Good news, pregnant women or women who were once pregnant or women who plan on getting pregnant—there is another new study out there to make you feel like crap and question your choices. This time, the latest study rings alarm bells about what many women thought to be safe: drinking coffee during pregnancy.
A study initially examining the effects of caffeine in pregnancy and how it relates to the risk of leukemia was published in Science Daily in 2009. At that time, the study aimed to determine the link between caffeine consumption and cancer risk.
Now, a new study on the same subject has been unsurprisingly overblown in The Daily Mail (I know, I know), and most readers are pissed.
The Daily Mail states:
Pregnant women who drink just two cups of coffee a day could be putting their babies at risk of leukaemia.
A major study has found that their babies are up to 60 per cent more likely to develop the disease during childhood.
Academics say the Government should issue warnings to pregnant women to limit their coffee intake just as they are told to cut back on alcohol and stop smoking.
If you are pregnant, this is your cue to FREAK THE FUCK OUT and drop your tiny cup of rationed coffee in a dramatic fashion. I know that I did this often whenever I read scary research as a pregnant woman. I have to qualify that I am not anywhere close to a scientist. I am relying on smart readers to school me on exactly what is going on here (ahem, Science Mom Aimee!).
However, as I delved into the comments on The Daily Mail article, I was surprised to see that the vast majority of commenters were outraged at the representation of this research.
Some commenters stated:
When you’ve had a child with leukaemia like me, you often wonder if it’s something you’ve done. The guilt never ends, this is just another worry to add to the list along with the vitamin K risk to babies at birth that also can be a contributory factor to childhood leukaemia. Don’t you think we worry enough without adding to the list of possible?
So if the chance of the child developing leukaemia is 0.5 in 100, increasing it by 60% then it will become 0.8 in 100. Wow what a difference……not!
Another case of you can prove anything with figures. If this is correct 3/4 of Americans or people from other heavy coffee drinking nations will all have leukemia.
It’s been a while since I’ve been made to feel guilty over every choice I’ve made during my pregnancies. Thanks. I needed this.
I do think it is important to publish all research related to pregnancy to give pregnant women the tools and information they need to make educated decisions. Still, I am biased in the fact that I stuck with moderation on literally everything through both of my pregnancies and had a grand old time. Suffice it to say, I am partial to the last commenter’s take on this study. It appears to be just one more issue for pregnant women to feel guilty about. Thanks for that.
(Image: Beth Swanson/Shutterstock)