caf.


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