Is it safe for moms-to-be to drink coffee?
While it has long been believed that mild caffeine consumption during pregnancy is acceptable, a new study recently confirmed no link between moderate caffeine intake by a mother and developmental problems in the child later in life.
Data from 2,197 mother-child pairs was collected by researchers Mark A. Klebanoff and Sara A. Keim from The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Pregnant mothers were the control group in a case study of caffeine in the Collaborative Perinatal Project, which ran from 1959 to 1974 and looked at consumption and its effects on preterm delivery.
Researchers evaluated the association of the chemical paraxanthine, caffeine’s primary metabolite, and a central nervous stimulant, along with the child’s IQ and problem behaviors at certain ages. In the end, no consistent patterns were found.
Dr. Rannveig Maria Middleton, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., says it’s safe to stick to the recommended 200 milligrams of caffeine a day while pregnant.
“If you brew your coffee weak at home, then you may be able to have more cups of coffee than if you order one at a coffee shop,” says Dr. Middleton. “The milligrams are the most important aspect, not the number of cups, so make sure you are checking.”
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