Does Caffeine Affect Your Breast Milk?

November 18, 2016

Does Caffeine Affect Your Breast Milk?

The sleep deprivation and exhaustion of being a new mum can have you reaching for that coffee pick-me-up several times a day, just to survive! However if you are breastfeeding, you may be thinking twice about brewing your next cup, particularly if your baby has been particularly fussy. So does caffeine end up in your breast milk, and is it bad for your baby? We have the scoop!

Does caffeine end up in your breast milk?

Yes it does, in small amounts! Studies have shown that about 1% of the caffeine you consume will most likely end up in your breast milk, generally peaking about an hour after you consume it.

Is caffeine bad for baby’s health?

In small doses, caffeine is unlikely to cause any major issues for your baby. In higher doses however, you may start to notice the effects. But a couple of cups of coffee each day doesn’t tend to do harm.

How much is too much?

How much caffeine your baby can tolerate depends on his/her age, and individual tolerance levels. A newborn baby struggles to process caffeine, however as your baby approaches six months of age, their tolerance levels increase dramatically. So if your baby seems to not tolerate your caffeine intake when they are tiny, try and keep your caffeine levels to a minimum for the first couple of months, and then you may find you can increase the amount you consume as they grow older. Take note of when you consume caffeine, and monitor your baby’s demeanour to judge the effects.

How does excess caffeine affect babies?

An excess consumption of caffeine may result in a jittery, rather too alert baby, who may fuss a lot and struggle to settle down to sleep. So if your baby appears to be somewhat ‘wired’ and unable to settle or relax, you may want to re-think how much caffeine you consume. It can however be tricky to judge whether your caffeine is the source of your baby’s restlessness, so if in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

What about sources of caffeine other than coffee?

There are numerous sources of caffeine that you should also be aware of. Energy drinks tend to be some of the worst offenders, as they often contain large amounts of caffeine per serve. These may not be your best choice of beverage if you are breastfeeding. Coke or cola drinks are also high in caffeine and should be drunk in moderation. However caffeine can also be found in tea and – shock horror – chocolate! So if your baby appears to be really struggling with your caffeine intake, you might need to try cutting back on those items as well.

My baby is reacting to my caffeine intake – what do I do?

If you think there might be a pattern between your caffeine consumption and your baby’s irritability, it may be worthwhile cutting back to see if it helps. You may find it helpful to decrease your caffeine intake somewhat gradually, to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as headaches. It is also worth noting that it can take a week or two for symptoms to improve in your baby, so patience will be required to judge the result.

As a general rule, moderation is always best. Many babies will cope absolutely fine with the small amounts of caffeine that ends up in breast milk. Enjoying the occasional coffee with a friend, or relying on a morning pick-me-up shouldn’t wreak havoc on your baby and isn’t something you should feel guilty about. However large amounts of coffee or other caffeinated products could well cause issues, so if you do think your baby is reacting, try cutting back and see if it makes a difference. And if you are really worried, always consult your GP or maternal and child health nurse for advice.

Missing that extra hit of caffeine? Give yourself a caffeine-free lift with these great Peachymama clothing essentials


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Breastfeeding Blog

Out of the Mouths of Babes - How Sounds Become Words

June 23, 2017

Out of the Mouths of Babes - How Sounds Become Words

How do our little ones go from their very first sounds to something more definite and pronounced as their first words?

Continue Reading

Ten Top Tips for A Successful Road Trip With Your Baby

June 16, 2017

Ten Top Tips for A Successful Road Trip With Your Baby

Here are some ideas for you to use so that you can have a successful road trip with your baby.

Continue Reading

Why New Mums Love Gift Cards

June 14, 2017

Why New Mums Love Gift Cards

Come see what we have in store and use the Coupon Code PEACHYLOVEGIFT10 to get 10% off your next Gift Card order!

Continue Reading

Size Chart

So that you get an accurate measurement using our sizing chart make sure you wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust and hips. When measuring your bust it is recommended you wear your breastfeeding/nursing bra. 

If you’re not sure or need some help please don’t hesitate to call us on 1300 473 224 or email us here.

Please download the PDF version of our Sizing Chart here.

Simple Version

(Peachymama Sizes = Australian Sizes)

XS = 8-10

S = 10-12

M = 12-14

L = 14-16

Detailed Version