Is Drinking Coffee Bad For Pregnant Women?
We’ve known for a long time that caffeine isn’t the best substance to be filling our bodies with. That’s why it’s especially worrying that people drink so much coffee. There is so much caffeine in coffee and it is such a regular part of many peoples’ diets that it could be a cause for concern.
This is especially true in light of new research that has revealed coffee puts pregnant women at risk of damaging their unborn child. Excess levels of caffeine have been linked to a low birth weight and prolonged pregnancies.
Along with important things like nutrients and oxygen, caffeine freely passes through the placental barrier, but the developing baby’s body is not developed enough to deal with the substance. The World Health Organisation currently suggests that pregnant women should limit themselves to around 300mg per day, but some countries recommend a limit of 200mg which is equivalent to less than a single cup of coffee in many high street cafes.
A team of researchers from the Norwegian Institute for Public Health looked at the impact of mothers drinking caffeine on their unborn babies. The team used information about the mother’s diet and birth details collected over a period of ten years. All the major sources of caffeine were monitored in the study: coffee, tea, fizzy drink and chocolate.
The results showed that all forms of caffeine were noted to reduce birth weight and prolong pregnancies, but that caffeine derived from coffee was by far the worst. This suggests that it is not only caffeine that is causing the problem but likely another substance found in the coffee that is making things even worse.
The team noted that more research will be required into the area to look at the other problems surrounding coffee and pregnancy.
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