For anyone who wants kids one day and basically lives for caffeine (so you, plus everyone you know), a new study suggests that men and women who drink more than two daily cups of caffeinated coffee (or another beverage that gives you wings) in the weeks leading up to conception are more likely to miscarry.
In the study, which was recently published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, researchers examined the lifestyle habits of 501 Texas and Michigan couples who were trying to get pregnant. By the end of the study, 347 couples were successful—but 98 of them miscarried.
Women who were 35 or older were more likely to miscarry, which is to be expected considering experts have long known that older moms are more prone to complicationsduring pregnancy. But some other data points took the researchers by surprise: Women *and men* who drank the most caffeine around the time of conception were more likely to miscarry.
The researchers didn’t look into how caffeine might affect a pregnancy before a baby is even conceived, and existing research on caffeine consumption in the earliest weeks of pregnancy doesn’t exactly fill in the blanks, according to study authors. (It’s hard to tell whether women with healthy pregnancies and related symptoms, like nausea and food aversions, naturally veer away from caffeinated beverages before they realize, “hey, I’m pregnant!” and that could skew study results.) The one thing that’s for certain is excessive caffeine consumption by either partner around the time of conception could affect pregnancy outcomes. This marks a brand new thing to worry about on top of all the otherthings men should do to increase the odds of a healthy pregnancy—and the same goes for women, who have their own laundry list of ways to prep their bodies for a baby.
In light of the findings, the study authors recommend limiting caffeinated intake to fewer than three caffeinated daily beverages for men and women who are trying to conceive. Another smart piece of advice: Take a multivitamin. Women in the study who popped these pills were 55 percent less likely to miscarry than women who did not. Considering it’s a habit that benefits your health even before babies enter the picture, it’s the least you can do—and it doesn’t mess with your caffeine buzz in the slightest.