During pregnancy expectant mothers are advised to limit caffeine intake. But what happens next? Are coffee and breastfeeding compatible?
Throughout this article we will answer this question, one of the most frequent among those moms who need coffee to wake up in the morning, or to not fall asleep throughout the day.
The first thing you should know is that caffeine from both coffee and soft drinks can reach the baby through breast milk . But it is necessary to ingest high doses for this to affect the baby, since it is estimated that an infant can get between 7 and 10% of the amount of caffeine ingested by the mother.
COFFEE AND LACTATION: MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED DOSES
According to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics , if the mother consumes more than three cups of coffee a day, the baby may be irritable and suffer from insomnia. However, the presence of symptoms depends on the sensitivity of each child. There are those who with less than three cups are already affected.
Another aspect to take into account to determine if coffee and breastfeeding are compatible is the time you drink coffee. If you are afraid that it may affect your child, try to take it right after feeding so that some of the caffeine has been eliminated when he nurses again. Keep in mind that the maximum concentration peak appears an hour or an hour and a half after having had a coffee, so that time interval should not coincide with the intake.
It is also good that you know that our body takes about four or five hours to eliminate caffeine. So you can do calculations so that at the time of taking there is hardly any trace of that substance left in your milk.
COFFEE AND LACTATION: AN EXCESS CAN CAUSE ANEMIA
The American Academy of Pediatrics , for its part, considers caffeine a safe drink for breastfeeding . But he points out saying that only if consumed in moderation. It establishes possible side effects from 300 mg per day and relates the consumption of half a liter of coffee or more daily with anemia and iron deficiency in both mothers and infants. Check out our parenting site for more and great ideas for your new born.
To give you an idea of the amount of caffeine that drinks and foods contain, we will give you some examples:
- A cup of coffee: between 60 and 80 mg of caffeine.
- A cup of tea: between 20 and 30 mg (15 mg green tea).
- A liter of chocolate: between 5 and 10 mg.
- A soft drink: between 100 and 150 mg.
- An energy drink: between 300 and 800 mg.
This means that with two coffees and a cola you already exceed the recommended 300 mg daily. For newborns and premature babies, the amount should be less because they metabolize caffeine more slowly.
MEDICAL STUDIES ON COFFEE AND LACTATION
If you need more opinions, you can take a look at this study published in its day in the journal “Pediatrics” . For its realization, 900 mothers who were breastfeeding their children and who drank coffee were taken as a sample. The conclusion that was drawn is that the sleep of the little ones did not vary if their mother drank one or two cups of coffee a day.
That said, it seems logical that moderate coffee consumption while breastfeeding does not have to affect the baby. However, if you are breastfeeding your child and you notice that he is not sleeping or is very irritable, try cutting out caffeine for a few days. This way you will be able to know if this state is due to the coffee you drink or, simply, your child does not sleep because he is a baby and as such it is normal for him to wake up several times during the night.