Drinking Coffee While Breastfeeding: Does Caffeine Get Into Breast Milk?

Coffee is a highly consumed beverage. And because drink it to stay awake, breastfeeding mothers also consume coffee. But the question is, does caffeine get into breast milk?

Drinking Coffee While Breastfeeding

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages we have on planet earth. Almost everyone drinks coffee every morning, and some people consume as much as 3-5 cups of coffee a day. Well, many people have become so dependent on coffee because of the effect it has on the body. That’s why even when some women get pregnant or give birth, they wouldn’t be able to stop taking coffee. The question though is if it’s safe for pregnant and lactating women to consume coffee. That’s why we will be looking at the question does caffeine gets into breast milk. Would there be a problem when you consume coffee when you’re breastfeeding

There are a lot of things that come with consuming coffee. Coffee has so many effects on the body. That’s why you should consume moderately. At the same time, don’t be too dependent on coffee. In this article, we will be looking at the effects of consuming caffeine while breastfeeding. 

Drinking Coffee While Breastfeeding

One thing mothers can tell you is that being pregnant is no joke. And even when you start breastfeeding, it can be a lot of work and stress. Babies have irregular sleep patterns at first, and a mother would have to stay awake throughout the night to breastfeed her baby. That can be quite exhausting if you ask. And because of this, some breastfeeding mothers opt for coffee or any other beverage that contains caffeine to stay awake at night.

The thing though, is that many mothers are scared of the effects that coffee can have on their bodies while breastfeeding. They are also worried if it would go into the breastmilk and then have an effect on the baby. 

The truth is that many mothers have been constantly told to get rid of coffee when they start breastfeeding. And that’s because it could pass into the breast milk. And this could affect the baby. But this isn’t true. 

When caffeine gets into the body, it needs to metabolize before it is distributed to different parts of the body. So when you consume coffee, metabolism first takes place and with that, just a little amount would be able to reach the breast milk. That little amount would have little or no effect on the baby. 

The thing though is that breastfeeding mothers must learn to reduce their consumption of coffee. You should not consume more than 2-3 cups of coffee in a single day. Even though taking more than 3 cups would most likely still not harm the baby, there’s a certain amount that would cause certain symptoms. It could cause jitteriness and fussiness in the baby. 

The level of caffeine in the body gets to its peak after 1-2 hours. So if you breastfeed your child during this period you might want to look out for any symptoms in your baby. This would give you an idea of if caffeine gets into the breast milk and affects the baby. 

Common Caffeine Sources to Be Careful Of 

Take note that there are many other sources of caffeine. Coffee happens to be one of the most consumed sources.

Some other sources are: 

  • Cola drinks 
  • Energy drinks 
  • Cocoa products such as chocolate 
  • Green, black or white tea 

Ways to Manage Coffee Intake 

So for many mothers avoiding coffee while breastfeeding seems to be mission impossible. So to help out we will be talking about some ways to manage your intake of caffeine in general. 

  • Be observant: So it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take coffee or any other caffeinated drink in moderation. Just make sure that you are observant. Check for any changes in the baby. Some babies are sensitive to coffee. They would become restless and fussy when they take breast milk with a lot of caffeine in it. If you notice that, then you might have to stop taking coffee for a while. 
  • It’s okay to consume in moderation: We all know that breastfeeding comes with its challenges. And most times, mothers have to stay awake to breastfeed the child. Make sure that you consume in moderation. Take as little as you can. But even when doing this, make sure you don’t feel guilty for doing it. 
  • Take caffeine hours before you breastfeed: Well, this might not be as easy as it sounds since babies eat frequently. You can target how often your baby eats. And then try to breastfeed before you take the caffeine. To make things easier, you can do a pumping session. Then give your baby breast milk free of caffeine while you allow the level of caffeine in your body to reduce. 
  • Premature or ill babies: If your baby isn’t doing so well in terms of health, then you might have to talk to the doctor about this. That’s because you don’t want to worsen the condition of the baby. Just make sure that the doctor tells you it’s okay to take coffee or any other caffeinated drink. That’s the only way you can be sure that you wouldn’t harm your baby. 

Does caffeine get into the breast milk? Well, the answer to this is yes. But just a little percentage gets into the breast milk. About 1% of the caffeine in your body would go into the breast milk. But even at that moderation should be in check. Make sure you avoid any problems while consuming it moderately. That’s the best way to be sure that your baby is safe. 

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