Pregnant women or those hoping to conceive should avoid coffee altogether, a scientist has urged.
Excessive caffeine consumption during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of low birthweight and miscarriages, however, the NHS states 200mg – around two mugs of instant coffee – a day is safe.
To better understand the potential dangers, a scientist from Reykjavik University analysed 48 studies carried out in the past 20 years.
Although the results were mixed, Professor Jack James concluded there is “substantial cumulative evidence” that drinking coffee while pregnant is linked to everything from a miscarriage and stillbirth to childhood obesity and even leukaemia.
Being cautious, he stressed no amount of coffee should be considered safe while expecting.
Not everyone is convinced, however, with experts calling the research “overly alarmist” and “of questionable significance”.
‘Evidence supports pregnant women avoiding caffeine’
As well as the NHS, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the European Food Safety Authority all recommend a maximum 200mg caffeine consumption a day during pregnancy.