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New pregnancy coffee warning

Tuesday February 19th, 2013

Chocolate and cola may be off the menu for pregnant women - as well as coffee - following the findings of Scandinavian research revealed today.

A study involving some 60,000 pregnant women in Norway has found a link between caffeine and babies being born under size.

Researchers found a woman drinking just one cup of coffee daily was linked to a loss of weight of up to 28g or one ounce, based on a cup of coffee containing 100mg of caffeine.

The study sought to include all sources of caffeine which include chocolate, especially dark chocolate, and a range of fizzy drinks.

Researchers also found that coffee-drinking led to delayed birth. One cup daily led to an eight hours delay - although the delay was only five hours when the caffeine came from other foods.

Current recommendations tend to suggest that two cups of coffee a day are safe for pregnant women - but the researchers say this needs to be reconsidered.

Researcher Dr Verena Sengpiel, from Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sweden, said: "In this study we found no association between either total caffeine or coffee caffeine and preterm delivery but we did find an association between caffeine and small for gestational age.

"This association remained even when we looked only at non-smoking mothers - which implies that the caffeine itself is also having an effect on birth weight."

Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy is associated with birth weight but not with gestational length: results from a large prospective observational cohort study. BMC Medicine 19 February 2013, 11:42

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | Diet & Food | Europe | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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