In our caffeine during breastfeeding guide:
- Breastfeeding and caffeine effects for nursing mothers (breastfeeding mother risks)
- How much is too much of caffeine during lactation (breastfeeding caffeine limit)
- Caffeine and breastfed babies (SIDS, Apnea)
- Effect of caffeine ingested by nursing mother on their breastfed baby sleep
- Breast milk and caffeine, How much and How long?
- Decaffeinated beverage intake and breastfeeding (caffeine free soda, tea, and coffee)
- How to calculate caffeine in each food or drinks?
- Too much caffeine during lactation “caffeine jitters.”
Breastfeeding and drinking caffeine: The opposite feelings
When any breastfeeding mom catches her daily cup of coffee, two opposite feelings would be shown up:
1- It is time to receive her daily dose of joy and happiness.
Medically, it is entirely right. Caffeine will stimulate the dopamine secretion in your brain. Indeed, Dopamine is the brain chemical of euphoria.
2- She is feeling distressed, as she knows that caffeine would affect her breastfed baby negatively.
For sure, caffeine passes from mom to her breast milk. Your baby would get his caffeine through his daily meal while breastfeeding sessions.
We aim to define the relation between caffeine and breastfeeding with evidence-based recommendation
Let us make it clear-cut for you:
“Caffeine is merely safe for nursing mom to drink, either before or after breastfeeding sessions.”
Breastfeeding is full of misinformation when it comes to what to eat or drink during the lactation period. Additionally, caffeine is the most frequently ingested pharmacologically active substance in the world.
How much time does caffeine take to reach breast milk?
It appears very fast – within 15 min– to reach both mom serum and breast milk. Add on; it reaches the maximum concentration within 1 hour.
The good news
- It was noted that 25 % of consumed caffeine is found in mom serum. And only 1.5 % of mom’s caffeine is found in breast milk (in some studies it reached up to 3.2 %)
For example, You had a cup of coffee which contains 75 mg caffeine. So, the maximum amount that reaches your breastfed baby would be from 2.4 mg.
(By the way, caffeine binding is associated with the fatty layer of the breast milk)
Does caffeine intake while breastfeeding has any side effects for mom?
Within the moderate caffeine intake (300-400 mg/ day of caffeine), it was found that:
- No effect on heartbeats or cardiovascular system for the nursing mom.
- Caffeine does not change breast milk composition.
- Also, no toxicity or effects on bone status, calcium balance.
- Even the behavioral state was not affected.
How much caffeine could I take per day while breastfeeding?
The moderate intake would not cause any hurt. Furthermore, some studies tried up to 800 mg/ day, and it was safe for nursing mom and their breastfed babies.
We recommend sticking to the safest limit of 300 mg/day.
Not only that but watch your breastfed baby always for any undesirable changes in the case of increased caffeine intake.
Is there any relation between caffeine intake and SIDS?
SIDS = Sudden Infant Death Syndrome due to unknown causes, especially at the first 6 months of baby’s age.
It is obvious that caffeine intake by mothers during or after pregnancy was not found to be a cause of SIDS. Source
Actually, caffeine is used as a treatment for infant apnea. Source
Could the caffeine in breast milk influence my breastfed baby sleep?
To answer this question about caffeine and baby sleep while breastfeeding, we should look at a solid evidence-based study.
885 breastfed babies who were tested before birth and up to 3 months after delivery.
The result: babies who their moms are heavy in caffeine intake may be affected regarding the sleep and the arousal. That being said but the chances are low (13.8%), even in the case of heavy consumers.
Heavy consumers = more than 300-400 mg caffeine per day
Pay attention During the nighttime; your baby arouses naturally more than once (3 times per night). Hence, don’t overestimate the caffeine role.
Breastfeeding and caffeine: breast milk supply, any effects?
- Increase breast milk supply. Source
- Decrease milk supply “Indirect.” That happened in case of hyperstimulation of your breastfed baby due to the small amount of caffeine in your breast milk. Thus, your irritated breastfed baby may nurse less which affect your breast milk negatively.
Can nursing mom get decaf coffee while breastfeeding?
Absolutely yes. Even more, according to a study, up to 5 cups of decaffeinated coffee are consumed per day.
And the result no noticeable effects on both heart rate or sleep time. Infants serum did not contain detectable amounts of caffeine.
So, nursing mothers are safe to consume:
- Caffeine free soda/caffeine free diet coke.
- Caffeine free tea/green tea.
How can I calculate the amount of caffeine per each drink?
We had done some online researches and found that caffeine calculator is the best. Just enter the drink and your weight then, you would be provided with the maximum limit of drinks per day.
Breastfeeding and too much caffeine
Although caffeine intake while breastfeeding seems to be safe, some bodies react differently to caffeine intake.
You should watch yourself for too much caffeine and breastfeeding symptoms:
1-Annoying increase in your heart rate after several shots of caffeine.
2-Be jittery or nervous or hyperstimulated for an event more than the usual.
3- If you sweat more than usual where caffeine may elevate your adrenaline level.
Conclusion Check the previous symptoms to know if you are consuming too much caffeine while breastfeeding.
Caffeine and breastfed baby spitting up and acid reflux
Either with or without caffeine intake, spitting up is something normal and cause no pain to your breastfed baby.
But if your baby is diagnosed with GERD ” Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease” you should eliminate or cut your caffeine from your diet as a nursing mother.
In adults, caffeine is excluded from the diet of people who suffer from acid reflux. So, in case of your breastfed newborn, you should do the same.
- The majority of clinical studies concluded that caffeine intake during breastfeeding is considered safe up to 300 mg/day.
- Also, caffeine is a safe drug “injection” in case of infant apnea.
- There is a trace amount of caffeine found in your breast milk. This little amount is not harmful to your breastfed baby.
- Some breastfed babies are more sensitive to the least amount of caffeine. As a result, you should watch your breastfed baby for:
- Sleeping patterns, irritation, or refusing to nurse
- Vomiting, gases, or acid reflux
- For nursing mothers, your body would alarm you in the case of consuming too much caffeine “heart rate, tremors, sweating.”
- All diet and beverages that are caffeine-free are safe during lactation.
- Caffeine effect to your breast milk supply is minute either direct increase of indirect decrease on your milk. No effect of caffeine on the composition of your breast milk.