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New study suggests coffee can increase the risk of miscarriage
There are certain luxuries in life that, for obvious reasons, pregnant women are made to go nine months without. Take high-waisted jeans, for example. Cucumber and salmon sushi rolls, triple cream brie and pinot gris (the list goes on and on… and on.)
But according to new research, we might not even be able to indulge in a quarter-strength latte without potentially harming the health of bub.
Scientists out of Iceland’s Reykjavik University analysed data from 48 separate studies that looked at the impact of caffeine during gestation. From this, they concluded that there is no safe level of consumption, as it increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, lower birth weight, childhood acute leukemia and giving birth to a baby who was overweight or obese.
“There is substantial cumulative evidence of an association between maternal caffeine consumption and diverse negative pregnancy outcomes,” the paper’s author and psychology professor Jack E. James wrote.
This goes against the current Australian guidelines, which recommend expectant mums reduce their intake to less than 200mg of caffeine daily (which, btw, is around one to two instant coffees or two to three cups of tea.)
In addition, many experts have dismissed James’ research as it’s inconsistent with accepted evidence.
"There are so many dos and don'ts associated with pregnancy and the last thing we need is to cause unnecessary anxiety,” University of Adelaide pharmacist Dr Luke Grzeskowiak told the BBC.
“At the end of the day, women should be reassured that caffeine can be consumed in moderation during pregnancy."
Professor Andrew Shennon from Kings College London conccured, saying that the analysis was flawed as it didn't exclude other risk factors (e.g. smoking.) "Like many substances found in a normal diet, harms in pregnancy can be found with high doses," he said. "However the observational nature of this data with its inherent bias does not indicate with any certainty that low doses of caffeine are harmful, and the current advice to avoid high doses of caffeine are unlikely to change."
What was the hardest thing for you to give up during pregnancy?