Eating as an expectant mother isn’t easy. There are so many things you can’t consume for at least nine months.
However, who would have thought drinking hot chocolate was risky while pregnant? For some women, this steamy and sweet beverage is off the menu.
A mug of hot cocoa is delicious in any season, but it might not be safe to consume while pregnant. Depending on the ingredients, you could harm your baby or gain unwanted pounds. The extra sugars and caffeine can also stunt fetal growth and cause other developmental delays. So, talk to your doctor about the risks and rewards of drinking hot chocolate while pregnant.
However, hot chocolate in moderation that is caffeine-free does contain a few benefits such as lowered blood pressure and improved blood flow.
- Should You Drink Hot Cocoa While Pregnant?
- Can You Consume Peppermint Hot Chocolate During Pregnancy?
- Is Nestle Hot Chocolate Okay to Drink During Pregnancy?
- Can You Drink Starbucks Hot Chocolate If Pregnant?
- What Hot Drinks Should You Enjoy and Avoid During Pregnancy?
Should You Drink Hot Cocoa While Pregnant?
You shouldn’t consume hot chocolate beverages or other hot drinks while pregnant until you talk to a doctor.
Each mother is different, and so are her dietary needs. Meanwhile, many products contain ingredients that can cause adverse reactions during pregnancy. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Why Is Hot Chocolate Risky for Pregnant Women?
Cocoa beverages consist of various ingredient blends to satisfy every taste bud. However, not every recipe is safe for pregnant women.
The reason is that some products contain high levels of caffeine, which gets absorbed into the bloodstream within minutes.
Caffeine can increase your heart rate, make you sweat, and cause nausea or indigestion.
In extreme cases, slight birth defects can occur in babies of mothers who drink caffeinated hot cocoa, coffee, or soft drinks.
There’s also a higher risk of miscarriage, especially when the mother consumes caffeine in large quantities.
Side Effects of Drinking Caffeine While Pregnant
Coffee, tea, and hot cocoa are tasty treats with several positive benefits. Some of the compounds can boost energy levels, improve focus, and even eliminate headaches.
Unfortunately, expectant mothers must limit their caffeine consumption until they give birth or stop breastfeeding. Otherwise, they could experience uncomfortable or dangerous side effects.
The risks of drinking hot chocolate with caffeine while pregnant are well documented.
For example, doctors know that the stimulant crosses the placental barrier, entering your baby’s system and impacting fetal development.
Still, most mothers can consume up to 200 mg per day without putting their children at risk.
Some doctors warn that consuming over 200 mg per day while pregnant can lead to low birth weight and labor complications. Other potential side effects may include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Stomach Cramps
- Digestive Disruptions
Talk to your physician or OBGYN for a detailed analysis of your diet.
Adjust your intake based on their recommendations because this is not medical advice. Then report any adverse side effects immediately to prevent an incident.
Can You Consume Peppermint Hot Chocolate During Pregnancy?
Some peppermint hot cocoa blends contain little to no caffeine. Those options are generally safe for pregnant women.
Furthermore, peppermint ingredients can help relieve stomach cramps and nausea often associated with morning sickness. Each person will react differently, though.
When pregnant, you can safely drink mint-flavored hot chocolate beverages to your heart’s content. Just check the caffeine level first.
Then discuss dietary options and restrictions with your gynecologist to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Also, enjoy sugary drinks in moderation to prevent other health complications.
DID YOU KNOW: You can mix sugar-free peppermint flavoring into caffeine-free hot cocoa for a customized blend safe for pregnancy.
Is Nestle Hot Chocolate Okay to Drink During Pregnancy?
Nestle brand hot chocolate is generally safe for pregnant women. However, their products are high in sugar and artificial ingredients.
Avoid this option if you’re worried about consuming inorganic substances or too many sweets. You can also look for sugar-free and caffeine-free recipes if you crave the flavor.
Make delicious hot drinks with Nestle cocoa powder or syrup to customize your caloric intake.
Chocolate syrup and powder usually don’t have much caffeine, but they’re still high in sugar and fillers.
So, enjoy hot cocoa beverages in moderation to stay healthy until you give birth. Or use water instead of milk to mix your ingredients.
Can You Drink Starbucks Hot Chocolate If Pregnant?
Going to Starbucks for coffee or hot chocolate every day is probably not a good idea if you’re pregnant.
Most of their beverages contain high amounts of sugar and caffeine. Some of their recipes also have milk, nuts, eggs, and other allergens that could put your baby at risk.
Ask the barista for a list of ingredients if you’re unsure what’s in the products on their menu.
You can request specific items be removed or added to suit your dietary needs. Most Starbucks locations also offer dairy-free, sugar-free, and caffeine-free options.
Needing your daily Starbucks hot chocolate or coffee fix? Order with confidence if you don’t overdo it.
Limit yourself to only one beverage per day, and try to avoid drinking anything with caffeine or high sugar levels.
Or skip a day in between visits to gradually balance your metabolism.
5 Starbucks Drinks Safe for Pregnant Women
Suppose you want to make a daily trip to the Starbucks counter for some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
Which drinks should you buy, and which ones should you avoid?
As an expectant mother, the last thing you want to do is harm your unborn baby. What menu items are best for pregnant women?
Here is a list of your top five options:
- Iced Coconut Milk Drinks
- Green Tea
- Starbucks Refreshers
- Soy Mochas
- Low-Fat Lattes
Coconut milk mixed drinks offer extra nutrition for pregnancy. You can add chocolate flavoring to the liquid and heat it up for a hot cocoa alternative.
Meanwhile, green tea provides several essential nutrients, and Starbucks refreshers are relatively healthy thirst quencher.
For more information on the ingredients and customizing options, talk to the person making your order.
What Hot Drinks Should You Enjoy and Avoid During Pregnancy?
Drinking a hot beverage is perfectly safe for pregnant women. The ingredients of that beverage determine how much of it she can have.
For example, pregnancy calls for fewer sugars and little caffeine to prevent adverse side effects on the mother and baby.
So, pregnant women shouldn’t consume too many hot drinks with those contents.
Find options that are healthy and refreshing. Then enjoy them in moderation unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
Ask different restaurants for menu details, and check labels to ensure a safe recipe. You can warm most of your favorite drinks without severe consequences, including mugs of chocolatey goodness.
Thirsty enough to start experimenting but still want to be safe while pregnant? These are the best hot beverages for expectant mothers:
- Warm Milk
- Hot Tea
- Caffeine-Free Coffee
- Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate
- Low-Caffeine Mochas
Use honey or natural sweeteners to enhance the taste of your hot drinks.
Or add a vitamin supplement to the mixture to boost nutrition and provide natural energy.
Remember, caffeinated beverages may be delicious, but they can also be dangerous to consume during pregnancy.
DID YOU KNOW: Too much caffeine can cause an adverse reaction to your prenatal vitamins.
Can you drink hot chocolate while pregnant? Most doctors and nutritionists say you can.
The key is to stay away from products with high caffeine levels and excessive amounts of sugar.
You can either customize the drink or find something else that won’t harm your baby most of the time.
Always talk to your doctor first because every woman will react differently to the ingredients.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.