Reviewed by: Dr. Peter Waldstein
Bringing a newborn into the world means introducing many lifestyle changes. For most parents, that means getting used to new sleep schedules and sometimes relying on caffeine to stay energized throughout the day. While adjusting to this new hectic schedule, many new mothers wonder if it’s still safe to drink coffee while breastfeeding their little ones. That’s where we come in! We’re here to help you uncover if it’s safe to drink coffee while breastfeeding so you can make the right decision for your family.
Is it safe to have coffee or tea while breastfeeding?
After 9 months without enjoying your morning cup of coffee, it’s difficult to imagine weaning off of your favorite daily pick-me-up for much longer. The good news is that experts agree that having a small amount of caffeine in moderation is not harmful to your baby during the breastfeeding journey.
While it’s true that a little caffeine here and there isn’t harmful, it’s still important to keep in mind that a small amount can be passed on to your baby through breast milk. While this doesn’t affect most babies, you may notice that some sensitive little ones will be extra fussy or awake after drinking milk with traces of caffeine in it. With this in mind, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women limit their caffeine consumption to less than 200 mg (about two, six-ounce cups) per day. It’s all about moderation.
If you’re still worried about the effects of caffeine in your breast milk, keep reading to learn more about what you can expect so you can make the right decision for you and your baby.
Signs that caffeine intake is affecting your baby
Every newborn is different. When drinking coffee or tea, you may notice changes in your baby’s behavior. Some babies may not be affected, while others may react to the presence of caffeine in breast milk. If you’re worried about your caffeine intake and how it affects your baby, keep the following common side effects in mind:
- Increased fussiness and irritability
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
If you’re noticing that your baby is showing many or all of the above characteristics, contact your healthcare provider, be open about your caffeine intake, and find out what could be the cause so you can find the right solution for your little one.
How much caffeine can you have while breastfeeding?
As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional. Currently, experts recommend having up to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women limit their caffeine consumption to less than 200 mg (about two, six-ounce cups) per day. Research shows that drinking this amount of coffee per day is not likely to cause harm to your little one.
If you’re noticing that your baby is extra fussy and that you’re drinking more than three cups of coffee per day, consult with your healthcare provider to see if this is a key contributor to their change in behavior or mood. Overall, excessive caffeine consumption is generally frowned upon as it can have negative effects on moms as well, such as feelings of anxiety, insomnia, jitters, rapid heart rate, dizziness, etc.
What’s the bottom line?
While nobody needs more of an energy boost than new moms, caffeine should be used as a pick-me-up in moderation — especially for moms who are breastfeeding. It’s important to keep in mind the amount of caffeine that is safe to consume daily and consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.
At Emulait, we’re here to help new parents navigate their feeding journey. We recognize the importance of how much what we consume affects our newborns. While coffee and tea can help give new moms an extra boost of energy to tackle the day, it’s important to keep an eye on how much caffeine you’re consuming while breastfeeding your little one. Moderation is key. Keep an eye on how your baby reacts to caffeine while you’re breastfeeding and head on over to our blog to learn more.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always consult a medical professional or healthcare provided for any medical advice, diagnoses, treatment, or health objectives.