Caffeine is the drug you consume in coffee, tea, some soft drinks, and chocolate. Like other foods and drugs you ingest while pregnant, it crosses the placenta and enters your baby's system. Caffeine can affect the fetus's heart rate and breathing; however, researchers are unsure whether caffeine harms a fetus. Some studies suggest a link between high caffeine consumption and birth defects, miscarriage, low birthweight, sudden infant death syndrome, and infertility, but others find no relation. To be safe, the American Dietetic Association recommends that pregnant women consume less than 300 mg of caffeine daily.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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