Maternal caffeine consumption and infant nighttime waking: prospective cohort study.
Subject: Caffeine (Health aspects)
Mothers (Food and nutrition)
Pregnant women (Food and nutrition)
Author: Ross, Catherine
Pub Date: 11/01/2012
Publication: Name: Breastfeeding Review Publisher: Australian Breastfeeding Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 Australian Breastfeeding Association ISSN: 0729-2759
Issue: Date: Nov, 2012 Source Volume: 20 Source Issue: 3
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Product: Product Code: 2834265 Caffeine Preparations NAICS Code: 325412 Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing SIC Code: 2833 Medicinals and botanicals; 2834 Pharmaceutical preparations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Brazil Geographic Code: 3BRAZ Brazil
Accession Number: 310739996
Full Text: Maternal caffeine consumption and infant nighttime waking: prospective cohort study Santos, IS, Matijasevich, A, and Domingues, MR 2012, Pediatrics 129(5): 860-8

Both foetuses and infants up to 3 months of age cannot metabolise caffeine consumed in coffee and other beverages by their mothers. It is known that it can cross the placenta with its half-life increased in late gestation, it is poorly metabolised by the foetus and there is reuptake from the placenta due to foetal swallowing and that as a natural stimulant, it results in a somnolytic effect (sleeplessness) on adults. However, very little is known about the effects of caffeine consumption by pregnant women or nursing mothers on the sleeping patterns of their infants. As frequent night-time waking is a common event in this age group, this study aimed to investigate whether maternal caffeine consumption in pregnancy and during lactation contributes to this in any way.

All babies born in Pelotas, Brazil during the year 2004 (numbering 4231) were enrolled in a cohort study with mothers interviewed at delivery and after 3 months, in order to ascertain data on caffeine consumption, sociodemographic, reproductive and behavioural information. Infant sleeping patterns in the 15 days prior to the 3-month interview were obtained from a subsample of 885 (those born October to December), with night-waking defined as an episode of infant arousal which woke the parents during the night hours.

The researchers found that all but one mother consumed caffeine (ground coffee and 'mate', a local tea-like drink) during the period concerned, with 20% classified as heavy consumers (300 mg/day or more) during pregnancy and 14.3% at 3 months post-partum Smokers and alcoholic beverage drinkers showed higher caffeine consumption levels, with an inverse linear trend for heavy consumption and schooling/family income. The prevalence of heavy consumption also increased with parity and was higher among mothers who did not work during pregnancy and who bed-shared with their infants and at three months was associated with higher maternal age and to maternal depression The mothers reports indicated that 46.2% had bed-shared with their infants and more than 75% had been woken once during the night with 54.7% of them being woken every night and generally twice or more on the same night. The prevalence of frequent night-time wakers defined as those who woke more than three times during the night was 13.8% (95% confidence interval: 11.5-16.0%) and was more prevalent among boys than girls and among infants of non-white mothers and from mothers who consumed alcohol and smoked during pregnancy.

However, after the results were analysed using Poisson multivariable regression, none of the heavy consumption variables were significantly associated with frequent night-time waking and there was no link between caffeine consumption during pregnancy or breastfeeding and infant sleep patterns at 3 months of age. This could be attributed to the fact that infants of heavy consumers develop a tolerance to caffeine. The authors stated that the results support the current recommendations on caffeine consumption during pregnancy of 3-4 cups or 300 mg per day. CR

CR Catherine Ross BBus
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