News abounds across the net, as well as in print, about a new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology regarding the correlation between coffee and miscarriage. According to USA today, “The study, published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, suggests that pregnant women are twice as likely to suffer a miscarriage if they consume more than 200 mg of caffeine a day.”
As we all know, studies are often flawed, and this one already has its share of those questioning its validity. I am generally a skeptic when it comes to studies. Over time the pendulum always seems to swing both ways. A good example of this is the beef is bad study followed by the beef is good study. However, I would say regardless of this week’s study results, when pregnant, just say no to all things even remotely putting the mother and/or the baby at risk.
While coffee seems to be the main villain in this study, why should coffee alone bear this bad rap? Yes, the average cup of drip coffee does have between 104-192 mg of caffeine, but there are many more drinks that also contain caffeine. According to the American Beverage Association, here is the caffeine count in some other beverages:
Tea, 8oz brewed 20-90
Iced Tea, 8 oz 9-50
Soft Drinks, 8 oz 20-40
Cocoa Beverage, 8oz 3-32
Milk Chocolate, 1 oz 1-15
Dark Chocolate, 1 oz 5-35
And let’s not forget energy drinks. A can of Red Bull has 80 milligrams and Jolt has 71.
As a mother of five having experienced 45 months of pregnancy (sometimes known as complete insanity or out-of-body experience) here is some generally accepted advice I always followed. When in doubt, stick with the basics. A healthy diet made up of a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains is great. When it comes to drinks try to go with basics like water, whole fruit juices and milk.
There are some coffee substitutes you can look into like Postum, chickory and Bambu, but check the ingredients because even decaffeinated coffee contains a bit of caffeine and other ingredients and processes that have also been called into question. Also use care with herbal teas. Many herbs have medicinal properties and can be harmful as well.
The bottom line is to check in with your doctor and do your research.