CARE Study Group researchers based in the United Kingdom suggest that sensible advice for women contemplating pregnancy would be to reduce their caffeine intake from all sources before conception. Further, once pregnancy is confirmed, they should make every effort to stop or markedly reduce caffeine consumption.1 The researchers had conducted a prospective longitudinal observational study in 2635 pregnant women, finding that maternal caffeine consumption was associated with an increased risk of fetal growth restriction and that the risk increased with increasing amounts of caffeine consumption. The researchers said that although the overall size of the reduction in birthweight — for example, of about 60 – 70 g for caffeine consumption of more than 200 mg/day — may be seen as small, it could nevertheless affect perinatal morbidity and mortality in an already compromised fetus. More than 60% of the caffeine consumed by participants in the study was from tea, and only 14% from coffee.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.