While some women choose to kick their coffee habit during pregnancy, many don’t because they aren’t warned against it unless it’s in large amounts.
The study, the results of which were published in Science News, found that when pregnant mice were given water treated with caffeine, their babies brain cells were affected. The new-born mice also performed worse on memory tests than mice whose mothers were not given caffeine.
The amount of caffeine given to the pregnant mice was equivalent to what a human woman would get if she drank three or four cups of coffee (that’s anywhere from 228 to 716 mg of caffeine according to Health Canada).
What’s scary is that the recommended limit of 300mg falls right in between those numbers – so could pregnant mothers be unknowingly harming their babies?
It’s hard to say. The study’s authors told Science News that mouse and human brains develop differently, so it’s hard to compare.
One thing is for sure – more research is needed. In the meantime, if you’re pregnant, try to limit your caffeine intake until there is a more definitive answer.
Would you consume caffeine while pregnant?
-Katharine Watts, associate web editor