BACKGROUND: Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy may have adverse effects on fetal, neonatal and maternal outcomes.
OBJECTIVES: This review investigates the effects of restricting caffeine intake by mothers on fetal, neonatal and pregnancy outcomes.
SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Child birth Group’s Trials Register (December 2008), scanned bibliographies of published studies and corresponded with investigators.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials including quasi-randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effect of caffeine and/or supplementary caffeine versus restricted caffeine intake or placebo on pregnancy outcome.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: The two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.
MAIN RESULTS: One study met the inclusion criteria. Caffeinated instant coffee (568 women) was compared with decaffeinated instant coffee (629 women) and it was found that reducing the caffeine intake of regular coffee drinkers (3+ cups/day) during the second and third trimester by an average of 182 mg/day did not affect birthweight or length of gestation.
AUTHORS’ CONCLUSION: There is insufficient evidence to confirm or refute the effectiveness of caffeine avoidance on birthweight or other pregnancy outcomes. There is a need to conduct high-quality, double-blinded RCTs to determine whether caffeine has any effect on pregnancy outcome.
Jahanfar S, Sharifah H. Effects of restricted caffeine intake by mother on fetal, neonatal and pregnancy outcome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD006965. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006965.pub2. Copyright the Cochrane Collaboration, reproduced with permission.