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Mommy-to-be, drink coffee

A cup of coffee a day during pregnancy probably won’t increase a woman’s risk of miscarriage or premature birth. Research has shown that caffeine is able to cross the placenta, which led to...

health and fitness Updated: Jul 24, 2010 13:54 IST

A cup of coffee a day during pregnancy probably won’t increase a woman’s risk of miscarriage or premature birth, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated.

Dr William Barth, the chair of a College committee, which reviewed the evidence, told Reuters Health, “I think it’s time to comfortably say that it’s okay to have a cup of coffee during pregnancy,” The college’s committee on Obstetric Practice said that 200 mg of caffeine a day doesn’t significantly contribute to miscarriages or premature births and it was not clear whether consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine a day might increase pregnancy risks.

coffeeThe group considered two recent studies, each of which followed more than 1,000 pregnant women. One study, led by Dr David Savitz of The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, found no increased rate of miscarriage for women who consumed low, moderate, or high levels of caffeine at different points in their pregnancy.

In the other, Dr De-Kun Li and his colleagues at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland found a higher risk of miscarriage in women who consumed more than 200 mg of caffeine per day, but no extra risk at lower levels. The committee also pointed to two other studies that found that a mother’s moderate caffeine intake did not make it any more likely she would deliver a baby prematurely.

Research has shown that caffeine is able to cross the placenta, which led to worries that it could cause miscarriage or premature birth since it also has medicinal properties. Previous studies were mixed and unclear about the link between caffeine and pregnancy risks. It was the new findings from large groups of women that allowed the committee to feel confident that moderate caffeine intake was safe.