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Coffee and Breastfeeding: Does It Affect Baby?

Can I have caffeinated beverage while breastfeeding?

Have you ever wondered if you are allowed to drink caffeinated beverages while breastfeeding? Is it safe for your baby? Does your baby get the effect from the caffeine too? While caffeinated beverages may boost our sleep- deprived mothers, drinking too much may bring harm to the baby. Here is what you need to know about caffeine while breastfeeding.

Caffeine is basically a compound that is found in certain plants. The main role of caffeine is to stimulate the central nervous system, thus improve one’s alertness and reduce tiredness.


Does caffeine pass through breastmilk?

Yes, according to researchers, approximately 1% of the total amount of caffeine you consume could pass through to your breast milk. The caffeine in breast milk usually peaks about 1 hour after a dose. Since baby and infant’s liver and kidneys are not completely developed, they cannot process caffeine as quickly as adults. 


Does that mean it is dangerous to consume while breastfeeding?

According to researchers, although babies cannot process caffeine as efficient and fast as adults, it is still considered safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume in moderate amounts (~300mg), which is approximately two cups of coffee per day. 

However, if mothers consume more than that amount per day, your baby may experience sleep disturbance, fussiness and jitteriness.


Caffeinated beverage, is it just coffee?

Do you know? Tea, energy drink, chocolate drink and even soda contains caffeine? Here is the example of caffeine contents in each beverage, note that it may vary according to brands and preparation methods.

Energy drinks240 ml50–160 mg
Coffee, brewed240 ml60–200 mg
Tea, brewed240 ml20–110 mg
Tea, iced240 ml9–50 mg
Soda355 ml30–60 mg
Hot chocolate240 ml3–32 mg
Decaf coffee240 ml2–4 mg

Adapted from Healthline, 2019


In conclusion, it is still better to limit your caffeine intake while breastfeeding because small amounts can still pass into breast milk and eventually build up in the baby’s body over time.

Still, if you could not live without coffee, it is safe to drink not more than 300mg of caffeine per day.


Article written by:
Foo Kai Li
Registered Member of Nutrition Society Malaysia (NSM)


𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐫: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 𝐛𝐲 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐍𝐮𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭 & 𝐃𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐧. 𝐀𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬.



Healthline (2019). Caffeine While Breastfeeding: How Much Can You Safely Have? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-and-breastfeeding 

Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Caffeine. [Updated 2021 Mar 17]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501467/ 

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