Nutritionist Caroline replies: There's no reason why you shouldn't have caffeinated drinks, but don't overdo it.
Very high intakes of caffeine have been linked to low birth weight and miscarriage and experts recommend that pregnant women should have no more than 300mg of caffeine per day. Lower amounts are unlikely to harm your unborn baby, though to be on the safe side you may prefer to cut it out completely or keep your intake to an absolute minimum while you're pregnant.
It's not only coffee that contains caffeine. It also occurs naturally in tea, cola and other fizzy drinks and even chocolate - the list (right) should help you keep tabs on your intake from all sources to make sure you don't go over the 300mg limit. If you can't do without your regular cuppa or fix of cola, try switching to decaffeinated versions instead and supplement them with caffeine-free alternatives such as fruit tea or fruit juice with some sparkling water.
How to track your caffeine intake:
- 100mg in mug of instant coffee or cup of filter coffee
- 50mg in cup of tea
- Up to 40mg in can of cola
- Up to 80mg in can of energy drink
- Up to 50mg in bar of plain chocolate
- Some cold remedies also contain caffeine.