Caffeine and breast feeding

The effects of alcohol are widely known, but many have not considered the effects of caffeine.  In my psych class “Drugs and their effects on the Brain”, we talked about caffeine and pregnancy.  In the textbook “Drugs, Behavior and Modern Society” (Levinthal), it is stated that there is a relationship between high consumption levels (more than 4 cups of coffee a day) during the first 3 months of pregnancy and low birthweight, and miscarriage.  However, caffeine does not result in premature birth or birth defects.  There is still a reason to abstain from caffeine after birth also, in that the drug is in the breast milk and the newborns’ body does not have the enzymes yet from the liver to break down the caffeine.  Not that there is great harm in this, except that it stays in the infants body for an extraordinary long time. Since it is a stimulant to the nervous system, this is probably not the best thing for the child.

Jennifer Poulos

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~ by sun71 on August 29, 2009.

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