Caffeine and Breastfeeding

Caffeine and Breastfeeding

 

Many new moms are wondering if it is safe to drink caffeine while breastfeeding. The answer may be a little different for everyone. If you drink coffee or soda pop and are breastfeeding, the caffeine that you ingest does come out in your breast milk. The levels of caffeine extracted into the breast milk vary depending on how much you take in. The more caffeine you drink, the more your baby may be affected.

How Much?

Drinking caffeine in moderation is safe for the baby. Caffeine is extracted into the breast milk. Most babies will not be affected by the small amount of caffeine, but some babies can be affected by it. The babies that are most likely to be affected by it are the newborns. Once the baby gets a little bit older, and can more easily digest the milk, the baby may be more able to tolerate the caffeine. Since the baby is so small it can affect them more than it does an adult.

For those mothers who avoided drinking caffeine during their pregnancy, their babies may be more sensitive to the caffeine intake. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the baby is exposed to whatever the mom eats. Some babies may be used to a little caffeine if the mom drank caffeine during the pregnancy.

It is not recommended to drink over 300 mg of caffeine a day while breastfeeding. It is not recommended to drink energy drinks while breastfeeding since many of the energy drinks contain over 300 mg of caffeine in 1 dose.

Caffeine and Milk

There is no need to worry about caffeine decreasing your milk supply. Drinking caffeine has not been shown to decrease the amount of milk that a mother produces. This is good news for the late nights when you need something to get you up and going in the morning.

Alternatives to Drinking Caffeine

If your baby does have a hard time digesting the caffeine, or is just fussy, there are a couple of options to try. Try switching to decaff. This may not solve the problem of getting you up and going, but it still lets you have your coffee. Plus, if it helps the baby to sleep better at night, you may not need the caffeine as much. Another option if you need to drink your coffee or soda to survive--try to drink it after you have fed your baby. This may give the caffeine a little extra time to get out of your system before feeding time again. Drinking water after you have had your coffee may also help to reduce the amount of caffeine that is exposed to the baby.

If you are a breastfeeding mother, your baby may or may not be affected by your caffeine intake. If your baby seems to be fussy all the time, try cutting back on the amount of caffeine you take in and see if it helps.