The Question: Does the amount of caffeine a pregnant woman consumes around her 16th week of pregnancy influence her child’s behavior at age five years?

The Study: More than 8,200 women were questioned about their caffeine consumption (coffee, caffeinated tea and cola) around week sixteen of their pregnancy. When the children were five years old, their behavior in a number of areas (overall behavioral, emotional, conduct, hyperactivity, inattention, peer relationship, and prosocial) was measured using a number of tools.

The Results: The researchers at Tilburg University in the Netherlands found no relationship between levels of maternal caffeine consumption and the children’s behavior.

Comment: It appears that pregnant women don’t need to worry about their caffeine consumption as much as they may have been told or read. As with most things, however, moderation is important. Excessive amounts of caffeine throughout pregnancy hasn’t been studied.

Read More: Pediatrics, 08/12

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From issue: 28/03-04