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Maternal Caffeine Intake Doesn't Affect Infant Sleep

Heavy caffeine consumption by nursing mothers does not increase nighttime awakenings in infants

MONDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy caffeine consumption by nursing mothers does not increase the number of nighttime awakenings in 3-month-old infants, according to a study published online April 2 in Pediatrics.

Iná S. Santos, M.D., Ph.D., of the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, and colleagues interviewed mothers of all babies born in Pelotas in 2004, at delivery and after three months. Heavy caffeine consumption was defined as ≥300 mg/day. Infant sleeping pattern in the previous 15 days was obtained from a subsample (885 of 4,231). Night waking was defined as an episode of infant arousal that woke the parents during nighttime.

The researchers found that 20 percent of mothers were heavy consumers of caffeine during pregnancy and 14.3 percent were heavy consumers at three months postpartum. Prevalence of frequent nighttime awakeners (more than three episodes per night) was 13.8 percent. The highest prevalence ratio (PR), though still nonsignificant, was observed among breastfed infants from mothers who were heavy consumers of caffeine during the whole pregnancy and in the postpartum period (PR, 1.65; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.86 to 3.17).

"Caffeine consumption during pregnancy and by nursing mothers seems not to have consequences on sleep of infants at the age of 3 months," the authors write.

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