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Alert: Caffeine Consumption In Either Parent Can Cause Miscarriage

Both mum and dad’s caffeine consumption can increase your miscarriage risk in more ways than you think!

Updated
Health News
4 min read
Not a great idea to wake up and smell the coffee if you plan on getting preggers (Photo: iStock altered by The Quint)
Snapshot

A couple’s caffeine consumption before conception is linked to miscarriage.
Experts say two or more caffeinated beverages a day up the risk.
Women who drink coffee till seven weeks of pregnancy are more likely to miscarry.
But taking multivitamins before pregnancy lowers the miscarriage risk by 55%

(Photo courtesy: <a href="http://imgbuddy.com/coffee-steam-gif.asp">IMGBUDDY</a>)
(Photo courtesy: IMGBUDDY)

Cut down on your morning cuppa Joe and soda if you are trying to conceive. You already knew it is important for expectant moms to scale back on caffeine during pregnancy but now scientists are learning that the health of the unborn baby is not just affected by the mother’s lifestyle choices but dad’s too.

A new study done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published in the reputed medical journal Fertility and Sterility, found the odds of miscarriage increase tremendously if either parent has a heightened caffeine consumption even before conception.

Scientists still aren’t too sure how this relationship works, but a definitive risk of miscarriage is enough for expectant parents to cut down on caffeine intake.

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Not Just Mom’s, Dad’s Health Matters Too!

Need more incentive to cut back on caffeine? (Photo: iStock)
Need more incentive to cut back on caffeine? (Photo: iStock)

Having coffee or caffeine from any other source in pregnancy isn’t completely off-limits, but the World Health Organisation recommends that you consume less than 200 milligrams per day (that is two small cups), and remember decaf packs in a few milligrams of caffeine too!

In the latest study, researchers looked at caffeine intake of nearly 344 couples and their multivitamin use. The study tracked couple’s lifestyles habits while they tried to become pregnant over the period of a year.

Of the couples who became pregnant, 28% had a miscarriage. Women who were 35 or older had nearly twice the odds of having a miscarriage as younger women.

Potential risk factors for miscarriages like, maternal age, smoking, alcohol consumption, hot tub use, and even exposure to magnetic fields were taken into account.

Women who drank two or more cups of coffee per day before becoming pregnant were at a 74% greater risk of having miscarriage. Men who did the same were at a 73% greater risk of their partner’s having a miscarriage. However, women who popped multivitamins daily, regardless of how much caffeine they drank, saw a 55% lower risk of pregnancy loss than those not taking vitamins.

Basically multivitamins contain folates which lower the risk of neural tube defects in babies and thereby help in reducing the odds of a miscarriage.

(Photo: The Quint)
(Photo: The Quint)
When it comes to preventing miscarriages, there’s a lot of ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that’. There’s not a lot of what women can actually do to reduce their risk. Here we find that women can basically halve their risk of miscarriage by taking a vitamin every day and cutting down on caffeine.
Katherine Sapra, Co-Author, Fellow, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Disclaimer: More research will be needed to find out what exactly happens in the woman’s body when there is excess caffeine. The study did not take into account the fact that maybe high-risk pregnancies might have miscarried than the healthy ones.

So What Does This Mean For Your Vanilla Latte Obsession?

(Photo courtesy: <a href="http://pcrichardandson.tumblr.com/post/80164533217/nothing-starts-the-morning-off-better-than-coffee">PCRICHARDANDSON.TUMBLR.COM</a>)
(Photo courtesy: PCRICHARDANDSON.TUMBLR.COM)

The study marks a brand new thing to worry about - not just women, men need to watch out their lifestyle to increase the odds of a healthy pregnancy.

Related Read: 9 Healthy Changes All Couples Should Make Before GettingPregnant

Caffeine is a drug and even small amounts will cross the placenta. It can limit the blood flow to the placenta, increase chances of a low-weight baby, also increase the blood pressure and sugar levels in the expectant mom.

So don’t wake up and smell the coffee, especially in your first trimester when the miscarriage risk is much higher. And if you really really need your cuppa Joe, then steer clear of Starbucks and brew a small cup at home.

Also Read: Moms, It’s Totally Healthy To Eat Spicy Food During Breastfeeding

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