Can I Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding?

As a new mom, you probably cannot wait for that first sip of coffee in the morning. Given the fact that you have restricted the daily amount of caffeine during pregnancy, you most likely can’t wait to start drinking your favorite hot beverage once the baby arrives.

One of the most commonly used central nervous system stimulants, caffeine is reasonable to wonder if consuming coffee is safe if you are breastfeeding.

Pouring coffee into a cup; image source:

Does Caffeine From the Breast Milk Affect the Baby?

Experts claim that drinking coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine while breastfeeding is completely safe for the baby. Only one percent of consumed caffeine finds its way to the breast-milk.

However, for newborns, it takes days to process it. As the baby gets older, his or her organism will manage to excrete caffeine for a couple of hours. A six-month-old can handle the substance for less than three hours.

How your baby tolerates coffee you drink also depends on their health and if you consumed caffeine during pregnancy.

If you did not drink coffee while pregnant, the baby will more likely respond negatively to caffeine later on.

Some of the signs that your kiddo does not react well to your favorite beverage include:
• Crankiness
• Jitteriness
• Disrupted sleeping patterns
• Acid reflux

If you notice some of those signs, try quitting for a couple of weeks and observe baby’s behavior. If sleeping patterns go back to normal, you have probably found the cause of the problem.

Make sure not to go cold turkey because some withdrawal symptoms such as a headache may kick in, and as a new mom the last thing you need is a headache.

What is the Safe Amount of Caffeine I Can Consume While Breastfeeding?

Doctors do not recommend more than 300mg of caffeine per day which is the equivalent of 3 cups of brewed coffee. Starbucks coffee, for example, contains a lot more caffeine (300mg per cup). Make sure to spread the coffee consumption through the day.

Doctors do not recommend more than 300mg of caffeine per day which is the equivalent of 3 cups of brewed coffee.

Do not forget that tea, sodas, energy drinks, and even chocolate also contain caffeine. For all the tea fans out there, it is safe to consume up to six cups per day. This is pretty much the same recommendation you got from your doctor when you were pregnant.

The Bottom Line

Drinking coffee while breastfeeding is not forbidden because only one percent of the caffeine ends up in the breastmilk. However, newborns may react negatively.

Some of the signs your baby is not responding well to caffeine include disrupted sleeping patterns, crankiness, and jitteriness.

If you notice some of these symptoms, try quitting. However, do not go cold turkey. Slowly lower down your daily dose of coffee to avoid a headache. Even if your goober does not show any reaction to caffeine, limit your daily intake to 300mg.

Make sure not to forget about the hidden caffeine that can be found in energy drinks, sodas, tea, and even some sweets that contain chocolate.


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