Expecting mothers have one more reason to ban coffee altogether from their diets after a Swedish study found that caffeine intake is linked to longer pregnancies and low birth weights in babies.
According to new research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Medicine, for every 100 mg of caffeine consumed a day, babies of average expected size -– 3.6 kg –- lost 21 to 28 g in weight among the 60,000 Norwegian women studied.
Babies who are termed small for gestational age at birth, or SGA, are at higher risk of short-term and lifelong health problems, points out the study out of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden.
Consumption of caffeine from all sources was also found to lengthen pregnancy terms by a rate of five hours per 100 mg of caffeine a day.
Moreover, that figure spiked to an even longer gestational length when caffeine intake came specifically from coffee: eight extra hours for every 100 mg of caffeine a day.
The findings suggest that there’s an additional ingredient in coffee responsible for increasing gestational length, or an additional behavioral habit associated with the consumption of coffee that’s not present among women who drink only tea, for example, authors point out.