Coffee 'raises miscarriage risk'

Pregnant women should consider avoiding caffeine, say researchers who found even moderate consumption in early pregnancy raises the miscarriage risk.

Currently, the Food Standards Agency sets an upper limit during pregnancy of 300mg - or four cups of coffee a day. But an American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology study found more than 200mg of caffeine a day doubled the risk compared to abstainers.

Experts said they would review the data to see if advice needed changing. Pat O'Brien, consultant obstetrician and spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said based on the findings he would now be advising women in their first 12 weeks of pregnancy to abstain from caffeine altogether.

"The first 12 weeks is a very vulnerable time for the baby. It's when most miscarriages occur," he explained.

He said most women in early pregnancy went off the taste of caffeinated drinks anyway and so should not find abstaining from them too difficult. But he said it was unclear whether pregnant women needed to avoid caffeine in later pregnancy.

Source - BBC