No one can deny that coffee tastes great first thing in the morning. Without that cup of much-needed coffee, most people tend to feel dull and lifeless. Unfortunately, what makes coffee so energizing is caffeine, and caffeine is best avoided when pregnant due to a few adverse health risks that could be caused as a result of it.
Women in the habit of consuming coffee tend to shift to decaf coffee when pregnant, as its taste can help give them a sense of comfort and familiarity first thing in the morning. But what is it, and is decaf coffee safe during pregnancy?
What Is Decaf Coffee?
Decaffeinated coffee or decaf coffee is the same as regular coffee, and only it has 97% of the caffeine removed. This takes place right at the start, with the unroasted, green coffee beans having their caffeine extracted by immersing them in liquid.
Most decaf coffee is made using the Swiss Water Process. This method was developed in 1979 and is an efficient way to remove caffeine from coffee without using any solvents. Coffee beans are soaked in a caffeine-free green coffee extract, in which most of the caffeine seeps out. Once this is complete, the beans are then dried and packaged.
What Is the Caffeine Content in Decaf Coffee?
Though decaf coffee goes through an entire process of removing the caffeine, it is impossible to remove every single milligram of it. This means that there is still a small amount of caffeine in decaf coffee, but the amount will vary depending on the method used to decaffeinate it.
Decaf coffee has a minimum of three percent caffeine compared to regular coffee. For example, the amount of caffeine in a regular cup of coffee is 97 mg, while the same cup of decaf coffee will have only around 2 mg.
On average, every 8oz of coffee could have anywhere between 3mg to 15mg of caffeine present. A regular cup of coffee has anything between 70mg and 140mg of caffeine in it.
The amount of caffeine present in decaf coffee varies based on the type of coffee and the method used to make it. It would be best to check the amount of caffeine present in the decaf coffee you consider before consuming any when pregnant.
Can You Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant?
Since there is a significant reduction in the amount of caffeine present in decaf coffee, it is generally safe to consume while pregnant. However, consuming in moderate amounts is important. You can enjoy a cup of decaffeinated coffee now and then if you really crave a cup, but it still contains caffeine, so always be careful with how much you consume. Remember that other food items, such as chocolate, soft drinks, tea, and energy drinks, contain small amounts of caffeine. If you consume any of these on the same day as you consume coffee, your caffeine intake will increase, resulting in consuming more caffeine than you intend to.
How Much Decaf Coffee Can a Pregnant Woman Drink Per Day?
The best quantity to consume for a pregnant woman is up to two to three cups of decaffeinated coffee. Ideally, the amount should be no more than 200mg per day. This means it is important for you to check the amount of caffeine present in the decaf coffee that you buy for your home or when you buy it from the coffee shop. This also means that you need to be mindful when consuming other edibles containing caffeine to maintain the appropriate caffeine intake per day.
Side Effects of Drinking Decaf Coffee When Pregnant
Though decaf coffee contains so much less caffeine than regular coffee, drinking too much of it still poses a problem while you are pregnant. While your liver may be able to break caffeine down, your baby’s body will not be able to do the same. Here are some of the side effects that could result from too much caffeine in both mother and child:
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Upset stomach
- It is a diuretic, which means it causes dehydration
- Can interfere with your sleep cycle
- Could cause an increase in blood pressure
- Can cause an increase in heart rate
- Caffeine can accumulate in the tissues of an unborn baby
- May cause baby to have a low birth weight
- May be responsible for preterm birth
- Caffeine is believed to be linked to miscarriages
- It is believed to contribute to stillbirth
- It is addictive
Coffee is so well-loved that it can be very difficult to say goodbye, even if it is only for a little while during pregnancy. These are the most frequently asked questions on decaf coffee during pregnancy:
1. Decaf Coffee Vs. Regular Coffee: Which Is Good During Pregnancy?
We have already seen how caffeine is not the best thing to add to your body while pregnant, but opting for decaf is the way to go if you need to have your daily cup of coffee.
It has 97% less caffeine than regular coffee, so while it may not be as energizing as regular coffee, it is best to stick to decaf coffee during pregnancy.
2. Can Decaffeinated Coffee Cause Miscarriage?
A very high intake of caffeine may increase the risk of having a miscarriage. On the other hand, there have also been studies that have proven the exact opposite, claiming that they could not find any such link.
Despite this, all studies have shown that very high levels of caffeine consumption have the possibility of resulting in miscarriages. However, this would depend on various factors such as the type of coffee, brand, method of decaffeination, brewing method, and individual caffeine tolerance.
While it is best to avoid coffee altogether while pregnant, the best compromise would be to have decaf coffee if you are hit with a strong craving for it. Speak to your doctor before you make any solid decisions to be sure you are taking the right course of action for yourself and your child.