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Chocolate is perfectly safe for most pregnant women—in moderation. In fact, there's some evidence that eating chocolate during pregnancy could lower your risk of preeclampsia.
But you don't want to overdo it for two reasons. Number one is that eating lots of chocolate will make you less hungry for other healthy foods you need for a balanced diet. Chocolate also tends to be high in calories and can contribute to an unhealthy weight gain.
The second reason is that chocolate contains caffeine. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women keep their caffeine intake below 200 milligrams (mg) a day.
A little chocolate doesn't hurt: Nine milk-chocolate Hershey's kisses, for example, contain only about 10 mg of caffeine. But some dark chocolate contains a lot more. If you drink any caffeinated beverages and like to snack on chocolate, be careful you don't end up going over the limit.
Finally, you may want to skip chocolate altogether if:
- You're having trouble controlling your blood sugar
- You've been diagnosed with gestational diabetes
- You're gaining too much weight
Find out why caffeine is a concern during pregnancy and how much is in common foods and beverages.
Find out what's safe to eat during pregnancy (and what's not).