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.
|TYPES OF DRINK||SERVING SIZE||CAFFEINE CONTENT|
|Energy drinks||240 ml||50–160 mg|
|Coffee, brewed||240 ml||60–200 mg|
|Tea, brewed||240 ml||20–110 mg|
|Tea, iced||240 ml||9–50 mg|
|Soda||355 ml||30–60 mg|
|Hot chocolate||240 ml||3–32 mg|
|Decaf coffee||240 ml||2–4 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.
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/