Waking up in the morning and not being able to have your daily dose of caffeine sounds like an absolute nightmare, especially if you’ve been up with a baby all night. That’s why new moms always ask, “Can you drink coffee while breastfeeding?”
Coffee While Breastfeeding
You’d think it was a natural thing to do and there shouldn’t be any problems, but it’s all about how long caffeine stays in breastmilk and how sensitive your child is to caffeine. In this article, we’ll discuss how much caffeine you can have while breastfeeding, how caffeine affects your baby, how to get rid of caffeine in breast milk, decaf coffee while breastfeeding, and signs of caffeine sensitivity in infants.
Is caffeine safe while breastfeeding?
For most people, yes, caffeine is safe while breastfeeding. However, the daily caffeine intake should be limited to around 300 milligrams of coffee/tea per day. This is equivalent to around 1.27 cups of coffee or tea per day.
How does caffeine affect your baby?
Because breast milk can show traces of caffeine, it can sometimes affect the baby. However, just how much caffeine is evident in breastmilk can vary from one mother to another as well as from one baby to another based on their sensitivity.
Another factor that can affect a baby’s caffeine sensitivity is their age. Newborns tend to be more sensitive to caffeine than infants. In fact, caffeine can stay longer in a newborn baby’s bloodstream than an older baby. While caffeine only lasts around 2.5 hours in a 6-month-old baby, it can last up to a few days in a baby’s bloodstream. This can affect their quality of sleep as well as reduce the number of hours they sleep.
Caffeine can affect the quality of your breast milk in terms of nutritional value. When a mother drinks three cups of coffee each day, it reduces the iron available in breastmilk by almost a third. That’s why it is best to avoid caffeine or limit it to one cup per day to boost iron content in breast milk and ensure your baby is getting the nutrients they need for growth and development.
How to get rid of caffeine in breastmilk
To get rid of caffeine in breastmilk, you can do one of the following:
- Time your coffee to your baby’s feeding patterns. Only drink a cup of coffee after you’ve fed your baby and wait at least three hours before breastfeeding again. If your baby nurses for longer periods, you can pump milk in advance to avoid caffeine affecting your baby’s sleep and nutrition.
- You can also reduce your coffee intake to one cup per day.
- Or you can cut out coffee and resume after your breastfeeding period is over.
Signs of caffeine sensitivity in infants:
If you’re consuming a lot of coffee/caffeine and notice the following symptoms, it is most likely that your infant is suffering from caffeine sensitivity:
- Poor sleep patterns
Is decaf coffee safe while breastfeeding?
Decaf coffee has a lot less caffeine and is considered to be a safer alternative when breastfeeding. However, because it is highly acidic, it still impacts the amount of iron in breast milk negatively.
- How to Prepare for Breastfeeding Before Giving Birth
- Benefits of Drinking Coffee
- How to Increase Breast Milk Supply Naturally
- Is Caffeine Safe While Breastfeeding? – Web MD
- Can you drink coffee while breastfeeding? – Medical News Today
- Caffeine while breastfeeding: How much can you safely have? – Healthline