When a woman becomes pregnant, she needs to avoid some actions
that increase health risks for the developing child, namely
consuming alcohol, eating certain types of seafood and smoking
(if she's a smoker). Exposure to caffeine during pregnancy
has also been linked to pregnancy problems, including spontaneous
abortion and low infant birth weight. Other lifestyle choices
associated with high caffeine consumption, including drinking
alcohol and smoking while pregnant, have been implicated as
the actual causes for these birth problems. Is caffeine alone
dangerous for your baby?
an eight-year Danish study, almost 20,000 pregnant women visiting
a department of obstetrics and gynecology provided information
about coffee consumption before and 16 weeks into pregnancy.
Coffee consumption was classified as 0, 1-3, 4-7 or 8 or more
cups per day. Researchers looked for a possible association
between coffee consumption and stillbirth or infant death
in the first year in this British Medical Journal study.
Pregnant women consuming eight or more cups of coffee daily
while pregnant were three times more likely to experience
a stillbirth than women drinking no coffee, not considering
smoking and alcohol consumption. After adjusting for these
and other factors, women drinking eight or more cups daily
still remained over two times more likely to have a stillborn
child, and women drinking 4-7 cups daily still showed a 40%
increase in risk.
The effects of caffeine from other sources, including chocolate,
cola and tea consumption, were unknown in this study, because
the women involved were noted to consume very little caffeine
from these sources. Regardless of pregnancy, drinking eight
or more cups of coffee daily is unhealthy for other health
reasons. Limit your caffeine intake to one or two cups of
coffee or tea per day, especially if you're carrying a child.
Wisborg K, Kesmodel U, et al. Maternal consumption of coffee
during pregnancy and stillbirth and infant death in first
year of life: Prospective study. British Medical Journal
2003:326, pp. 420-423.
Learn more about women's health issues at www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/women.html.