In 1974, the first studies looking at the effect of caffeine use on pregnancy were published. These studies have continued, partly due to the conflicting nature of the results. Some have concluded that caffeine use in pregnancy is safe, while others believe caffeine use can increase risks for intrauterine growth retardation and low birth weight infants. The hypothesis that caffeine may affect a fetus is plausible, as caffeine crosses the placental barrier, increases maternal epinephrine and is metabolized more slowly by the mother during pregnancy. There has also been the suggestion that a relationship between caffeine use and fetal growth is confounded by tobacco use. Since 1980, the FDA has recommended that women refrain from caffeine during pregnancy. Regardless, 75 percent of women continue to use some form of caffeine during pregnancy. The purpose of this study is to review literature on the epidemiologic relationship between caffeine use during pregnancy and low birth weight infants.
International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities
©2005 International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities
"Maternal Caffeine Intake and Low Birth Weight: Is There a Relationship?,"
International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities, 4(1), 73-79.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/ijghhd/vol4/iss1/9