Coffee Pregnancy Side Effects. Is coffee bad for pregnant women and their babies? The latest research on this subject suggests that too much of the beverage is. According to a study released in March this year by Germaine Buck Louis of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, coffee drinking is linked to higher levels of pregnancy loss.
This is not the first time that researchers found some coffee pregnancy loss link. In fact, a study published in 2014 by Greenwood DC, et al arrived at the following conclusion:
Greater caffeine intake is associated with an increase in spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, low birth weight, and SGA, but not preterm delivery.
Meanwhile, a meta-analysis by Chen LW et al published just a few months ago in May 2016 found that the more caffeine a prospective mother takes in, the higher is her risk of pregnancy loss:
Albeit inconclusive, higher maternal caffeine intake was associated with a higher risk of pregnancy loss and adherence to guidelines to avoid high caffeine intake during pregnancy appears prudent.
Now, what’s new in the Buck-Louis study is the finding that even the husband or male partner’s coffee consumption is associated with the risk of pregnancy loss for the expectant mom.
Another interesting new finding is this: caffeine consumption before conception is also associated with higher risks of pregnancy loss.
More details on the coffee pregnancy loss link from the National Institute of Child Health and Development:
A woman is more likely to miscarry if she and her partner drink more than two caffeinated beverages a day during the weeks leading up to conception, according to a new study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University, Columbus. Similarly, women who drank more than two daily caffeinated beverages during the first seven weeks of pregnancy were also more likely to miscarry.
Both male and female consumption of more than two caffeinated beverages a day also was associated with an increased hazard ratio: 1.74 for females and 1.73 for males.
Because their study found caffeine consumption before pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, it’s more likely that caffeinated beverage consumption during this time directly contributes to pregnancy loss.
“Our findings also indicate that the male partner matters, too,” Dr. Buck Louis said. “Male preconception consumption of caffeinated beverages was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as females’.”
Now, why in God’s green earth would a male partner’s coffee consumption contribute to pregnancy loss? It may have something to do with the man’s sperm. In 2010, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology involving 2,554 young Danish men found that high cola or caffeine intake “was associated with reduced sperm concentration and total sperm count”.
In this Danish study, drinking more than 14.5 liter bottles per week is considered high cola intake while drinking more than 800 milligrams of caffeine per day is considered high caffeine intake.
Does this mean that those planning to get pregnant, pregnant women, and their partners should stop drinking coffee? Nah, it should not be like that. What’s important is moderation. Do not drink more than two caffeinated beverages a day. In fact, totally quitting coffee might bring about caffeine withdrawal headache.
Here’s what Dr. Zev Williams of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a spokesman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says about the matter: “So many studies, including this one, show that one to two cups of caffeine is not harmful. And what I do end up seeing not infrequently, an effort to really be as thorough as possible, a lot of women will go cold turkey on caffeine. And what ends up happening is invariably these women will then develop rebound headaches and take medications to treat the headaches. Those medications may be harmful. So, it’s probably better to just have one to two cups of coffee a day and avoid to having those medications to treat a rebound caffeine withdrawal headache than to go completely cold turkey.”
Related: Coffee Side Effects
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