‘No Significant Negative Effects of Coffee Drinking During Pregnancy’: Research
Current Australian guidelines are no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day for pregnant women, the equivalent of a single espresso.
Even that is below official WHO guidelines, which set the safe limit at 300 milligrams.
The safety of caffeine for pregnant women and their babies has been the subject of much research in recent years.
In 2020, a major study published in the British Medical Journal: Evidence-Based Medicine The publication found that no amount of caffeine was safe for a developing fetus, recommending pregnant women avoid caffeine altogether.
However, researchers in the field immediately pushed back against the findings, saying they were alarmist and unsupported by data.
In particular, experts have criticized the fact that the study does not specifically establish the causal link between caffeine ingestion and adverse events in newborns, which could have been attributed to smoking or other undesirable behaviors.
However, some admitted that the study provided “compelling evidence to ponder” despite its flaws.
For their research, Moen admitted that there might be other negative effects related to caffeine consumption during pregnancy that they did not include in the study.
However, she said the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth was not affected by any amount of caffeine according to her research results.
“We only looked at a limited number of results, so we can’t rule out any other negative effects during pregnancy,” she said.
“So I wouldn’t recommend that women start drinking excessive amounts of coffee during pregnancy, but we found no adverse effects on the results we studied.”
The researchers used data from the Coffee and Caffeine Genetics Consortium, the UK BioBank, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, and 23andMe for the study.
The research used a method called Mendelian randomization to use genetic data to essentially mimic a randomized controlled trial because it would be unethical to experiment directly on pregnant women.
The research was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.