What to Order at Starbucks When Pregnant
You’re pregnant! Congratulations! But now the big question that looms over your head is, can I still drink coffee while pregnant? You might be wondering if it is OK to order your favorite grande latte or Green Tea Frappuccino? The good news is, yes, in most cases, limited caffeine intake is still safe, but of course, you should always check with your healthcare professional first.
More: Caffeine, Alcohol, and Pregnancy
How much Caffeine Is OK During Pregnancy?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that moderate caffeine consumption, less than 200mg of caffeine per day, does not seem to contribute to miscarriage or preterm birth. This is excellent news for you coffee-loving mamas-to-be, but you may wonder how much precisely 200 mg of caffeine a day?
The amount of caffeine in a 12-ounce cup of coffee you brew at home is approximately 100 milligrams. That means you could have two cups of most homebrews per day if you wish. To give you some perspective, a hot venti cup at Starbucks is 20 ounces, and a cold venti is 24. But the coffee brewed at popular shops like Starbucks and Dunkin usually have higher caffeine content. For example, one 12-ounce cup or tall serving of Starbucks Pike Place has 235 mg, and medium hot coffee from Dunkin has 210 mg.
If you’re anything like me, the thought of giving up caffeine was terrible, but I was able to slowly wean myself down to about one cup of half-caf in the morning by the start of my first trimester; the rest of the time, it was all decaf for me when I ordered my Starbucks drinks.
While you probably should refrain from doing multiple shots of espresso a day, there are some lower caffeine and even caffeine-free options to choose from. We have gathered together some of the tastiest and lowest-caffeine options from all your favorite coffee chains, so you no longer need to wonder what to order at Starbucks while pregnant!
Tasty Caffeinated Options
My personal favorite is a Peppermint Mocha or a Peppermint Hot Chocolate. A grande hot chocolate has only 25 mg of caffeine and is comforting and delicious! On the other hand, a Grande Peppermint Mocha puts you nearly at your daily limit with 175 mg per serving; but in my opinion, it is worth it once in a while! Of course, if you really want that caffeine, you could order a tall, which drops down to only 95 mg.
Another popular and delicious choice at Starbucks is the Caramel Macchiato. Both a grande and venti serving are 150 mg. By comparison, a 10-ounce macchiato from Dunkin Donuts has a whopping 237 mg of caffeine; it just goes to show not all drinks are created equal!
One drink that surprises people with its caffeine content is the Starbucks Refresher. Many people think that since these drinks are fruity, they don’t have any caffeine. The Refreshers are made with green coffee, so while it is lower in caffeine, it is not the same as drinking a caffeine-free herbal tea. The caffeine content for the Refreshers is pretty standard across the board at 45 mg for a grande. The Refresher is a drink you can splurge on because a whopping 30-ounce Trenta only contains 95 mg!
For those traditional espresso drink lovers who prefer the no-frills cappuccino or latte, you are looking at 150 mg of caffeine each. A delicious and slightly lower caffeine option is the chai tea latte which is only 95 mg.
Low and Caffeine Free Options
If you are looking to order something absolutely caffeine-free, consider a Vanilla Creme Steamer, apple cider, Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, or hibiscus tea. Some Starbucks iced teas are also free of caffeine, such as the Peach Tranquility or the Mint Majesty.
Keep in mind, even if you do choose to drink decaf coffee, it still contains some caffeine. For example, a 12-ounce cup contains roughly 25 milligrams of caffeine. So while switching to decaf drinks will help you consume less caffeine, it doesn’t mean you can drink an unlimited amount.
If you’re an iced coffee drinker, don’t be deluded into thinking the ice reduces the caffeine; a grande iced coffee at Starbucks contains 165 mg of caffeine. Cold-brew is another delicious choice, and a grande Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew has you right at your limit of 200 mg of caffeine daily.
Caffeine and Breastfeeding
While caffeine consumption is a concern for pregnant women, you may also be wondering if you can drink caffeine after your little one is here if you will be breastfeeding. La Leche League reports that it is unlikely for moderate amounts of caffeine to affect a healthy full-term baby while breastfeeding. They list on their site that somewhere between 200 milligrams and 300 milligrams per day are acceptable.
If you are entirely unsure what to order or have any concerns, you can always ask the barista for suggestions and low-caffeine options. But you can rest easy knowing that pregnancy does not mean you have to give up your daily coffee or other caffeinated beverages, which is good news because once your baby girl or baby boy arrives, you may feel as if you need all the coffee you can get your hands on! Even before the birth of your beautiful child, you may want to look at other ways to beat Pregnancy Fatigue that don't include caffeine.
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L. Elizabeth Forry, Preschool Lead
About L. Elizabeth Forry
L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with 15 years of classroom experience.