No more than three cups of coffee a day in pregnancy, warn scientists

By staff writer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pregnant women, Coffee, Caffeine

Pregnant women should drink no more than three cups of coffee a
day, recommend Danish scientists following the findings from a
large study.

More than 88,000 pregnant women participated in a "comprehensive interview on coffee consumption"​ to reveal any confounding factors in pregnancy.

High levels of coffee consumption were associated with an increased risk of foetal death, report researchers at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.

Coffee consumption is common throughout the world, with retail sales hitting over €54 billion. But scientists continue to explore the impact this popular beverage may have on pregnant women and the unborn foetus, and governments provide guidelines.

The UK's food agency, for example, recommends that in pregnancy women should limit caffeine consumption to no more than 300mg a day, translated as three cups of brewed coffee, or six cups of tea a day.

High levels of caffeine can result in babies having a low birth weight, or even miscarriage.

Authors of the Danish study on the 88,482 pregnant women, recruited from March 1996 to November 2002, detected 1,102 foetal deaths.

Relative to non-consumers of coffee, the risk of foetal death was increased by 3 per cent for women who drank 0.5 to 3 cups a day, by 33 per cent for those who drank 4 to 7 cups and by almost 60 per cent for women who drank 8 or more cups a day.

Coffee consumption during pregnancy was particularly associated with a higher risk of foetal death after 20 weeks of gestation.

Full findings are published in the 5 October issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology​.

Related topics: Science

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