When it comes to pregnancy, there are plenty of myths out there. Like many other medical issues today, the information we have at hand seems to be constantly changing. Today, for example, one particular type of food is supposed to cause cancer. Tomorrow, that same food will be thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s hard to separate the facts from the myths, and the area of pregnancy seems to be especially prone to myths.
One of the areas that is often discussed in terms of pregnancy is the use of caffeine. There are some who claim that a pregnant woman should avoid caffeine altogether, while there are others who suggest that there are no dangers whatsoever. Let’s take a look at what we really do and don’t know about caffeine and pregnancy:
- Caffeine hasn’t been shown to cause birth defects in humans. Animal studies have suggested that caffeine can cause a number of pregnancy problems like birth defects, a risk of preterm delivery and more. However, there have not been any studies that show such a causal link in human beings. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a connection, of course. It just means that it hasn’t been proven or demonstrated scientifically.
- Caffeine can contribute to infertility. There have been studies that suggest a connection between extremely high levels of caffeine use and delayed conception. That doesn’t mean caffeine will keep you from becoming pregnant, or that there’s even a significant chance it will interfere. However, it does indicate that caffeine can be a contributing factor to fertility issues.
- There may be a link between high caffeine consumption and miscarriage. There are some studies that suggest that a woman who has more than 300 mg of caffeine in a day may have an increased risk of miscarriage.
- Moderate levels of caffeine use haven’t been shown to have a negative impact on pregnancy. Moderate caffeine use – usually between 150 mg and 300 mg per day – has not been shown to have any negative impact on pregnancy.
As with many things during pregnancy, the key is to learn moderation. Almost anything you do to excess during pregnancy can be harmful, and you should make sure to track and moderate your caffeine intake, as well as keeping a handle on your overall nutrition and dietary habits.