Caffeine link to low birthweight
Drawing on data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, researchers found among women with uncomplicated pregnancies, caffeine intake from sources including coffee, tea and chocolate was associated with small for gestational age babies.
“This association remained even when we looked only at non-smoking mothers, which implies that the caffeine itself is also having an effect on birthweight,” said lead investigator Dr Verena Sengpiel, from Sweden.
The researchers estimated for a child of expected average weight, every additional 100mg of caffeine per day was associated with a 21—28g decrease in birthweight.
The women had a median intake of 126mg per day pre-pregnancy, 44mg per day at week 17 of their pregnancy, rising to 62mg per day by week 30.
Nearly one in 10 women had an intake of caffeine 200—300mg per day.
Caffeine also increased the length of gestation, with coffee intake having the most