Coffee And Breastfeeding... Can you? Should you?

Coffee And Breastfeeding... Can you? Should you?

If you're a coffee drinker then you'll know there is nothing sweeter than that first cup of the day. For that matter, that second (and, ahem, sometimes third) cup is ALSO pretty darn delish.

But what about if you're a breastfeeding mum? Can you still enjoy your daily latte? 

Caffeine and breastfeeding: the facts

As a new breastfeeding mother, chances are good you'll be monitoring a lot of what you eat and drink. Chances are also good you'll be absolutely exhausted and, if you're a coffee drinker, desperate for a cup of the good stuff.

The good news? Moderate consumption of caffeine is deemed completely safe. The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) has this to say:

"Most breastfeeding mothers can consume a moderate amount of caffeine (eg a few cups of coffee each day) without it affecting their babies. Newborn babies however can be particularly sensitive to caffeine... because it can take a newborn baby a long time to process it." 

While a small percentage of caffeine may be passed through your breastmilk, chances are good that it won't have any effect on your bub.

A moderate amount

So what exactly is a 'moderate' amount of caffeine? It's important to remember that caffeine is present in other food and drink, alongside coffee. Black and green tea and chocolate are two culprits that spring to mind. 

A 'moderate' amount of caffeine is around 300 milligrams, approximately 2 cups of coffee, DEPENDING on what type and size you drink. The below table from the ABA goes into a little more detail

Caffeine content in common drinks and food 

Food

Caffeine level (mg)

Percolated coffee

60–120 mg/250 mL cup

Formulated caffeinated drinks / ‘Energy’ Drinks  

80 mg/250 mL can

Instant coffee (1 teaspoon/cup)

60–80 mg/250mL cup

Tea

10–50 mg/250mL cup

Coca Cola

48.75 mg/375 mL cup

Milk chocolate 20 mg/100 g bar
Green tea 35-70 mg/250mL cup

Take-away coffee

51-332 mg/serving3

 

This chart from Lavazza also gives a clearer idea how much caffeine might be in your favourite coffee drink.

How will I know if it impacts my bub?

Chances are good that your morning coffee will have minimal impact on your bub. It's also worth noting that many newborn behaviours such as being unsettled, sleeping poorly, colic or squirmy tummy are just that; newborn behaviours! If however, you notice that your baby becomes unhappy or jittery in the hours after drinking coffee, you could continue to observe and see if there is a link or if it's just a one off. Remember, you know your body and your baby best! 

For me personally, I drank coffee throughout breastfeeding all three of my kids with no ill effects. I did however stick to having my 1-2 cups of a morning and switching to herbal tea from lunchtime onwards. Lactation tea, like ProsperiTea Breastfeeding Tea is a fantastic, caffeine-free option that can also give your milk supply a little boost.

For more information about caffeine and breastfeeding, you can visit The Australian Breastfeeding Association.

Click HERE to check out our delish breastfeeding teas, cookies and shakes.

Photo of mother & baby curtesy of Haakaa