Coffee vs. Breastfeeding: Can I Drink Caffeine While Breastfeeding?
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, it might feel as though you’re giving up a lot of the things you love to eat and drink so your baby is healthy, but there are a few exceptions. If you’re used to having a few cups of coffee in the morning, you can still have it as long as you drink it in moderation. Most experts say that as long as you don’t consume over 300 mg of caffeine per day, both you and your baby should be fine.
Questions That Most Breastfeeding Moms Have About Caffeine
The first thing you need to learn about coffee is that the caffeine content in coffee can vary greatly. This means that if you’re breastfeeding, you should read the labels and take a look at the amount of caffeine that is in there. In many cases, 300 mg of caffeine is found in two to three cups of coffee, but that’s only if each cup is eight ounces in size. When you’re looking at the amount of caffeine in the coffee you drink, always determine the number according to the serving size so it’s accurate.
Keep in mind that some organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), recommend consuming a maximum of 200 mg of caffeine per day, not 300 mg. Naturally, the number is up to you, and you can also watch to see how your baby reacts so that you can adjust it accordingly.
Many breastfeeding moms also want to know, how long does caffeine stay in breast milk, and the answer is, between one and two hours. This means that you should wait for two hours or more after drinking your last cup of coffee before you breastfeed. By that time, most of the caffeine is out of your system and the baby’s, so neither of you should feel any negative effects at that point.
So, if you’ve always wanted to know, how long after drinking coffee can I breastfeed, it’s best to wait two to three hours at a minimum so that there is very little caffeine in the system. If you want a cup of coffee but it’s close to your baby’s next feeding, you might want to pump before you drink the coffee in case you drink it and your baby is hungry immediately afterwards.
Finally, if you’ve ever asked yourself, does caffeine in breast milk keep a baby awake, the answer depends on how much caffeine is in the baby’s system and the baby itself. The truth is, while most mothers can drink up to 300 mg of caffeine per day without it affecting the baby, others may need to stick with 200 mg per day because consuming a higher amount might affect their baby.
It’s best to keep track of how many milligrams per day of caffeine you’re consuming, then pay attention to your baby’s reaction in case you need to adjust the amount. Caffeine can indeed keep babies awake, but not all babies will react the same to caffeine.
What About Other Caffeine-Filled or High-Energy Drinks?
Since coffee has caffeine in it, including cold-brewed coffee, many breastfeeding moms are curious about other high-energy drinks, such as Red Bull and other energy drinks on the market right now. These types of drinks are a little different than coffee because there is a huge amount of both caffeine and sugar in most of them. This is why most doctors recommend not consuming any type of energy drinks while breastfeeding.
Energy drinks also have other ingredients that are unhealthy for both you and your baby, including:
- Too much vitamin B
- Ginseng, which can cause headaches and a host of digestive issues
- Taurine, an amino acid not safe for breastfeeding moms
- Guarana, which contains very high levels of caffeine
- Artificial sweeteners, which is unhealthy for both moms and babies
So if you’ve ever asked yourself, can I drink Red Bull while breastfeeding (or any other energy drink, for that matter), the answer is “no.” Doctors cannot make you stay away from these types of drinks, but in the long run, it is simply not worth it to drink them while you’re breastfeeding. The effect they have on both you and the baby just isn’t worth it in the end.
Not that it’s difficult to understand why breastfeeding moms are attracted to energy drinks. After all, breastfeeding can take a toll on your body if you let it. It can exhaust you, and grabbing an energy drink can feel like a great solution for this lack of energy. Nevertheless, there are a host of side effects that can affect both mom and baby, and these side effects can include tummy problems, dizziness, headaches, and so much more.
Nevertheless, if you consume one of these drinks and then ask yourself, how long after drinking an energy drink can I breastfeed, keep in mind that it usually takes one to two hours for the effects to go down because most of the ingredients have gone through your system by that point. That being said, you should wait as long as possible to breastfeed after you’ve consumed an energy drink, either because you forgot or you simply couldn’t resist.
If you’re breastfeeding and wish to enjoy a few cups of coffee, you can do so as long as your maximum caffeine intake is 200mg to 300 mg and no more. Energy drinks, however, are a no-no because there are too many unhealthy ingredients in them, which is bad for both you and your infant.
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