April 11, 2008, Newsletter Issue #155: Pregnant Women Can Drink Coffee In Moderation

Tip of the Week

The Organization of Teratology Information Services - a program, run by the Department of Health and Human Services - says low caffeine intake won’t likely increase chances of having a miscarriage or a low birth weight baby. While there have been conflicting reports, many organizations say caffeine intake equivalent to one to two cups per day is okay.

OTS considers low intake to be 150 milligrams daily - or one to two cups of coffee.

A National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the University of Utah study released in 1999 says five or more cups of coffee a day could double the risk of miscarrying.

New mothers who breastfeed should also watch caffeine intake.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, caffeine can enter breast milk. A morning cup of coffee is not likely to harm a baby but too much can cause poor sleeping, nervousness, irritability, and poor feeding. The academy recommends decaffeinated coffee and tea and avoiding colas and carbonated drinks with added caffeine.

The International Food Information Council Foundation recommends that women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant talk to their health care provider about use of caffeine.

Following these guidelines doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. According to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a six-ounce cup of brewed coffee has 100-150 milligrams of caffeine, which fits into the recommendations. A brewed decaffeinated coffee has only three milligrams. Many of the company’s best selling selections come in decaf, including French roast, vanilla cream, mocha nut fudge and more.

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