Expectant mothers are being warned about potentially confusing guidance on the consumption of caffeine during pregnancy, as research suggests energy drinks could have potentially lethal consequences for their baby.
A new report by Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre claims to have established a 27 per cent rise in the risk of stillbirth for each 100mg of caffeine consumed.
Researchers compared stillbirths to ongoing pregnancies in 1,000 women across 41 hospitals from 2014 to 2016 as well as speaking to women about their consumption of caffeinated drinks. They made adjustments for behavioural and demographic factors, such as alcohol consumption and age, to determine whether there was a link between stillbirth and caffeine.
One in 20 women were found to have increased their intake of caffeine during pregnancy in spite of evidence that some caffeinated drinks put babies lives at risk. However, experts say that calculating precise intake can be difficulty, and guidance on limiting caffeine is inconsistent.
Study author Professor Alexander Heazell, said “Caffeine has been in our diets for a long time, and, as with many things we like to eat and drink, large amounts can be harmful – especially during pregnancy. It’s a relatively small risk, so people shouldn’t be worried about the occasional cup of coffee, but it’s a risk this research suggests many aren’t aware of.”
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