Tuesday, 05 August 2008
by Nurse Jenna
Caffeine, though considered by most as relatively harmless, is the most frequently used drug in the world. Pregnant or not, most of us count on our morning joe to give us that extra kick to get us through a long day. While we know it does not count as a major food group, we think little about the adverse effects it has on us because most studies have shown the risks to be minimal when consumed in moderation. What is not well known, is that caffeine from the double latte you have in the morning does cross the placenta and is also slowly metabolized by your fetus. It has long been a topic of debate how caffeine affects an unborn baby and there have been conflicting studies for many years. So what is the most recent news and is there finally a decisive word?
Well, I don’t know that there will ever be a decisive word, but it certainly is “drink for thought” as the 2008 information came out from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology linking maternal caffeine consumption with an increased risk of miscarriage, even with other factors taken into consideration. The highest risk noted was for pregnant women consuming 200mg or more of caffeine daily—about 2 cups of coffee, or 4 cans of caffeinated soft-drinks.The risk factor also appears to be greater for women without other risk factors for miscarriage (i.e. no prior miscarriage history, non-smokers, and no history of nausea/vomiting during the pregnancy). The concluding advice: stop or reduce caffeine intact during pregnancy.
How much caffeine do you take in everyday? Were you, or are you being informed at your prenatal visits of the risks of caffeine during pregnancy?