Pregnancy comes with its limitations: Avoid sushi and soft cheeses, steer clear of certain beauty products, and of course, don’t drink alcohol or coffee. All are trade-offs we’ll gladly make in exchange for happy, healthy babies.
But get this: New research says small amounts of the aforementioned drinks might not so bad after all.
Is wine safe during pregnancy?
Since, well, always, drinking alcohol has been one of the biggest pregnancy taboos ever. But according to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, a drink here or there might not be as bad as we’ve been taught to believe. Researchers tracked nearly 7,000 children of mothers who drank an average of 3 to 7 servings of alcoholic beverages per week. By age 10, the children showed no signs of birth defects, and were able to complete simple balancing acts like standing on one leg or walking on a balance beam.
Other studies confirm that light drinking during pregnancy, defined as one serving or less of alcohol daily, may be OK. And in fact, it’s uncommon for mothers in most other countries—from Japan to England—to abstain. Still, the CDC says no level of alcohol is safe during pregnancy, and we agree that it’s better to be safe than sorry. What about you?
Is coffee safe during pregnancy?
Experts have long said that consuming too much caffeine could be bad for baby’s development, putting coffee in the not safe during pregnancy category. But new Danish research published in the journal Pediatrics looked at the caffeine intake of over 8,000 women, and concluded that caffeine consumption doesn’t put kids at risk for hyperactivity or other behavioral problems. Another study published earlier this year concluded that maternal caffeine consumption won’t result in baby sleep problems, either.
But there are other things to consider: High levels of caffeine can decrease blood flow to your placenta and increase your risk for miscarriage. To stay safe during pregnancy, limit caffeine consumption to 200 milligrams (about the amount in a 12-ounce coffee) per day, recommends the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.