Can I Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant? Know if it’s Safe or Not

Being a pregnant mother, a lot of things need to be avoided and one of it being coffee because of the caffeine present in it. How can if we love to drink coffee? So is it safe or not for pregnant women? We are going to know more about decaf coffee for pregnancy.


How is Decaf Coffee Made?

Because of the high demand of coffee due to its alertness benefits, many people couldn't sacrifice removing it from their daily habits. The same goes for pregnant women. It's because of this that decaf coffee is now in existence. But how is it made? Well, simply put it this way – decaffeinated coffee is still coffee without caffeine.

It's done by removing all of the caffeine content of the coffee and letting the other flavoring elements remain inside it. This then makes it taste still like pure coffee, even though it's not a pure one. This is done by doing a variety of methods. There are three mainly used caffeine extraction methods today. These are the solvent method, carbon dioxide method, and the Swiss Water method.

All of the processes have different individual steps. However, they still have the same results. It's also important to know that decaf coffee is not 100% decaffeinated because there are still traces of caffeine left in the coffee. However, you don't need to worry about it because it's just a tiny amount, which is in some cases, irrelevantly minuscule.

Maximum Limit of Drinking Decaf Coffee During Pregnancy

Most pregnant women think of coffee as dangerous to drink, be it regular coffee or decaf coffee. Yes, that's true when it comes to drinking regular coffee. However, it's a completely different story when you are to drink decaf coffee while pregnant. According to research, decaf coffee doesn't pose a risk to pregnant women and their babies, as long as they don't go beyond the maximum limit of taking in 200 mg of caffeine each day.

This is equivalent to two coffee mugs each day. But there are also other experts that lower down the maximum limit to 150 mg. Either way, it will be better if you stick with the 150 mg caffeine max limit to be completely sure. You'll never know how strong that variety of coffee you're drinking.

Remember that these decaf coffees still contain a small amount of caffeine which is why you need to impose a strict limit on it. Also, add up the other caffeine that you can get from other beverages or food sources such as teas and chocolates. To be completely sure how much caffeine you're taking, make it a habit of reading the nutritional value shown in the packaging of whatever it is that you're consuming.

The usual amount of caffeine in a cup of decaf coffee can be from 2 mg to a whopping 13.9 mg. With this, you can see that it's not a decaffeinated coffee – it's more of a "less decaf coffee." This caffeine amount can even be higher in specialty coffee shops, so you really might want to be extra careful with those.

Risks of Drinking too Much Coffee During Pregnancy

There are a lot of reasons why decaf coffee is made. Aside from targeting people who don’t want to take in caffeine due to health issues, these also target the pregnant market knowing that soon-to-be-mothers still need a daily dose of coffee. It all revolves around the thought of removing the caffeine from the equation, to make coffee safer and healthier for people. Indeed, decaf coffee is very important. Here are some of the health risks of drinking too much regular coffee.

1. Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Increase

The first or maybe the best reason why caffeine is dangerous to some people is that it is a stimulant to your nervous system. What this means is that it affects how your nervous system works, either it is through changing its pace, its efficiency, or tweak its normal flow. It's because of this that you stay alert when you drink regular coffee even if you lack sleep or is tired.

It functions like an override system that clouds how your body should react to your exhaustion or tiresomeness. For it to do these things, caffeine influences your blood pressure and increases it. It then speeds up the rate of your heart beat. This makes it pose a risk to people who have heart illnesses and high blood pressure.

2. Dehydration

Another health risk that regular coffee can pose to you is dehydration. This happens due to the diuretic properties coffee has. What this means is that it makes you feel thirsty even if you've already drunk a lot of water. This is what is most likely to happen to you when you drink too much regular coffee. However, this isn't the case when it comes to drinking decaf coffee, because of the lack or less amount of caffeine in it.

3. Can Enter Your Baby

In line with this, coffee contains caffeine. Though humans especially adults can metabolize caffeine, the baby inside your womb cannot. So if you drink coffee, there’s a huge chance that caffeine can enter your developing body.

This can happen because medical researchers have proved that even though there is a placental barrier between the baby inside your womb and your body, there is still a chance that coffee or caffeine can cross that barrier. When it does, caffeine can harm the development of your baby.

4. Miscarriage

Drinking too much coffee, be it the regular one or the decafs, poses a risk of miscarriage. This is due to the caffeine content of the coffee. Even decaffeinated coffees are not exempted from this because they still contain a small amount of coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that pumps up your heart rate and somehow overrides your nervous system.

When this enters your womb and the body of your baby, then it will also have an effect on their underdeveloped body, specifically their underdeveloped nervous and circulatory system. This can cause an abnormality in the chemical and developmental processes inside your womb, which can then result in a miscarriage. With this, you need to be extra careful in taking foods or drinks when pregnant. Remember, it's not only coffee that has caffeine, but teas and chocolates as well.

The Difference Between Regular Coffee and Decaf Coffee

The main difference between regular coffee and decaf coffee is because of the lack of caffeine in the latter. That is also the main reason why decaf coffee is created in the first place. However, many coffee addicts and drinkers think that decaf coffee is a bad substitute for regular coffee because it tastes different.

It also defeats the purpose of drinking coffee, and that is to stay alert and energetic. And technically speaking, decaf coffee is a synthetic or unnatural process because of the modification undergone by the coffee beans in the extraction of its caffeine. It's also important for you to know that decaffeinated coffee still contains a small amount of caffeine. It is said that 95% of caffeine is removed from coffee beans and that it is technically impossible to remove that remaining 5% through the same process.

According to a study, decaf coffee contains between 8 to 13.9 mg of caffeine per cup. That is still a small amount compared to the usual 85 mg to 90 mg of caffeine in regular coffee. However, there is a certain kind of coffee that has zero caffeine, which is called as instant decaf coffee crystals.

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