Study: Coffee During Pregnancy Linked to Low Birth Weight

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By Kate Goodin
Most pregnant women know they need to watch their caffeine intake during pregnancy, but a new suggests they should give it up altogether.

In a study of 60,000 women, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found that drinking 200 to 300mg of coffee (or about two 8-ounce cups) put their babies at risk for slightly lower birth weights, or small for gestational age (SGA). For every 100mg of caffeine consumed by the mother each day, the baby lost about one ounce.

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SGA can lead to a variety of physical and developmental delays, including the inability to regulate body temperature and meeting developmental milestones later in life. Verena Sengpiel of Sweden's Sahlgrenska University Hospital said that all caffeine should be avoided during pregnancy: "From the first milligram of caffeine there's an increased rate of SGA….If women want to be cautious and don't have any problems with giving up caffeine, they should try to quit."

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Did you switch to decaf or cut out coffee completely? Tell us in the comments.

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