Even a Little Coffee in Pregnancy May Impact Newborn’s Weight

“This reduction in birth weight is within the range that we see in reductions in birth weight in women who smoke during pregnancy,” Gleason said, noting that smokers tend to give birth to babies. on average 1.8 to 7 ounces less than those of non-smokers.

The results were published online on March 25 in JAMA network open.

But while these results are concerning, pregnant women shouldn’t rush to throw away all their diet coffee beans, tea bags and colas, said Dr Jill Berkin, assistant professor of maternal-fetal medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System. At New York. City.

The results of this study conflict with previous research, which found no significant link between caffeine and fetal growth, Berkin said.

Also, the effects of caffeine on height and birth weight seen here weren’t huge, Berkin said, so it’s hard to say if these babies would suffer from any of the health effects at long term usually associated with delayed fetal development.

These effects may include an increased risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes later in life, the researchers said in briefing notes.

“It was so small, really only coming out about 3 ounces of difference in body weight. Whether the 3 ounces have a clinical impact on a long-term baby remains to be determined,” Berkin said. “We know the outcomes are poorer in babies who are in the less than the tenth percentile of expected weight for gestational age, but no smaller reductions in potential fetal weight, so whether this is clinically meaningful is really unknown.

Berkin added that caffeine did not significantly affect a crucial measure of fetal development – abdominal circumference.

“Traditionally, when looking at fetal growth, abdominal circumference is probably the most important characteristic in predicting which fetuses are larger and which fetuses are smaller,” Berkin said. “In the calculations we use to determine fetal growth, abdominal circumference is weighed heavier than all other parameters.”

There are several theoretical reasons to suspect that caffeine might inhibit fetal growth, Gleason said.

“We know that caffeine and its main metabolite, paraxanthine, cross the placenta, but the fetus does not have the enzymes necessary to break down or remove caffeine from its system,” Gleason said. As caffeine builds up in fetal tissue, it could disrupt growth in the uterus.

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