Can You Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding?


After going through 9 long and hard months of cutting back on some of your favorite food, you might now be wondering if you can go back to it all. The caffeine withdrawals may have started to kick in now that the hard part of avoiding coffee during pregnancy is over. But, as a breastfeeding mom, the concern now is whether it is safe to consume coffee still?

One can easily get away with a little bit of moderate caffeine intake during pregnancy. So, you must be wondering if continuing with the same small amounts of coffee while breastfeeding should be okay. Especially now that you have sleepless exhausting days and nights with a baby ahead of you.

Well, the short answer is, yes. You can safely consume caffeine even while breastfeeding your baby. However, we would not recommend rushing to make yourself a cup of coffee just yet. Although it is safe to consume, there is still much you need to know.

Is It Safe To Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding? The Long Answer

You don’t need to give up your guilty pleasure of coffee just yet. As long as you are cautious and conscious about your coffee intake you should be good. However, the key idea here is moderation. Especially if you were completely off anything caffeine during the pregnancy it is best to tread lightly and slowly.

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In such a case, what may seem the normal amount to you may not be the best for your baby. It is widely known that traces of the caffeine from your coffee do reach your baby through the breast milk. However, as long as you are drinking limited amounts, the amount that reaches the baby is too little to have any harmful impact.

Regardless, every baby is different. Some babies, especially newborns and premature babies, can be more sensitive to caffeine than others. This is because caffeine stays in a newborn’s body longer than in an older baby’s body. You can tell if your baby is sensitive if he or she starts fussing, gets hyper, or remains awake every time you breastfeed him after drinking coffee.

In this case, try to limit your coffee consumption and check for improvements in the baby’s behavior. If you have a Nespresso machine the pods it uses are an excellent way to manage the Nespresso caffeine content you’re consuming. Additionally, try to avoid drinking caffeine right before breastfeeding. Giving it a few hours could also be helpful.

What Is The Ideal Amount of Coffee That You Can Drink While Breastfeeding?

The ideal amount of coffee that you can consume depends on your baby’s sensitivity to caffeine. However, if typically drinking 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine in a day is considered to be within the safe zone.

For example, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, consuming 200 milligrams of caffeine during pregnancy is no big deal. This roughly makes about either two small cups of coffee or one 12 ounces cup. This amount can be safely consumed in a day. It is quite similar to the accepted quantity of coffee during pregnancy.

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On the other hand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deem 300 milligrams of caffeine consumption a safe amount for breastfeeding women. This makes about two to three cups of coffee in a day. While these are the standard amounts known to be within the safe range of coffee consumption, we suggest that you monitor your baby’s reaction yourself.

Are You Endangering Your Baby To Serious Risks By Drinking Coffee?

Drinking moderate to small amounts of coffee in a day will not cause any harm to your child. However, lookout for any signs that might show that your baby is more sensitive than usual. Your child can show the following symptoms if he or she is sensitive to caffeine:

  • becomes increasing restless or fussy
  • is difficult to calm and settle down
  • has trouble sleeping/ is awake for longer
  • remains hyperactive

Still, there is no need to panic in such a situation either. Any minor adverse symptoms can be easily fixed by reducing your coffee intake and making sure you drink coffee a few hours before breastfeeding. Observe your child to see how his symptoms reduce as you reduce your caffeine intake.

Breastfeeding does not have to mean you need to leave coffee for good. You can try out the most delicious coffee recipes at Espresso Coffee Time without regrets. In fact, a healthy amount of caffeine can be good for you in trying to keep up with the hectic routine with a baby.

can you drink coffee while breastfeeding

Should Breastfeeding Moms Consider ‘Pump and Dump’?

The process of pump and dump is exactly how it sounds. If the milk breastfeeding moms are producing at a certain time isn’t good for the baby they can use a breast pump to squeeze the milk out and dump it in a sink or somewhere else.

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However, for coffee, there is no reason for this drastic measure. You are already advised to lower your intake of coffee so 200 to 300 milligrams a day does not require you to pump and dump the breastmilk. Moderate amounts of coffee will not transfer a large amount of caffeine to the baby which could harm it.

However, if you do prefer being extra cautious there is no harm in that too. The only thing to remember is that you need to wait a few hours after pumping and dumping to be able to breastfeed again. About four hours should be enough to start feeding your baby again.

Concluding Thoughts

To conclude, breastfeeding moms can take a big sigh of relief. Pregnancy and breastfeeding don’t mean you will absolutely have to give up coffee. However, you will need to ensure that your intake is either little or moderate because the caffeine is ultimately reaching the baby. So, ascertain that the amount of it is so low that it barely has any effect on the child.

Still, keep an eye on your baby and the way it reacts to your breastfeeding post coffee consumption. If there are symptoms of sensitivity to coffee/caffeine, you need to start further reducing the coffee consumption.