Can I Drink Caramel Frappe While Pregnant

A caramel frappe is a delicious blend of espresso, caramel syrup, milk, and ice, all topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel. It’s a common offering at popular coffee chains like Starbucks.

Caramel frappe, as delightful as it may be, does contain caffeine – an ingredient you may want to watch during your pregnancy. A typical Grande cup of caramel frappe from Starbucks contains around 100mg of caffeine.

Let’s dig deeper into this topic to find out if Caramel Frappe and other caffeinated drinks are recommended while pregnant and how much coffee is safe if any.

Understanding Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy


Recommended Caffeine Intake for Pregnant Women

It’s not that you have to completely shun caffeine during pregnancy. Most doctors, as well as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, agree that a daily caffeine intake of less than 200mg is unlikely to cause potential risks like miscarriage or preterm birth.

That’s roughly equivalent to a single cup of regular iced coffee or two shots of espresso.

Risks of High Caffeine Consumption During Pregnancy

Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, which means it increases blood pressure and heart rate—both of which are not recommended during pregnancy. It also increases the frequency of urination, which can lead to dehydration.

Here are a few potential risks associated with high caffeine consumption during pregnancy:

  1. Miscarriage: Several studies suggest a link between high caffeine intake and an increased risk of miscarriage.
  2. Preterm Birth: Consuming large amounts of caffeine could potentially lead to premature delivery.
  3. Low Birth Weight: Babies born to women who consumed a lot of caffeine/coffee during pregnancy often weigh less at birth. This could lead to health issues later in life.
  4. Developmental Delays: High caffeine/coffee consumption could lead to developmental delays in the baby, including issues related to their cognitive performance and behavior.
  5. Withdrawal Symptoms in Babies: Babies born to mothers who consumed a lot of caffeine during pregnancy may show withdrawal symptoms like jitteriness, irritability, and insomnia.

How to Deal with High Caffeine Consumption During Pregnancy

If you find that you’ve been consuming too much caffeine during pregnancy, don’t panic. Here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Gradually Reduce Your Intake: Instead of abruptly stopping, try reducing your caffeine intake gradually. This can help prevent withdrawal symptoms like headaches, irritability, and fatigue.
  2. Substitute with Healthy Alternatives: Switch out caffeinated beverages for healthier alternatives. Decaf coffee, herbal tea, or water infused with fresh fruits are all great options.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This not only helps to keep you hydrated but can also help to reduce cravings for caffeinated beverages.
  4. Exercise Regularly: Regular physical activity can boost your mood and energy levels, reducing your need for a caffeine fix.
  5. Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you’re struggling with reducing your caffeine intake, speak to your healthcare provider. They can offer guidance and support to help manage your consumption.

Decaf Coffee and Other Alternatives


What is Decaf Coffee?

If you’re an inspiring mum battling your own coffee demons, decaf coffee might be an option for you. Decaf, or decaffeinated coffee, is coffee that has had most of its caffeine content removed.

Other Caffeine-Free Beverages

Other alternatives could be caffeine-free beverages like herbal teas, fruit juices, or hot water with a slice of lemon. These can satisfy your need for a comforting warm drink without caffeine.

Other Factors to Consider


Sugar and Calorie Content

Aside from the taste and how much caffeine, remember to consider other factors like sugar and calorie content. A caramel frappe, while delicious, is also loaded with sugar. Indulging too often could lead to excessive weight gain or gestational diabetes.

Your Individual Health and Pregnancy

Every pregnancy is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. Always consider your own health, diet, and doctor’s advice when deciding what to consume.

What Starbucks Drinks Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Starbucks offers a wide range of drinks that are safe for pregnant women. Many of their drinks can be customized to reduce caffeine content, and they offer several caffeine-free options as well. Here are a few examples:

  • Decaf Pike Place Roast: This is a decaf version of Starbucks’ signature roast and contains minimal caffeine.
  • Hot Chocolate: A delicious treat with no caffeine, perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth.
  • Caffeine-free Frappuccinos: Many Frappuccinos can be made caffeine-free, such as the Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino.
  • Chai Latte: While it does contain some caffeine, it’s much less than coffee—making it a safer choice for those who need their daily hot drink.
  • Teas: Starbucks offers various herbal teas that are caffeine-free, like the Honey Citrus Mint Tea.

However, remember that it’s important to consider not just caffeine but also sugar content and overall nutrition. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Tips for Finding Safe And Healthy Beverages During Pregnancy at Popular Cafes

When you’re pregnant and visiting popular cafes, here are some tips to fight your own demons and find safe and healthy beverages:

  1. Opt for Decaf Coffee: Many cafes offer decaf versions of their popular coffee drinks. These can be a good choice to drink while pregnant if you’re watching your caffeine intake.
  2. Choose Smaller Sizes: If you’re indulging in a caffeinated beverage, go for a smaller size to reduce the caffeine content.
  3. Consider Herbal Teas: Herbal teas are generally caffeine-free and can be a cozy, comforting alternative to coffee. but do check if it is safe during pregnancy . Not all herbal teas are recommended in certain trimesters
  4. Ask for Less Sweetness: Many cafe drinks come with high sugar content. You can ask for less syrup or sweetener to make the drink healthier.
  5. Try Milk-Based Drinks: Milk-based drinks like lattes (preferably decaf or with chai) can offer a source of calcium.
  6. Choose Fresh Juices: Some cafes offer fresh fruit juices, which can be a great way to get some vitamins.
  7. Always Check: If you’re unsure about a drink’s caffeine or sugar content, don’t hesitate to ask the barista.

In conclusion, you have a plethora of safe and delicious beverage choices during pregnancy, even when you’re at popular cafes like Starbucks. As always, moderation is key, and personalized advice from your doctor or your healthcare provider is the best guidance.

Consult Your Healthcare Provider


Personalized Advice

For the best advice, always consult your healthcare provider. They can give personalized advice based on your specific health conditions and needs during pregnancy.

Exercise Caution

While it’s fine to indulge in a caramel frappe or pumpkin spice latte occasionally, it’s important to exercise caution. Drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks should be balanced with a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water.


When it comes to beverages during pregnancy, the key is moderation and mindful choices. It’s entirely possible to enjoy a delicious caramel frappe or your favorite Starbucks drinks while pregnant, provided you are conscious of the caffeine and sugar content of coffee drinks.

Remember that your daily caffeine intake should ideally not exceed 200 mg. Decaf coffee, herbal teas, milk-based drinks, and fresh fruit juices are all excellent choices for maintaining hydration and nourishment during this critical period.

Additionally, it’s crucial to tailor your beverage intake to the needs of each trimester. Maintaining hydration, consuming caffeine within the limit, and controlling sugar intake can contribute to a healthy and comfortable pregnancy.

Equally important is the avoidance of certain ingredients, like excessive caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol, which can pose risks to both mother and baby.



  1. Can I drink caramel frappe while pregnant?
    Yes, in moderation and within the safe limits of caffeine intake for pregnant women (less than 200mg/day).
  2. How much caffeine is there in a caramel frappe?
    A typical Grande cup from Starbucks contains around 100mg of caffeine.
  3. What are some caffeine-free alternatives?
    Herbal tea, fruit juice, and hot water with lemon are some alternatives.
  4. Does decaf coffee contain no caffeine?
    Decaf coffee contains significantly less caffeine than regular coffee, but it’s not completely caffeine-free.
  5. Is it safe to drink caffeinated beverages during pregnancy?
    Yes, in moderation. Most healthcare providers recommend staying below 200mg of caffeine per day.
  6. Can you have McDonald’s frappe while pregnant?
    Yes, you can have a McDonald’s frappe while pregnant, but moderation is key due to its caffeine and sugar content.
  7. How much caffeine is in a McDonald’s caramel frappe?
    A medium-sized McDonald’s caramel frappe contains approximately 67 mg of caffeine.
  8. Does caramel frappe have caffeine?
    Yes, a caramel frappe does contain caffeine, with the exact amount varying based on its size and where it’s from.
  9. What is safe to drink at Starbucks while pregnant?
    Pregnant women can safely enjoy decaf coffees, teas, and certain caffeine-limited drinks at Starbucks, but it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider.

Reference Resources:

  1. Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy
  2. Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more
  3. Decaf Coffee and Health
  4. Gestational Diabetes


This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.