Caffeine and Breastfeeding

Don’t worry, you can still drink your coffee! ;-) Drinking any caffeinated beverages in moderation while breastfeeding, will not harm your baby. The thing to remember is, moderation is key.

a cup of joe, a cup of coffee, coffee while breastfeeding
Cup of coffee with coffee beans

Is it safe to drink coffee when breastfeeding? Is it safe to consume any caffeine when breastfeeding?

Don’t worry. You can still drink your coffee! ;-)

Drinking any caffeinated beverages in moderation while breastfeeding will not harm your baby. The thing to remember is moderation is key.

If your baby is experiencing problems and they clear up after eliminating all forms of caffeine, then you have found the problem.

Remember that a premature baby has a higher chance of feeling the effects of caffeine during breastfeeding.

drinking coffee, woman drinking coffee, coffee picture
Photo by Pablo de la Fuente / Unsplash

Caffeine and Breastfeeding ~ Important fact ~ Do not smoke and drink coffee together, smoking on its own can increase fussiness and disturb sleep; combining the two, will make things worse.

Most babies do not seem to be affected, but If you find that consuming caffeine upsets your baby, then always breastfeed your baby before you drink your morning cup of coffee or breastfeed your baby at least an hour and a half after consuming the caffeine.

Drinking a few glasses of water after drinking coffee will dilute the effect of the coffee.

Try decaffeinated alternatives; a coffee substitute might taste just as good; Nescafe decaffeinated or chicory 'caffeine-free coffee' such as Chicco, Inca, Pero, and Roma are some excellent alternatives. Some caffeine-free teas, like decaffeinated green tea or Celestial Seasonings, are also excellent choices.

Or how about trying something different, such as raw cocoa, which has a much lower caffeine content? The benefits are incredible, and it tastes so good!

Caffeine and Breastfeeding ~ Interesting fact ~ Can caffeine affect your milk supply? Caffeine intake will not lower your milk supply, it has sometimes been found temporarily to increase breast milk production.

How Much Caffeine Is Safe?

No more than three to five cups of coffee daily (depending on how strong you make it) or its caffeine equivalent in other beverages (about 750mg). The best thing to do is to have a cup or two daily and see if it changes your baby’s behavior.

Most babies that are sensitive to caffeine will outgrow the sensitivity over time. Drinking too much soda and breastfeeding or eating loads of chocolate is also not a good idea, mainly if the product contains sugar, which might make your baby restless.

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Caffeine Side-Effects

If a mother consumes too much caffeine, her baby will start to show the following signs:

Things That Contain Caffeine to Watch Out For

  • Coffee & Tea. Learn more about safe tea while breastfeeding.
  • Chocolate.
  • Sodas and energy drinks.
  • Some painkillers, allergy pills, and even some herbal medicines containing guarana/paullinea cupana, kola nut/cola nitida, or yerba mate.

Caffeine Content

A mother who breastfeeds has a recommended caffeine intake of no more than 750mg daily.

  • Brewed coffee – 102-200mg per 8oz
  • Cappuccino – 90mg per 1oz
  • Decaf coffee – 5mg per 5oz
  • Tea – 40-120 per 9oz
  • Cocoa – 3-13mg per 8oz
  • Fizzy drinks – 56mg per can
  • Energy drinks – 50-300mg per drink
  • Chocolate – 10mg per 2oz