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Cohort study
Higher coffee intake in pregnancy linked to prolonged gestation, and higher caffeine intake linked with babies being small for gestational age
  1. Caroline Hollins Martin
  1. School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work, University of Salford, Salford, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Caroline Hollins Martin, School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work, University of Salford, Frederick Road, Salford M6 6PU, UK; c.j.hollins-martin{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • The findings support that maternal coffee consumption is associated with marginally increased gestational length, decreased birth weight, but not preterm delivery.

  • Future research is required to confirm cause and effects.


The WHO recommends a maternal caffeine intake of below 300 mg/day1 and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends less than 200 mg/day.2 A maternal diet should include the essential nutrients to optimise fetal development and an avoidance of contaminants. Caffeine is contained in coffee, tea, cocoa, energy drinks and many soft drinks and …

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  • Competing interests None.