I was recently in a great discussion about caffeine and pregnancy with some mothers, and decided to put all the links I scrounged up for them together in one blog entry. I was not a regular caffeine consumer when I was pregnant with S. I craved coffee the entire pregnancy, however. I worked within a few steps of the cafe’ at the health food store, and I guzzled organic decaf during the pregnancy, only to stop once he was born. Other than one craving for mustard, that was my only food issue with S. I used to joke that he would be a barista or own a coffee farm one day.
I did drink caffeine when I was pregnant with Z, however. I was working full time and commuting almost 2 hours a day at that point. Also, they had coffee pots brewing organic coffee at all times at my workplace. My job consisted of sitting in front of a computer all day (kinda like what I do now, for no money) and that would get boring after a while. Anyway, point is, I did drink coffee occasionally. I drank caffeinated tea every single day, and still do, as anyone who knows me will testify to my omnipresent cuppa.
I followed the recommendations of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, who has been lobbying for caffeine labels for years, and kept it under 300 mg a day for the most part. I do agree that the caffeine contents of foods (pdf) should definitely be labeled. (Side comment: Uhhhh, Jolt makes caffeinated gum?)
According to this free journal article entitled Caffeine Consumption During Pregnancy and Fetal Growth (pdf) , there are significant associations between low birth weight (LBW) and intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and heavy caffeine consumption.
So, consume in moderation.