We know drinking a little bit of coffee is okay during pregnancy. Or so doctors have been saying. If you're just drinking a cup or two of coffee in the morning that's supposed to be perfectly safe. Maybe those two cups of coffee are the only thing standing between you and a 12-hour nap on the sofa every day.
But researchers are here to ruin your caffeine buzz, pregnant moms. I am really sorry to report this. Please forgive me. But apparently, even small amounts of caffeine can affect your baby, according to a new study that has just ruined many women's day.
As part of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (a ten-year project involving 59,000 pregnant women), research shows that caffeine can reduce birth weight in babies. And lower birth weight can lead to other health problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease in adulthood. Not only that, caffeine specifically from coffee increases the length of pregnancy by about eight hours for women who drank the equivalent of about three cups or more cups a day. (D'okay... is that eight hours significant, though? I'm just saying -- the whole thing lasts nine months. Am I missing something?)
Apparently it takes less caffeine than previously thought to affect babies' weight, just 200 milligrams. Doctors used to say 300 milligrams was the limit. Caffeine crosses the placenta and increases a baby's level of stress hormones. Your coffee literally stresses out your unborn baby!
But hey, don't panic moms, says the article I just read. "These effects are not that big and no one should worry if they have had more caffeine than the guidelines recommend." Which is it, then?!? Why are they even telling us this? Can we please have a study that measures the effect of reading "things that harm your unborn child" articles on the levels of stress hormones in your unborn child? I think that might be more helpful.
How harmful do you think drinking coffee is during pregnancy?
Image via nomilknocry/Flickr
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