Coffee causes low birth weight in babies
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Coffee causes low birth weight in babies

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Coffee causes low birth weight in babies Coffee causes low birth weight in babies Document Transcript

  • If youre a mother-to-be and you happen to enjoy a couple cups of coffee in themorning, you may be undercutting your babys birth weight.Thats the conclusion by researchers who have conducted a decade-long study ofnearly 60,000 women in Norway - expectant mothers who drink two cups ofcoffee a day risk having an underweight baby and having their pregnancies lastlonger, though only by a matter of hours, Britains Telegraph newspaper reported.The findings included data about how often women had foods or drinks that
  • contained caffeine, including tea and coffee, as well as chocolate sandwich spreadand bars of chocolate.Researchers compared those findings with details of infant birth weight and indoing so established a clear link between caffeine and lower birth weights. Dataindicated that consumption of between 200-300 mg of caffeine per day raised theodds of a newborn being classed as small for the length of pregnancy by up to 62percent.More than two cups a day especially riskyOne average mug of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine; a mug of filtercoffee contains more, around 140 mg. But some drinks sold in coffee shops - suchas espresso and other high-caffeine content drinks - may contain as much as 300mg per cup.Other countries, such as Great Britain, recommend limiting caffeine consumptionto just 200 mg per day.Scientists conducting the study also said they specifically identified coffee asincreasing the length of pregnancy; one daily average cup of coffee lengthenedchild labor by as much as eight hours. Unlike previous studies, the new researchdid not identify a link between caffeine and premature birth.Dr. VerenaSengpiel of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden, a primaryresearcher, said caffeine may stunt the growth of the unborn baby by slowing thevital passage of nutrients from the mother to the infant through the placenta.Sengpiel, writing in the journal BMC Medicine, added that coffee could make anoticeable increase in the length of a pregnancy by hours, simply by interferingwith the chemical signals occurring around the beginning of labor."The UK Food Standards Agency carefully analyzed and thoroughly reviewed the
  • effects of caffeine during pregnancy and currently recommends that pregnantwomen moderate consumption to an upper safe limit of 200 mg per day - two tothree cups of coffee," said Dr. Euan Paul of the British Coffee Association."Switching to decaf during pregnancy is also an option for those who wish tocontinue drinking coffee," he said. "We welcome more research into thisimportant area so that the associations found in this study can be furtherexplored."Earlier research also links caffeine to low birth weightsAnnette Briley, a consultant midwife for Tommys, a baby charity, said low birthweights can lead to opposite problems in the future."Being born small can lead to catch-up growth and this in turn can lead to obesity,diabetes and certain cancers in adult life," she told the paper. "While women doneed to be mindful and remember that caffeine is found in tea, chocolate, othersweets and soft drinks - as well as coffee - we would suggest further research intothe effects of coffee is required."She added: "Additional care should however be taken when buying coffee in retailoutlets as the caffeine content varies between many companies. If women areworried, they should seek advice from their GP or Tommys midwives for the bestadvice."Glasgow University scientists warned in 2011 that pregnant women were at riskof endangering the health of their unborn babies by drinking coffee from high-caffeine shops. They analyzed espressos from 20 notable coffee shops and foundsubstantial variations in the amount of caffeine in each shops products, with thestrongest levels found having six times the caffeine content as the weakest.