Expectant moms dont need to completely kick their Starbucks habit, but a new study offers reasons why they might reconsider their caffeine intake during pregnancy.
Last week, Kaiser Permanente released a report that says high doses of daily caffeine during pregnancyfrom coffee, tea, caffeinated soda or even hot chocolatecause an increased risk of miscarriage. Lead author De-Kun Li said that while the topic is not an entirely new one, the study is the first to thoroughly control for the behavioral issue of morning sickness. The research appears in the online issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
In the study, researchers looked at 1,063 pregnant Kaiser Permanente members in San Francisco from October 1996 through October 1998 and examined the caffeine effect among women who never changed their pattern of caffeine consumption during their pregnancy. Women who consumed 200 milligrams or more of caffeine per daywhich Kaiser equates to about two or more cups of regular coffee or five 12-ounce cans of sodahad twice the miscarriage risk as women who consumed no caffeine.
Although it is unknown how caffeine causes miscarriage, there is concern that caffeine could potentially influence the blood flow through the placenta, says Lynda Wolf, a physician in the division of reproductive medicine and infertility at Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak (Mich.) There are a lot of reasons why women have miscarriages. In many women, it is multifactorial. Caffeine may be just one of those many factors. Caffeine may potentially decrease placenta blood flow, which could possibly increase miscarriage.
Wolf, who works at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Michigan in Troy, recommends that her patients not consume more than one caffeinated beverage a day. What I tell my patients is: healthy mom, healthy baby. Would you feed your baby a cup of coffee? Thats how I like women to address what theyre eating in their pregnancy.