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Caffeine Use During Pregnancy

According to a study, mothers who consumed more caffeine during the first trimester gave birth to children typically a little bit shorter.

The Study

The usual advice about coffee consumption during pregnancy may one day become more complicated due to research published this week. According to the study, people who consumed more caffeine during their first trimester of pregnancy had, on average, slightly shorter children than those who consumed less. This association was observed even with a modest caffeine intake that health professionals below the maximum daily dose advised. However, it is still unclear whether the association increases the risk of pertinent health issues, like obesity.

The Research

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health were in charge of the study. They examined information from two earlier, long-running, observational studies of expectant mothers who followed their offspring’s health through age 8. In these studies, blood samples taken during the first trimester of pregnancy were used to measure the mothers’ levels of caffeine and paraxanthine (a caffeine byproduct). The results of the height and weight of the offspring of these parents were then compared.

Conclusion

Children born to mothers who consumed the least caffeine on average were a little bit taller than those born to mothers who consumed the most caffeine across both datasets. By age 4, there was a noticeable height difference, and it grew until age 8. By age 8, this difference varied between 1.5 and 2.2 centimeters, or 0.59 and 0.86 inches, depending on the dataset. Importantly, this association between caffeine and height was observed in the dataset even though the average daily caffeine intake of the participants was estimated to be lower than 50 milligrams, well below the 200 milligrams recommended by groups like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for pregnant women.

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