Drinking tea could be harmful for unborn babies, study claims

There’s nothing quite like cosying up on the sofa with a warm cup of tea in your hands. It brings a sense of comfort and warmth after a long, stressful day.

It’s the go-to drink whenever anything goes wrong and you need a quick pick me up. Unfortunately, it looks like expectant mums may have to wave goodbye to the hot beverage during pregnancy after a new study claimed it may be bad for unborn babies.

We often fail to realise that there is caffeine in tea, just like coffee. Researcher Ling-Wei Chen wanted to look at the connection between caffeine consumption and adverse birth outcomes.

The study analysed the caffeine intake of 1,000 Irish women during the early stages of their pregnancies.

48 percent of the women drank tea as their main caffeine source and 39 percent drank coffee.

The team then looked at the women’s hospital records to check the weight of their newborn and their gestational age at birth.

They found that there was a significant link between caffeine consumption and adverse birth outcomes.

They revealed that the women who consumed the most caffeine were at a higher risk of giving birth to underweight babies.

The chances of giving birth earlier were also two times higher.

They stressed that the risks were just as high regardless of whether their caffeine source came from tea or coffee.

They also said caffeine can impact an infant’s IQ.

“These findings and other study results, are from observational studies, and observational studies cannot prove that caffeine causes these outcomes, only that there is a link between them,” the team of UCD researchers stated.

They advised women who are pregnant or trying to conceive to lower their caffeine consumption and to be wary that there is caffeine in tea, as well as coffee.