The maximum amount of caffeine the NHS says you are allowed each day when you’re pregnant is 200mg. That equates to two cups of instant coffee or just one filter coffee, or 3 small cups of tea.
When you’re breastfeeding, you might also like to continue to avoid caffeine. While some mums can’t wait to get back to their regular coffee routine (and some may well pick up a habit when faced with very little sleep in the first few months!), other mums believe too much caffeine makes it harder for their baby to sleep, or you may also want to stay natural and low-caffeine now that you’re used to it anyway.
Here are some good caffeine-free options to keep you hydrated while you’re growing your baby.
The NHS recommends that you avoid drinking caffeine when you’re suffering from pregnancy reflux. It’s a good idea as you have to limit the amount of caffeine you drink anyway while you’re pregnant. However, there isn’t a huge amount of evidence to prove that caffeine worsens reflux.
But a very small 1994 study on just 16 (non-pregnant) volunteers found that caffeinated coffee did increase the acidity in their oesophagus after drinking. Decaffeinated coffee, caffeine-infused water, or a cup of tea (which also contains caffeine) didn’t have the same effect and didn’t worsen reflux. Therefore the negative effect of coffee was put down to another agent in the coffee that was removed during the decaffeination process.
When I was pregnant, I did find that avoiding caffeine helped overall. Even decaffeinated tea was better for my symptoms than normal tea. So as this expert recommends, as there isn’t a lot of evidence one way or another, you should try things and see what works for you. Stick with the things that work.