According to a study published by Oxford University Press in the American Journal of Epidemiology on Thursday, women who drink and eat moderate amounts of caffeine during pregnancy are not prone to make their child's IQ get lower.
Pregnant coffee-lovers need not despair, new research indicates moderate caffeine consumption during pregnancy doesn't harm behavioral well-being or a baby's future intelligence.
Researchers analysed a marker of caffeine in the blood of 2,197 expectant mothers who took part in the Collaborative Perinatal Project, conducted at multiple sites in the United States in 1959-74.
The study was conducted by a team of experts, led by Dr. Mark Klebanoff, pediatric expert at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Sarah Keim, assistant professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Because the study took place during a time of higher maternal caffeine intake, the researchers say they were able to assess a broader range of caffeine intakes than they would in pregnant women today.
The findings are in stark contrast with prior research which had suggested that there might be a connection between the expectant mother's coffee intake and the newborn's level of intelligence. There was no significant link between drinking coffee during pregnancy and impairment to childhood development. It's okay to indulge in your morning cup of coffee without worrying about it affecting your child's IQ, a new study finds.
Therefore, researchers state that as long as women limit themselves to just one or two 8-ounce cups of coffee per day, there should be no danger posed to their developing fetus.
They compared those levels to the child's IQ and behaviour at four and seven years of age.
The chemical that the researchers investigated was paraxanthine, which is caffeine's main metabolite.
Keim, of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in OH, found although caffeine is commonly consumed during pregnancy, few studies have explored the link between "in utero caffeine exposure and offspring cognition or behavior during childhood".
Researchers found there were no consistent patterns between maternal caffeine ingestion and the development and behaviour of those children at those points in their lives.
Of the children in the study, about 11 percent were considered obese at four and seven per cent were classed as obese when they reached seven. He concluded there is little evidence that normal consumption of caffeine during pregnancy increases the risk of childhood obesity.