When a woman gets pregnant, doctors advise her to limit her caffeine intake. That means lesser coffee and other caffeinated beverages.

When a woman gets pregnant, doctors advise her to limit her caffeine intake. That means lesser coffee and other caffeinated beverages.

But for many years, conflicting studies on caffeine intake while pregnant make this advice more difficult to follow as even among experts, there have been disagreements over whether the current guidelines are correct.

The current guidelines set by the World Health Organization recommend caffeine intake below 300 mg/day during pregnancy, while both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority concur with the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR), recommending a caffeine intake of 200 mg/day.

Recently a new study about caffeine’s impact on the brain development of children has been added to the conversation.

What Experts Say

Caffeine is said to cross the placenta, which is a cause of concern. Also, the pregnant woman’s body slows down in metabolism of caffeine as the pregnancy progresses.

ACOG and the American Pregnancy Association recommends less than 200 mg/day of caffeine consumption during pregnancy, ScienceAlert reported. That is equivalent to one to two cups of coffee, depending on strength.

Meanwhile, UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that limiting caffeine intake during pregnancy to a moderate amount of 200 mg/day.

On average, these guidelines seem to be much in all agreement, but several recent publications questions these current guidelines.

For instance, a 2020 narrative review of past research showed that there is no safe level of caffeine intake during pregnancy or even while the couple is trying to conceive.

The study made headlines, but experts call the findings ‘alarmist.’ They noted that a large number of studies agree that caffeine should be limited during pregnancy but pregnant women need not completely cut out caffeine. They said that the risks of caffeine intake are extremely low even if caffeine limits are exceeded.

“Overall, I think if I were a pregnant woman, I don’t think this paper would make me overly concerned about drinking the occasional cup of coffee,” biostatistician Adam Jacobs concluded.

Is Caffeine intake Safe During Pregnancy?

The conflicting data on the safety and dietary consumption of caffeine during pregnancy have many people asking if it does cause miscarriage or will it affect the child.

In a study published in NCBI, researchers said that most of the data about caffeine intake during pregnancy do not suggest an increased risk of adverse pregnancy, fertility, or neurodevelopmental problems with caffeine consumption of 300 mg/day or less from any caffeinated beverages.

That means caffeine consumption of one to two cups per day is not expected to cause any concern.

Additionally, studies on the effects of caffeine on the developing brain are limited, as most of the subjects in these studies have behavioral risks associated with high levels of caffeine consumption.

Originally Published at Science Times