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The Ultimate Guide To Caffeine While Breastfeeding

The Ultimate Guide To Caffeine While Breastfeeding

Nov 21, 2019

Alright, mamas. Listen up! Today, we’re talking about one of the biggest topics of all time: caffeine and breastfeeding. As moms, we’re running a million different places each day. But even if we’re just in the comfort of our own home, we’re still thinking of all the things we need to do. It’s an endless cycle of “busy” and sometimes, we just need a little help from our dear friend, Caffeine.

We constantly get asked questions about caffeine and breastfeeding (ie: can I drink coffee while breastfeeding?) and thought we’d put together all our most asked questions in one place. So, without further ado, let’s hop into the discussion of caffeine vs. breastfeeding. 

 

6 Commonly Asked Questions about Caffeine and Breastfeeding

1. Can I have caffeine while breastfeeding?

The short answer is yes, in moderation. Whether your weapon of choice for caffeine is coffee, tea, or soda, like most things, caffeine is safe to consume while breastfeeding as long as it is in moderation.  

2. Does caffeine affect my milk supply?

According to a maternal food while breastfeeding study, although caffeine does travel through to breast milk, the amount transferred is approximately less than 1% of the amount of caffeine the mother consumed.

3. How much caffeine can I drink while breastfeeding?

Low to moderate amounts of caffeine is safe for the mother to consume while breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends limiting the amount of caffeine or coffee while breastfeeding to 300 milligrams per day, which equates to about 2-3 cups of coffee per day. 

Caffeine levels in breast milk are said to be the highest 1-2 hours after consumption. For extra precaution, mothers can choose to drink a moderate amount of caffeine and wait 1-2 hours before breastfeeding their infant.

4. Does caffeine affect my baby while breastfeeding? What side effects of caffeine should I look out for?

High caffeine intake (10 cups of coffee or more per day) has been shown to affect infants while breastfeeding. Caffeine side effects in a baby while breastfeeding include irritability, jitteriness, and disrupted and poor sleeping habits.

If you think caffeine is affecting your baby, keep a watchful eye on their behaviors after drinking coffee and breastfeeding. If you notice increased irritability or lack of appetite, try eliminating coffee or your usual caffeine source and see if your baby’s behaviors change.

5. Can caffeine decrease my milk supply?

There is no official research that shows caffeine decreases your milk supply. However, there may be correlated reasons that could lead to a slight decrease in milk supply. If you drink high amounts of caffeine (10 cups of coffee per day), it could cause a restless baby. A restless, jittery baby may not want to eat, lowering the amount of breast milk they consume, which could later lead to a decrease in breast milk production.

Caffeine also tends to dehydrate the body, which could slightly affect the amount of breast milk produced. To counter this, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water before and after drinking anything with caffeine.

6. What are some caffeine or coffee alternatives while breastfeeding?

When you’re sleep deprived and balancing the role of new mother, we need all the energy we can get! But if you’re looking for caffeine or coffee alternatives while breastfeeding, here are some of the best options out there:

Chocolate:

  • If you need a little zhuzh of energy, eat some chocolate! There is a small amount of caffeine in chocolate and if you choose to nosh on dark chocolate, you can have added health benefits through the antioxidants found in dark chocolate.

Water or Coconut Water: 

  • Never underestimate the power of proper hydration! Being dehydrated can lead to feelings of fatigue and lack of energy. Hydration is always important, but is increasingly important for nursing mothers to maintain their energy and milk supply. If you find drinking plain water is difficult for you, try out a refreshing coconut water to maintain your hydration levels.

Matcha: 

  • In contrast to the jitters you get from coffee, drinking matcha (or powdered green tea leaves) will give you the feeling of being alert without the jitters and crash that caffeine sometimes has. Another plus? Matcha has antioxidant properties so you can feel alert and help your body stay in pristine condition.

Maca: 

  • Not to be confused with our similar-sounding friend, Matcha. Often used in powder form, maca is said to balance hormones, boost mental function and libido, and can help increase energy.

Proper Nutrition: 

  • Our bodies, while tough, require maintenance and the proper nutrition to keep us going throughout the day. If you find it hard to get your daily recommended intake of nutrients, try adding a supplement into your diet. Majka’s Nourishing Lactation Protein Powder helps postpartum mothers get the nutrition and lactation support they need to be the superwomen they truly are.

Turmeric Latte: 

  • Can’t get the day started without a cup of something but want a coffee alternative while breastfeeding? Try our no-coffee turmeric latte! You’ll still get the satisfaction of a hot beverage with all the benefits of turmeric (reduced inflammation, antioxidant properties, and improved brain function) with the frothy goodness of almond milk.


Caffeine isn’t an enemy while breastfeeding. As long as you’re drinking your coffee or sipping that tea in moderation, getting your caffeine fix while breastfeeding is perfectly fine—so, stay calm and sip on, mama!

 

SOURCES

Bonyata, Kelly. “Breastfeeding and Caffeine.” Kellymom. https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/lifestyle/caffeine/#milksupply.

Jeong, Goun, “Maternal Food Restrictions During Breastfeeding.” NCBI. 27 March 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5383635/.

Langford, Rhiannon. “Coffee Alternatives For Breastfeeding Moms.” Majka. 1 May 2019, https://lovemajka.com/blogs/blog/coffee-alternatives-for-breastfeeding-moms.

“Maternal Diet.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/maternal-diet.html.

Mendes, Carly. “Coffee Alternatives For The Sleep Deprived Mother.” Ergobaby. 22 Nov. 2016, https://ergobaby.com/blog/2016/11/coffee-alternatives-for-the-sleep-deprived-mother/ 

Weatherspoon, Deborah. “Is It Safe To Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding?” Healthline. 28 Oct. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/coffee-and-breastfeeding#side-effects-in-baby.

Villines, Zawn. “Can You Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding?” Medical News Today. 17 Aug. 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322805.php#risks-and-benefits.

 

Check out these blog posts for coffee recipes and coffee alternatives that will help boost your energy as a new mom!

What do you do to keep your energy levels up as a new mom? Let us know in the comments below! Follow us @lovemajka #lovemajka #fuelingmotherhood!

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