Drinking Caffeine While Breastfeeding: What are the side effects?
Are there side effects to drinking caffeine while breastfeeding?
So you’re a brand new mother and you have another thing to worry about: Are there side effects to drinking caffeine while breastfeeding? Well, good thing this has been investigated way back in 1979 by a couple of researchers who studied 5 breastfeeding mothers after given a standardized oral dose of caffeine. Here are their findings:
- Caffeine does appear rapidly in the breastmilk after being consumed by the nursing mother
- Caffeine appears after 15 minutes in breastmilk
- Peak concentrations of caffeine in breastmilk were attained 60 minutes after ingesting.
- Meaning, the highest concentration of caffeine in breastmilk reached its peak after 1 hour and then begins to decline.
- Not all caffeine ingested by the mother binds to breastmilk
- This particular study found that only 3.2% of caffeine ingested by the mother was found in the breastmilk.
How much coffee am I able to drink without having side effects to my baby?
- Caffeine does not change breast milk composition and may stimulate milk production.
- Caffeine consumption in moderate amounts during lactation has no measurable consequences on the newborn infant.
- Pregnant mothers should be advised to consume coffee and caffeinated beverages in moderation, more on this later.
Will my baby sleep if I’m nursing and drink caffeine?
So you drank coffee and you’re are actively nursing little Billy and you’re wondering, “will my little Billy sleep tonight?”
According to a study in 1985, researchers found that there was no difference in sleep time performance on infants when their mother did or did not consume caffeine. This debunks the myth that consuming coffee will keep your baby awake at night. Keep in mind, these mothers consumed 500mg of caffeine per day which just shy of two 16 ounce cups of coffee.
Wise words of caution on drinking caffeine and breastfeeding
Before you go on a coffee binge, here are some other tips to safely consume caffeine while breastfeeding:
- Caffeine clearance in newborn infants is very low so the drug stays in their system longer.
- Don’t consume more than 300mg caffeine per day which is less than 15 ounces of drip coffee.
- Consuming more than 15 ounces of coffee per day may decrease milk supply and may result in mild iron deficiency anemia in your nursing child.
Stay within those confines and you should be just fine! Keep up the good work mothers, you’re doing great! For all you coffee lovers, we recommend Kiro Coffee.