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Drinking caffeine while pregnant linked to stillbirth

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Avoid coffee while pregnant

Avoid coffee while pregnant

Antonio Diaz

Avoid coffee while pregnant

Drinking caffeine during pregnancy has been linked to a heightened risk of stillbirth in a new study.

Researchers in the UK said women should be informed of the risk, particularly if they drink above 300 milligrams a day, or the equivalent of three mugs of instant coffee.

Caffeine is found naturally in some foods and drinks such as tea, coffee and chocolate. It is also added to some energy drinks, cold and flu remedies and some soft drinks.

The study examined data from 290 women who lost their babies after 28 weeks' gestation across 41 maternity units across the UK between 2014 and 2016. This was compared with 729 women with an ongoing pregnancy.

University of Manchester researchers found 15pc of women who had a stillbirth took more caffeine than the World Health Organisation's recommended limit of 300mg a day, compared with 8pc of women who did not have a stillbirth.

Reduce

Guidance on the UK's NHS website suggests pregnant women should limit the amount of caffeine they consume to 200 milligrams a day.

The research team concluded that each increment of 100mg per day of caffeine was associated with a 27pc increase in the risk of stillbirth.

The authors said women should be advised to reduce caffeine intake in pregnancy.

Intake of energy drinks app- eared to carry a higher risk than coffee and cola.

"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," study author Professor Alexander Heazell said.

"Anyone planning to have a baby needs to know consuming caffeine during pregnancy can raise the risk of stillbirth and other pregnancy complications, so it's important to cut down as much as you can."


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