Caffeine, A Confirmed Miscarriage Risk

The body is quite a remarkable unit. It seems to know what things are good or bad for it without being told. Fortunate is the person who listens. However, most of us don't listen to our bodies, or we have never learned how to read the signals it sends out to us. Some signals, though, are so obvious it is difficult to ignore them.

Learning To Read The Signs

Such is the case with pregnancy signals. Nausea, fatigue, swollen breasts, missed periods-they all indicate there is a baby growing on the inside. A simple test confirms the fact and often a celebration is in order. It is really quite remarkable that when a woman becomes pregnant, the symptoms of nausea and vomiting accompany a caffeine aversion. It's the body's way of handling the multiple changes going on inside the womb. However, caffeine cessation is more than some women can handle.

The Caffeine Connection Is Not Really News

There have been numerous studies on the connection between caffeine consumption and miscarriage but a recent study has confirmed the strength of the association between caffeine and miscarriage risk. The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, with De-Kun Li, PH.D., lead investigator of the study and an investigator with Kaiser Permanente, looked at 1,063 pregnant Kaiser Permanente members in San Francisco from October 1996 through October 1998, examining the effects of caffeine on women who continued to drink coffee in the same pattern they did prior to pregnancy.

The findings confirmed the basic knowledge already available. "This study strengthens the association between caffeine and miscarriage risk because it removes speculation that the association was due to reduced caffeine intake by healthy pregnant women," Li said. The results indicated that women who ingested 200mg or more of caffeine per day had double the miscarriage risk of women who took in no caffeine. Those who consumed less than 200mg had a 40 percent higher rate of miscarriage risk.

The Risk Is Caffeine, Not Other Chemicals

The study showed that the risk came from the caffeine itself rather than from other chemicals in the coffee. This was borne up by the fact that such caffeine laced foods as chocolate and sodas had the same effect as coffee. Dr. Li said, "The main message for pregnant women from these findings is that they probably should consider stopping caffeine consumption during pregnancy because this research provides clearer and stronger evidence that high doses of caffeine intake during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage."

Caffeine is one of those substances that are able to cross the placenta to the baby but, due to the undeveloped metabolic system of the growing baby, it cannot be metabolized. Also, cell development and blood flow in the placenta are affected which, in turn creates an adverse effect upon the developing fetus.

There Are Other Ways To Get A Boost

If a woman really needs a pick-me-up through the day, then perhaps yoga, a brisk walk, a short workout, or eating nuts and dried fruit are better choices to increase energy during those slump hours. Your pregnancy may depend upon it.

Check out or womens-health forum to find out more about what other foods can cause a miscarriage.

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