Moderate caffeine consumption during pregnancy does not reduce children’s intelligence or cause behavioral problems, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers analyzed a marker for caffeine in blood samples preserved from 2,200 pregnant women who were pregnant between 1959 and 1974.
After controlling for smoking, age, and other factors, they found no consistent link between caffeine consumption and children’s IQ or behavior at ages 4 and 7. “We consider our results to be reassuring for pregnant women who consume typical amounts of caffeine,” they concluded.
Over the years, some research has suggested that high doses of caffeine increase the risk of miscarriage and birth defects. While the evidence for this is not consistent, to be safe, pregnant women should be moderate in their caffeine intake.
Also see Caffeine in Pregnancy.