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Caffeine During Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight, Longer Gestation Time

February 19, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
New research from Norway and Sweden finds a significant association between caffeine ingestion by pregnant women, longer pregnancies and low birth weight babies. The researchers looked at data gathered about mothers’ diet and birth details over ten years. Caffeine consumption in all forms – coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, and foods containing cocoa – was considered. Caffeine intake also increased the length of pregnancy, researchers found. Coffee (but not caffeine) was associated with an even longer gestational length – eight hours extra for every 100 mg caffeine per day. No link was found between caffeine consumption and preterm delivery, however, which is a major problem with expectant mothers who smoke.
Verena Sengpiel et al., "Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy is associated with birth weight but not with gestational length", BMC Medicine, February 19, 2013, © BioMed Central Ltd
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