That is one of those myths that many mothers believe are true—unless the mother eat healthy, her breast milk is no better than infant formula, or if the mother drink coffee or tea, her milk does more harm to the babies than formula.
The truth is, however, it is safe to have caffeine while breastfeeding as long as the mother doesn’t over do it. When caffeine enters the mother’s bloodstream, a small amount of it, usually less than 1 percent, ends up in her breast milk. The caffeine amount in her milk peaks a couple of hours after she consume it.
Since a newborn’s body can’t easily break down and get rid of the caffeine, it may accumulate in his system. At about three months, the baby will begin to process caffeine more efficiently, and over time it will become easier and easier for hime to excrete it.
Experts say that a moderate amount of caffeine, which means no more than 300 milligrams per day, or the amount in about 16 ounces of brewed coffee, is fine for nursing moms and should cause no changes in most babies’ behavior. Only when mother drinking more than two or three cups of coffee a day could cause the baby to become irritable, jittery, or agitated.
Many foods contain caffeine, coffee is one, obviously. The amount of caffeine in a serving of coffee varies widely, depending on the type of bean, how it’s roasted, how it’s brewed, and, of course, on the size of the coffee cup. For example, although espresso contains more caffeine per ounce, it’s served in a tint cup, so a full cup of brewed coffee will deliver more caffeine.
To manage the caffeine intake, a mother need to be aware of other sources, like tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and coffee ice cream. Caffeine also shows up in herbal products and over-the-counter drugs, including some headache, cold, and allergy remedies. So read the label carefully.
Below is a chart of amount of caffeine in common beverages, courtesybabycenter.com.
|coffee, generic brewed||8 oz||95-200 mg|
|coffee, Starbucks brewed||16 oz (grande)||330 mg|
|coffee, Dunkin' Donuts brewed||16 oz||211 mg|
|caffé latte, misto, or cappuccino, Starbucks||16 oz (grande)||150 mg|
|caffé latte, misto, or cappuccino, Starbucks||12 oz (tall)||75 mg|
|espresso, Starbucks||1 oz (1 shot )||75 mg|
|espresso, generic||1 oz (1 shot)||64 mg|
|coffee, generic instant||1 tsp granules||31 mg|
|coffee, generic decaffeinated||8 oz||2 mg|
|black tea, brewed||8 oz||47 mg|
|green tea, brewed||8 oz||25 mg|
|black tea, decaffeinated||8 oz||2 mg|
|Starbucks Tazo Chai Tea latte||16 oz (grande)||95 mg|
|instant tea, unsweetened||1 tsp powder||26 mg|
|Snapple||16 oz||42 mg|
|Lipton Brisk iced tea||12 oz||5 mg|
|Coke||12 oz||35 mg|
|Diet Coke||12 oz||47 mg|
|Pepsi||12 oz||38 mg|
|Diet Pepsi||12 oz||36 mg|
|Jolt Cola||12 oz||72 mg|
|Mountain Dew||12 oz||54 mg|
|7-Up||12 oz||0 mg|
|Sierra Mist||12 oz||0 mg|
|Sprite||12 oz||0 mg|
|Red Bull||8.3 oz||77 mg|
|SoBe Essential Energy, berry or orange||8 oz||48 mg|
|5-Hour Energy||2 oz||138 mg|
|dark chocolate (70-85% cacao solids)||1 oz||23 mg|
|milk chocolate||1.55-oz||9 mg|
|coffee ice cream or frozen yogurt||8 oz||2 mg|
|hot cocoa||8 oz||8-12 mg|
|chocolate chips, semisweet||4 oz||53 mg|
|chocolate milk||8 oz||5-8 mg|
|My last coffee. Photo taken 2 weeks before I found being pregnant.|
Related to this article: 17 Effects of Caffeine on the Body