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Think of your pregnant body as a vessel. A vessel through which a baby receives all of their nutrients and oxygen. A vessel that is the connection between everything you eat and drink and your growing little one. The vessel doesn’t close once the baby is born. Breastfeeding shares the same qualities of nutrient delivery as pregnancy. Your breastmilk is a direct reflection of your diet and overall intake. What does this mean? It means that caffeine may be off the menu (to a certain extent)...

When caffeine enters your bloodstream, a small amount can be passed along to your baby through your breastmilk. Most babies aren’t affected by this small amount of caffeine, but you may have a sensitive little one that may be extra fussy or wakeful after drinking milk with trace amounts of caffeine, whether from coffee, chocolate, tea, or energy drinks.

Now, you don’t have to give up your beloved cup of coffee completely. It’s just recommended to limit caffeine intake to around 200 mg daily while breastfeeding (the same protocol for the prenatal period). Above this amount, we see increased occurrence of nighttime wakefulness and irritability.

Remember, one cup of coffee is considered to be 8 oz, though our “bigger is better” tendencies result in a “cup” of coffee being much larger. Still, 8oz of coffee (depending on the strength) will contain about 100 mg of caffeine. With that said, we can assume that around 2, 8 oz cups of coffee daily is safe during lactation, keeping the side effects previously mentioned in mind.

Signs that a baby may be affected by your caffeine intake include changes in sleep patterns, irritability, and trouble staying asleep. If you notice signs that your baby is being affected by your caffeine intake, reduce as you see appropriate or work with Ava to find a safe amount that minimizes side effects..

So don’t be stressed about having to eliminate your glorious morning cup of coffee or tea. You can still enjoy caffeine-containing products while breastfeeding, but in moderation.

For more information regarding nutrition that supports breastfeeding and lactation, work with Ava by clicking this link.

Article written by intern, Jovanna, along with Nourish By Ava, LLC.


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