Caffeine linked to low birth weight

Some people can't get on with their day without their morning cup of coffee, including expectant mothers. However, experts have mixed opinions on whether caffeine is acceptable for pregnant women. Now, new research shows that it may be best to stay away from it throughout the pregnancy calendar.

A study published in the BMC Medicine journal shows that women who indulge in caffeine during pregnancy put their babies at risk of low birth weight. In addition, it may also cause the pregnancy to go longer than necessary. Researchers looked at about 60,000 pregnancies to draw their conclusions.

"In this study we found no association between either total caffeine or coffee caffeine and preterm delivery, but we did find an association between caffeine and [small gestational age at birth]," said researcher Verena Sengpiel from Sahlgrenska University Hospital. "This association remained even when we looked only at non-smoking mothers which implies that the caffeine itself is also having an effect on birth weight."

Babies with low birth weight are more prone to health complications throughout their lives, which is why caffeine is now under scrutiny by experts.

Foods to avoid while pregnant
After you add coffee to your "Do not consume while pregnant" list, there are several other foods that you may want to add to it as well. As you may already know, raw seafood is a big no-no while expecting. This is because some fish may contain high levels of mercury, which is renowned for negatively impacting fetal development.

Certain dairy items made from unpasteurized milk can also pose a threat to your unborn baby because they can contain bacteria such as salmonella. All food should be cooked thoroughly before consuming while pregnant.

Other items that may be of concern to expectant mothers include meat, eggs and cold cut meats. However, these foods can be edible as long as they're cooked to the proper temperature prior to eating.

If you're unsure of which items are safe to eat, don't hesitate to speak to your primary care physician. He or she will have the information you're looking for and be able to provide you with peace of mind. In the end, educating yourself can help you indulge in delicious treats with confidence!

How have you maintained a healthy diet while pregnant in the past? Do you still try to indulge in your daily cup of coffee? Leave tips in the comments section!