Can you drink coffee when you are breastfeeding? An expert weighs in
Remember sleep, mama?
You know, like a full, uninterrupted night of glorious sleep?
If you are a brand new mum, chances are you are feeling pretty darn exhausted most of the time, and what is the one thing we want to reach for when we can hardly keep our eyes open? That's right. Coffee.
However, what is the deal with coffee and breastfeeding anyway? There is so much conflicting advice out there, and it's hard to know what or who to believe. Some day it can mess with your milk supply, others claim it'll keep your baby wide awake all night (yikes!). But what is true and what is merely a myth? Here is what the HSE guidelines say:
"The recommended limit for breastfeeding mothers is 6 cups of tea or 2 cups of coffee a day. For filtered coffee, you should only have one cup a day.
Drinking more than this will not be harmful but may lead to a fussy baby who has difficulty settling. If you're having this problem, consider slowly switching to decaffeinated coffee or tea. This is best done slowly as suddenly cutting out caffeine may cause headaches."
In other words, drinking caffeine in moderate amounts most likely will not affect your baby. (Phew.)
Meaning, while it’s true that traces of caffeine can be found in breast milk, the amount that’s actually passed along to your baby is typically too small to have any negative effects.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should start your day with a triple espresso. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to caffeine and nursing.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “newborns and preterm infants are more sensitive to caffeine’s effects.” Therefore, nursing moms may want to consume lower amounts of caffeine in the first few days after their baby is born or if their infant is preterm.
Experts are pretty much in agreement that caffeine won't directly affect your milk supply, however, as some newborns and very young babies are sensitive to the tiny amount of caffeine they get through your breastmilk, this can lead to some fussiness and refusal to nurse, which again can cause a dip in supply.
All in all, mums, don't feel guilty for needing that latte first thing – it won't do your baby the slightest bit of harm.