Many expecting women give up caffeine due to fears that it will harm their growing baby. New research out of the Netherlands may allay one of their caffeine concerns.
The aim of the study was to compare prenatal caffeine intake of the moms compared to their childrens' behavior at the age of 5. More than 8,000 women filled out a questionnaire about the types and amounts of coffee, tea and cola they consumed during one specific week. Researchers then calculated their average caffeine intake per day.
Years later, most participated in the follow-up, filling out a behavioral screener survey about their child.
The results? Prenatal caffeine intake was not associated with a higher risk for hyperactivity, attention problems, emotional issues, bad conduct or peer relationship challenges. While this study found no link between caffeine and behavioral problems, there are other studies that suggest too much of the stimulant may increase the risk of miscarriage.
The March of Dimes recommends that women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day.