Caffeine linked to miscarriages
A new study links caffeine consumption with increased rate of miscarriage. Just two cups of coffee--or 200 milligrams--per day was found to double the rate of miscarriage. In addition to that, the study found that women who consumed less than 200 milligrams had a 40% increase in the rate of miscarriage.
This new evidence flies in the face of what many of us have been told. When I was pregnant, ALL of my OBGYNs told me it was OK to have a cup of coffee, just not during the first trimester (I think). My friends who were recently pregnant (and still are) were told they could have coffee. Two cups a day.
If you know me you know I didn't drink any caffeine anyway--I was too afraid. It just wasn't a risk I was willing to take. I'd heard you could and could not have caffeine during pregnancy, and since there didn't seem to be one general opinion I decided to stay out of the debate all together by not drinking any coffee.
So what's a gal to do? Hard to say. Depends on what day it is and what study has recently come out. Remember when our mothers were pregnant with us it was completely acceptable to drink alcoholic beverages. Heck--my mom's doc told her it was OK to have a drink a week, And she did. And I turned out OK (well, mostly OK!). Folks in Europe drink still.
With regard to the caffeine issue, one person cited in the article noted something that should provide comfort. Caffeine consumption is a controllable factor in miscarriage. So many things about biology, our bodies, and what causes a miscarriage. As many as one in three (and I've read one in four as well) pregnancies end in a miscarriage. If the possibility of miscarriage is strong in your case, or if it's something you worry about in general, perhaps you should avoid caffeine during pregnancy.
If you've ever suffered a miscarriage--or even if you haven't--you can be sure it's just horrible, and something no one should have to go through. If there's anything that can be done to circumvent that awful experience I say take it. And, if that means giving up your cup (or cups) of joe for the duration of your pregnancy then do it. Nine (ten) months isn't that long in the great scheme of things to go without caffeine.
That said, just because someone doesn't consume caffeine does not mean she won't have a miscarriage. Unfortunately there is no golden rule to avoid them all together.
Caffeine pic by Lee Jordan.