Breastfeeding and coffee: Is caffeine intake safe for nursing moms?

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Moms, here's all you need to know about breastfeeding and coffee. Read on to know whether it is safe to have coffee when nursing...

Most new moms have never wanted a cup of coffee more than at 4am while nursing their little ones! But as much as we crave for that uplifting caffeine-buzz, we know at the same time that caffeine can be passed to baby via breastmilk, and this might not be so good for him.

In order to clear the air for you about breastfeeding and coffee, we thought of doing our own research to bring you some solid information on this topic.

Breastfeeding and coffee: How much is too much?

While many breastfeeding moms may feel guilty about that cup of coffee they drank, experts say it's okay to have a cup or two a day.

On the topic of breastfeeding and coffee, lactation counselor at Lansinoh, Molly Peterson says: "Caffeine can affect different babies in different ways. It is important to monitor how your caffeine intake affects your baby and watch for signs like increased fussiness or wakefulness. It's best to have caffeine moderation. A general guideline is that moms can have one to two caffeinated drinks a day."

breastfeeding and coffee

Effects of coffee on breastmilk:

When nursing moms consume coffee, less than one percent goes to the breastmilk. Although this is a small amount, it will peak within a few hours of consumption.

Babies of different ages will respond differently to caffeine. Nursing moms need to take their baby's age into consideration when understanding the effects of caffeine on their little one.

Moms, if your baby is less than three months old:

  • You need to be extra careful with caffeine consumption if your baby is below three months of age.
  • Remember that a newborn's metabolism cannot break down caffeine or get rid of it.
  • As a result, caffeine absorbed through breastmilk may get accumulated in baby's body, leading to irritability and sleeplessness.

If your baby is above the age of three months:

  • Moms, once your baby grows older, you may consume 16 to 24 ounces of coffee in a day.
  • However, you must observe your baby's sleeping pattern. If your little one is having difficulty falling asleep, you may want to reconsider having coffee.

Furthermore, different types of coffee beans have different amounts of caffeine.

For example, a 16 ounce coffee from Starbucks will have 330 milligrams caffeine whereas the same from Dunkin' Donuts will have 211 milligrams of caffeine.

Moms, as a rule of thumb, try to limit your caffeine intake to within 300 milligrams per day. As long as you maintain this, it should not cause any trouble for you or the baby.

At the same time, watch out for signs in your baby such as difficulty falling asleep or restlessness. If you notice these signs, then it's best to avoid coffee completely and see if your baby's behavior returns to normal.

Source: Pop Sugar

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore

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