Is it true that drinking coffee can cause a miscarriage?
There's no consensus on this, but there's good reason to be cautious when it comes to drinking coffee and other sources of caffeine.
A study published in the March 2008 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who consumed 200 milligrams (mg) or more of caffeine a day had double the risk of miscarriage of women who had no caffeine.
The March of Dimes advises pregnant women to limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg daily, about the amount of one to two 8-ounce cups of coffee, depending on the brew. (Other foods – including chocolate and soda – also contain caffeine.)
Consuming caffeine during pregnancy has been shown to have other risks, too.
Studies have found that women who drink a lot of coffee (eight cups or more a day) have double the risk of stillbirth, for example. And those who drink three cups of coffee a day are more likely to have a son born with underscended testicles, which means that the testicles ("testes" is the medical term) haven't moved into the scrotum from the pelvis as they normally do in late pregnancy.
Babies of women who consumed more than 500 mg of caffeine a day had faster breathing and heart rates and were more wakeful in the first few days after birth.
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