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Can you drink coffee when you are breastfeeding?

December 19, 2010

When Baby R was in my tummy, I was really good and refrained from coffee, soda and alcohol. Now that she is “out”, I cannot stand it anymore. One of the first things I asked for after my delivery was a cup of coffee to go with my breakfast. But can a breastfeeding mum drink coffee?

Breastfeeding and Coffee

The good news is: you can! Generally, a baby will not be adversely affected if the breastfeeding mum drinks less than 5-oz cups of coffee or 500 mg / day. As a comparison, a cup of starbucks coffee (short) is about 8-oz. That means a small cup of coffee a day will not affect the baby much. Of course, every baby is different. So it is best to drink a little and observe your baby to see if there are any effects at all.

What are the signs?

The signs of a baby who is over-stimulated by caffeine includes:

  • Wide-eyes
  • Unable to sleep for long
  • Difficulty in falling alseep
  • Unusual fussiness

Quite commonsensical actually. The baby behaves exactly like an adult who drinks too much coffee. You know that dreadful feeling when you are dead tired but you somehow cannot make  yourself go to sleep?

But when the baby can’t sleep, it is the parent that suffers! So beware, and start small. Drink a small amount of coffee first and observe the effects.

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