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Caffeine During Pregnancy Linked With Low Birth Weight Babies – New Study

pregnantwomanwithcoffeeI posted last week about my ongoing battle with coffee consumption during pregnancy. I’ll admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of pro-coffee encouragement on my Facebook page–I was uplifted by the comments from women who had no ill effects with caffeine during multiple pregnancies; women who managed to cut down (like me) but never completely gave it up; and other comments from moms explaining that it was in their family’s best interest to have Mom awake and happy (with coffee) than exhausted and cranky (without).

Which is why I was SO bummed when I heard about a new study in the journal BMC Medicine that found that caffeine consumption during pregnancy is linked to low birth weight babies.

According to Medical News Today, the Norwegian study followed 60,000 pregnancies and found that caffeine from all sources (coffee, soda, chocolate, tea) reduced birth weight. For every 100mg of caffeine consumed the birth weight went down by about 21-28 grams. (One regular cup of coffee contains about 150mg of caffeine.) Most OBs, like mine, tell patients that 200 or 300mg of caffeine a day is OK, per the recommendation of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

My guilt has now returned ten-fold. So by drinking even my one morning cup of coffee I am potentially lowering my new baby’s birth weight? Big sigh. The study simply found a link with no clear proof of causation…but that clear association between caffeine and lower birth rate is certainly enough to give me pause.

I will anxiously await to see if ACOG changes it’s recommendation as I continue my uphill battle to give up my beloved coffee for four more months.

Source: Medical News Today

Photo credit: iStock

Read more of Claire’s writing at Rants from MommylandAnd for even more silliness follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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