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Can You Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding?

Nursing mothers often wonder whether you can drink coffee while breastfeeding safely. The concern with coffee and breastfeeding comes from the fact that mothers transfer vital nutrients and vitamins to babies through breastmilk. This natural process is normally beneficial, but when the caffeine contained in coffee is introduced to the mother’s diet, it leads to questions about whether moms can still enjoy their morning brew at all.

Is coffee safe while nursing?

In short, yes, you can still drink coffee while breastfeeding. However, it’s important for nursing mothers to limit how much caffeine is consumed. The safe limit of caffeine while breastfeeding is 300 mg, which equals out to about 2-3 cups of regular coffee a day. Nevertheless, it’s essential to keep an eye out for caffeine sensitivity symptoms while breastfeeding, because every baby has different sensitivity to caffeine. Below, we cover everything you need to know about drinking coffee and breastfeeding to ensure your baby is safe.

Is drinking coffee while breastfeeding dangerous?

Yes, drinking coffee while breastfeeding can be dangerous. Drinking more than 300mg of caffeine means more caffeine will pass through into your breast milk. That much caffeine poses risks to both you and your baby. When a nursing baby consumes too much caffeine, it becomes anxious and irritable and shows the same symptoms as colic. Paying attention to how many cups of coffee or tea you drink while breastfeeding is essential. Sticking to the recommended daily allowance of 300 mg of caffeine daily is considered safe.

How many cups of coffee can I have while breastfeeding?

Drinking 2-3 regular cups of coffee while breastfeeding is allowed. This recommendation balances out to 16-24 ounces, about 300 mg of caffeine. The FDA recommends that breastfeeding moms only consume about 16 ounces of coffee while breastfeeding, but if you go a little over that much, it won’t hurt your baby.

Does light or dark roast have more caffeine?

Neither light nor dark roast coffee has more caffeine. Many coffee drinkers ponder whether light or dark roast coffee has more caffeine when determining how much coffee is safe to enjoy while breastfeeding. However, there is no discernable difference in the caffeine content of light and dark coffee. A coffee that tastes stronger doesn’t necessarily have more caffeine.

Is it okay to drink decaf coffee when breastfeeding?

Yes, decaf coffee is perfectly safe to drink while breastfeeding. However, nursing mothers still need to keep the caffeine content in mind. Decaffeination removes the majority of caffeine in coffee, but eight ounces of decaf coffee still have 7 mg of caffeine. However, 7 mg is under the threshold of what is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume. You could drink 42 eight-ounce decaf coffee before reaching the recommended 300 mg breastfeeding threshold.

How bad is espresso while breastfeeding?

Espresso isn’t harmful to drink while breastfeeding as long as you keep your caffeine intake within the recommended range. A single ounce of espresso provides a whopping 64 mg of caffeine. That means restricting yourself to four shots of espresso per day. That’s because breastfeeding mothers need to stay at least 300 mg of caffeine daily.

How long after drinking coffee can I breastfeed?

You do not have to wait to breastfeed after drinking coffee. Scientists report that only a very limited amount of caffeine is passed through breast milk, making drinking coffee and breastfeeding safe.

Women who don’t want to have any caffeine in their breast milk will need to wait almost eight hours to breastfeed. The caffeine levels reach their peak in breast milk after 1-2 hours.

How long does caffeine stay in breast milk?

Caffeine stays in breast milk up to eight hours according to the NIH. However, you don’t have to wait eight hours to feed your baby. The trace amounts of caffeine in breast milk often have little or no impact on nursing babies. Instead, go ahead and breastfeed your baby. Should you notice any adverse symptoms, such as fussiness, give your little one pre-pumped milk next time.

Can coffee cause gas in breastfed babies?

Yes, coffee can cause gas in breastfed babies. Even though a small amount is excreted through breast milk, babies still ingest caffeine. A baby’s digestive system has more difficulty processing caffeine than adults, making it more likely to cause problems such as gas, bloating, and fussiness. Babies with caffeine sensitivity will usually get gas from drinking caffeine through breast milk.

Signs of caffeine sensitivity in infants

Infants commonly have a hard time digesting caffeine due to a mom drinking coffee while breastfeeding. However, some babies will have more severe symptoms due to caffeine sensitivity.

Six telling signs of caffeine sensitivity in infants to watch out for include the following.

  • Trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep
  • Irritability
  • Fussiness
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Poor feedings due to the baby not being able to settle down to eat

Signs of caffeine sensitivity will show up after a baby drinks breast milk with caffeine. Coffee is the most common culprit behind caffeine in breast milk, but it’s not the only one.

Five other food and drinks that have a high caffeine content are listed below.

  • Energy drinks
  • Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee-flavored foods often contain caffeine
  • Soda

If you eat or drink anything with caffeine and notice signs of caffeine sensitivity in your baby, it’s essential to eliminate caffeine from your diet.

Is it okay to drink coffee while breastfeeding?

Yes, you can drink coffee while physically breastfeeding. There’s nothing wrong with getting your morning dose of caffeine while feeding your little one! Caffeine takes 1-2 hours to be metabolized and makes its way into breast milk. So, if you drink coffee or tea while breastfeeding, the caffeine is unlikely to make it into your breast milk fast enough for your baby to wind up drinking caffeine.

Can I drink coffee while pumping?

Drinking coffee while pumping breast milk is perfectly safe. According to 2006 study for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, caffeine levels in breastfeeding moms peak one hour after consuming caffeine. If you’re done pumping breast milk within one hour, rest assured that a minimal amount of caffeine is making its way into your breast milk.

However, if you have a baby more sensitive to caffeine, you should wait until you’re done pumping to be on the safe side. Waiting guarantees that there is zero caffeine in your breast milk.

Can babies drink coffee?

No, it is not considered safe for babies to drink coffee. Babies who drink coffee cannot tolerate it as well as adults. Coffee makes them feel jittery and anxious and often leads to colic symptoms. It’s common for infants to have digestive problems, such as gas and bloating, after having caffeine. Babies that drink coffee will feel more awake and have a more challenging time falling asleep and staying asleep. 

The long-term effects of caffeine and coffee on kids are unknown, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving children under twelve caffeine. Additionally, giving children caffeine or coffee encourages a caffeine addiction. Not having caffeine will result in withdrawal symptoms, including a terrible headache and flu-like symptoms.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all children under twelve should avoid caffeine. After children reach twelve years old, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that caffeine is limited to 100mg daily until they are adults. That means your teenager must only drink one small cup of coffee daily.

Is it weird to put breast milk in coffee?

No, it is not weird to put breast milk in coffee. Numerous people have decided to try using their breast milk as creamer, including TV celebrity Lala Kent. Breast milk has a creamer-like consistency and is naturally sweet, making it the perfect option for anyone that is out of creamer for their morning coffee. Use either stored milk or express a small amount of milk to use as a coffee creamer.

Breast milk has more benefits than coffee creamer, making it a great idea to put breast milk in coffee. Breast milk is packed with prebiotics, antibiotics, and natural sugars that boost the immune system. There are also more nutritional benefits in breast milk for adults, but there is minimal research on the topic.

Is iced coffee with breast milk actually a thing?

Yes, Iced coffee with breast milk is a growing trend. Many people now make iced coffee at home using breast milk. However, you’re not going to find Starbucks breast milk lattes anywhere.

The concept of a Starbucks breast milk latte originated on Twitter, where a man accidentally ordered an iced latte with breast milk. Then, when he attempted to correct it, he kept accidentally saying breast milk.

The tweet says, “hi can I get an iced latte with breast milk? I mean breast milk, I mean breast milk. Sorry, I mean breast milk, I mean breast milk, I mean.” It received almost 10,000 retweets.

After that, the internet did its thing. Iced coffee with breast milk memes were shared on social media. Artists drew pictures of baristas with large breasts. Then, the trend was seen on YouTube and other video-sharing platforms as people attempted to order iced lattes with breast milk through the Starbucks drive-thru. However, massive chains using breast milk for creamer is not reasonably possible, and no one does that.