Caffeine and Breastfeeding

Caffeine and Breastfeeding

When it comes to caffeine and breastfeeding many mothers are concerned about the affects that the caffeine might have on their baby and their milk supply. Breastfeeding mothers want to know if drinking coffee will harm their baby. It is a common belief that coffee causes colic or upset in the nursing baby. Some people say that caffeine and breastfeeding cannot coexist but is that true?

Caffeine is approved by the AAP for mothers who breastfeed. According to expert, Doctor Thomas Hale, use of caffeine in the breastfeeding mother’s diet is low risk and the levels that pass into the mother’s milk are low. Most breastfed babies do not react badly to moderate coffee drinking. Younger infants, those under 6 months of age, are sometimes sensitive. Usually a breastfeeding baby who is sensitive to caffeine in the mother’s milk will outgrow the sensitivity over time.

According to the book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, the amount of caffeine in five or fewer five-ounce cups of coffee (less than 750 ml) will not cause a problem for most breastfed babies. Caffeine is also found in medications such as pain relievers and cold medicine and in other food and beverages such as colas and chocolate.

There have been no documented studies that show a link between caffeine and lowered milk supply.

I have met many new mothers who have expressed just how important their morning cup of coffee is to them and sometimes the thought of giving it up can seem like too much to bear. If your morning cup of coffee is upsetting your baby, you may be able to minimize the negative reaction by timing… According to Medications and Mother’s Milk by Dr. Hale, caffeine levels in mother’s milk usually peak 1 hour after ingestion. Based on that information, a breastfeeding and caffeine mix might be healthiest if the baby is breastfed immediately before or after drinking coffee to avoid the baby feeding during peak caffeine levels.

Every baby has their own unique personality and every baby reacts differently. If you notice that your baby seems jittery, restless or extra fussy after you drink coffee you may need to make changes in timing. Some mothers choose to switch to decaf. Until their babies outgrow their sensitivity.

Coffee, tea, and caffeinated drinks

Though caffeine is not forbidden, breastfeeding mothers may choose to limit caffeine while breastfeeding if it makes your baby edgy or irritable. It’s best to drink caffeine-free beverages when breastfeeding and if you crave caffeine, limit those to about two eight-ounce servings per day.

Alternatives to Coffee

Some ideas for instant Coffee substitutes are drinks made from roasted herbs, grains and chickory such as Chicco,Inca, Pero, Roma, Caffix, Roastaroma.

Try these stimulating drink suggestions that pack a punch without the caffeine

Green Tea is full of antioxidants and comes in many varieties.

Black Tea has a strong flavor and also tastes good with milk. It still has caffeine but half as much as coffee.

Licorice Tea has a sweet flavor.

Siberian Ginseng Tea is a herbal tea that is also known to have a toning effect on the body.

Yerba Maté tea does not have caffeine, but has a stimulating effect.

Chocolate powder also has a bitter, coffee-like taste with a mild stimulating effect when unsweetened.

Caffeine and breastfeeding foods to avoid