A new study encourages pregnant women to reduce their intake of caffeine 5 years ago

A new study encourages pregnant women to reduce their intake of caffeine

Most women are encouraged to keep an eye on their caffeine intake during pregnancy - with consumption of less than 200mg daily recommended.

That translates into a couple of cups of coffee, or around three teas. If you're fond of cola, chocolate, or green tea - you'd need to take those into account also.

However, now a major recent study highlights a further reason for pregnant women to reduce their caffeine intake: excess exposure to the stimulant while in the womb is associated with excess weight gain in early childhood.

Researchers in Norway looked at a total of 51,000 mothers for the study. Compared with women who had less than 50mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy, those who had average intake between 50 and 199mg daily were 15 percent more likely to have a baby with excessive weight gain by age one year, the study found.


And infant weight-gain increased as women’s caffeine consumption rose: high intake of 200 to 299mg of caffeine a day during pregnancy was associated with babies who were 22 percent more likely to have excessive weight gain. Very high intake of at least 300mg daily resulted in babies who were 45 percent more likely to gain excessive weight.

"High maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy was related to excess growth from infancy and obesity later in childhood," said lead study author Dr Eleni Papadopoulou of the Norwegian Institute Of Public Health.

Caffeine passes quickly through tissues, and one of those tissues is the placenta. When pregnant, it takes a longer time for the body to rid itself of caffeine.

"The results support the current recommendations to limit caffeine intake during pregnancy to less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day," Dr Papadopoulou added.