If your kindergartner is hyperactive, there’s no reason to blame the caffeine you had during pregnancy, new research suggests.
In a study of more than 3,400 five- and six-year-olds, reported in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found no evidence that the children’s behavioral problems were related to their mothers’ caffeine intake during pregnancy.
The odds of hyperactivity, inattention or other issues at home or school were not raised among kids whose moms had downed more than 425 milligrams of caffeine per day during pregnancy. That’s roughly equivalent to the amount in three cups, or 24 ounces, of coffee a day. But that doesn’t mean caffeine is completely in the clear, according to Eva M. Loomans, of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, who led the study.
For one, the researchers did not look at any other developmental issues besides problem behavior, she told Reuters Health in an email. And only a few studies have looked at the question of whether caffeine during pregnancy affects children’s later behavior – with mixed results.
For now, Loomans suggested that pregnant women follow the advice of their doctors on caffeine intake. The issue of whether it’s OK to have some caffeine during pregnancy has often been confusing.