Pregnant? Doctors Urge You to Put Down that Coffee Cup!
Sometimes, you need your morning cup of coffee to get you going in the morning, but, according to a new study pregnant women may need to forgo their fix for the next nine months. Swedish researchers have found that if you drink even a single mug of coffee a day when pregnant, you will affect your baby’s wellbeing by reducing their birth-weight.
For the study, which was published in the journal BMC medicine, the researchers examined almost 60,000 women, finding that even low levels of the stimulant raised the risk of babies being born with a lower weight than expected. Though coffee led the way as the caffeine source of choice, women who didn’t go for a cup of Joe mainly opted for tea and chocolate instead. It is currently advised by the British Food Standards Agency that pregnant women drink no more than 200mg of caffeine a day, 140mg of which is contained in a mug of filter coffee, the study found.
However, the report, which was led by Norwegian Institute of Public Health, indicates that drinking that 200mg raises your baby’s risk of being born ‘small for gestational age’ (SGA) by between 27% and 62%, depending on how the condition is defined. If your child is expected to be born at the normal birth-weight of 3.6kg, he or she will lose 21-28g for every 100mg of caffeine that you consume each day, regardless of the caffeine source. When this family wellness issue was brought before the Food Standards Agency, it said its advisers, the Committee on Toxiciology, could not identify a level of caffeine that was so low it posed no increased risk to babies.
Hence, Verena Sengpiel, at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden, said those limits might not be low enough. ‘We don’t find any threshold limit. From the first milligram of caffeine there’s an increased rate of SGA. If women want to be cautious and don’t have any problems with giving up caffeine, they should try to quit. Otherwise, stick to the guidelines and limit your intake to less than 200mg of caffeine a day,’ she said.
If your baby is born small for the length of time you were pregnant, he or she will be more likely to develop wellness problems. For example, your baby may have trouble regulating their temperature and blood glucose levels. Sengpiel added that some SGA babies are slow to meet key development milestones, such as speaking.
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