Can You Drink Coffee When Breastfeeding?

Have you recently given birth to a new baby and caught yourself longing to eat and drink the way you did before you got pregnant?

Are you concerned with the health of your baby depending on the substances you ingest while you’re nursing?

Can you drink coffee when breastfeeding your new baby?

Below, we’ll give you a quick look at what can happen when you consume coffee every day while you’re nursing your child. You’ll learn about the benefits of daily coffee intake as well as how to balance your coffee drinking with your breastfeeding sessions.

By the time you finish reading, you should have a solid idea of how much coffee, if any, you can enjoy while nursing. Let’s get started!

3 Ways a Cup of Coffee Can Help a Nursing Mom

can u drink coffee while breastfeeding

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Okay, so you’re a nursing mom. You’ve got a lot going on in your life, and a lot of things are changing almost every day. You might be tempted to reach for that cup of coffee first thing in the morning, especially if you’ve gotten used to everything coffee can do to help you out. After all, there are a lot of great benefits you can get from having a cup of coffee or even more every day. Here are just three of the good qualities of coffee you might be missing out on.

1. It’s good for your body. 

If you’re worried about keeping your body healthy and strong for your little one, you may be surprised to learn that coffee can actually make a pretty significant difference. It can help prevent some types of cancer, and it can even help you reduce the risk of stroke as you get older.

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2. It’s good for your mind. 

Some studies have shown that people who drink some coffee every day are less likely to develop dementia later in life. And once again, if you’re thinking about your future with your child, this may be a health benefit you’re interested in.

3. It’s good for your nerves—sometimes. 

If you’re the kind of person who’s used to having coffee every day, cutting it out during your pregnancy may have made you more irritable than usual. A healthy amount of coffee every day can help you improve your nerves and mood, but too much can actually have the reverse effect.

Of course, you don’t have to drink coffee if you choose not to. The health benefits of coffee drinking can usually be replicated with other types of healthy foods and snacks, and keeping up with regular doctor appointments can help you catch most of these ailments before they become a significant problem. You can certainly survive without coffee, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to—after your baby is born, anyway.

How Much Coffee Can a Nursing Mom Have Per Day?

Now you know a little bit more about what you can expect from regular coffee intake, but you may still be asking, “How much coffee can I drink while breastfeeding?” You may have heard some concerned parents telling you not to drink any coffee, and some others may have told you that you can have all the coffee you want. The true answer lies somewhere in the middle of these two options.

Espresso has less caffeine
  • You should limit your daily caffeine intake to 300mg or less while you’re nursing your baby. For traditional medium roast coffee, this equals out to about 2 eight-ounce cups of coffee per day (or one grande from Starbucks).

  • Espresso has less caffeine in it than brewed coffee does. One shot of espresso has about 75mg of caffeine. To put this into perspective, if that Starbucks grande coffee is actually a latte, it has two shots of espresso in it and will equal about half of your daily caffeine intake.

  • Iced coffee is more caffeinated than any other type of coffee. You can have one glass of iced coffee per day but should take care not to go over your caffeine intake with other drinks if you do so.

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    If you like to have coffee throughout your day instead of just once in the morning, try spreading out your intake over time. For example, you can have four total shots of espresso in a day. This equals out to about four 8-ounce lattes, so you can caffeinate yourself all day long if you’re careful about the timing.

Can Coffee Affect Your Breastmilk?

If you have coffee every day, is there a chance it can affect your breastmilk? The short answer is yes, but don’t throw away all your coffee just yet. There are a few situations in which coffee can affect your breastmilk and, in turn, your baby, but this doesn’t happen every time you drink a cup of coffee.

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  • Studies have shown that drinking more than 750mg of caffeine per day (or about three 8-ounce cups of brewed coffee) may cause babies to become irritable, fussy, cranky, or unable to sleep after a nursing session. This amount of caffeine being ingested in one day is too much and can be carried over to your baby through your breastmilk.

  • Although there is a prevailing myth that having too much caffeine can decrease your milk supply, there is no truth to this. The only way this could happen would be if your baby became too jittery from caffeine to nurse well, and the lack of nursing then caused your milk supply to dwindle. The caffeine itself, however, will not cause this.

Conclusion

We hope we’ve given you enough information to help you out so that the next time you try searching “can u drink coffee while breastfeeding” on your phone you won’t have to worry so much. It’s normal to be concerned about your caffeine intake while breastfeeding your baby, but as long as you keep track of how much caffeine you have in a day, you should have no trouble.

Remember that, if you have any further questions or concerns, you can always speak to your doctor or to your baby’s pediatrician to learn more.

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