Caffeine while Breastfeeding

Caffeine while Breastfeeding

The good news is most breastfeeding mothers can drink caffeine in moderation, yay!!

Some babies, particularly those under 6 months, may be more sensitive to mum’s coffee drinking. This can be more obvious if you avoided coffee during pregnancy.

Excessive caffeine consumption can result in a baby who shows signs of caffeine stimulation.
This is usually in mums who drink more than approx. 300mg a day (2/3 cups of coffee). Your baby may seem irritable, fussy, and doesn’t sleep for long periods. The only way to know if your baby is having too much is to observe their behavior. This can certainly be tricky in the newborn period when you feel they are often unsettled.

If your baby seems particularly wakeful or fussy and there is a significant amount of caffeine in your diet, maybe try and cut back or stop the caffeine for 2-3 weeks to see if it makes a difference.

Just a reminder it can take up to a week for the caffeine to get out of your
system and for you to notice a change.

Interesting Fact

The amount of caffeine that gets into a mother’s breastmilk is about 1% of
what she takes in and the caffeine level in her breastmilk usually reaches a peak about 60 minutes after she has consumed it. Hopefully that helps so you can try and time your coffee fix around the nap schedule.

Half life of Caffeine

Newborn – up to 97.5 hours
3-5 months – approx. 14 hours
6+ months – approx. 2.6 hours
Adult – 4.9 hours
Reference Hale 2017. Facts: Ref American Academy of Paediatrics.

Something you may not know is there is no evidence that caffeine decreases milk supply.
Interestingly mums who suffer from Raynauds may find that too much caffeine aggravates their symptoms.

Caffeine content in common drinks and food Drink/food Caffeine level (mg)

  • Espresso coffee 145 mg/50 mL shot
  • Formulated caffeinated drinks / ‘Energy’ Drinks up to 80 mg/250 mL can
  • Instant coffee (1 teaspoon/cup) 60–80 mg/250mL cup
  • Tea 10–50 mg/250mL cup
  • Coca Cola up to 54 mg/375 mL cup
  • Milk chocolate 20 mg/100 g bar
  • Takeaway coffee 51–332 mg/serving3

A few cups of coffee a day is approx. 300mg (depending on the size and type of coffee of course).

Don’t forget caffeine is present in other food and drink too; alongside coffee of course.
Black and green tea and chocolate are two of the common ones. Have a sweet tooth, try white chocolate.
Note: Our Boobie Brew tea contains NO CAFFEINE.

Drinking coffee to satisfy your cravings (and lets be honest, to help function daily) is ok. But ensure you are keeping up your water intake.
Our bodies are made up of 60% water and (breastmilk 88%) and is essential for overall health.
Our body is also super clever and can utilize water from many sources, including vegetables, fruit, soup, water, fruit & vegetable juices, milk, tea and other beverages. The foods that you eat accounts for about one-fifth of
total fluid intake.
As well as other fluids, ensure you are drinking AT LEAST 2L of water a day. It is important to stay hydrated to help take care of yourself.

Your health is a top priority!

 A Statement from the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA).
"Most breastfeeding mothers can consume a moderate amount of caffeine (eg a few cups of
coffee each day) without it affecting their babies. Newborn babies however can be
particularly sensitive to caffeine... because it can take a newborn baby a long time to
process it."

Written by Julia Daly.
More than Milk

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