Can I have caffeine when I’m breastfeeding?


Those long days and sleepless nights have probably got you leaning pretty heavily on your morning (and mid-morning, lunchtime, afternoon) cuppa to get you through. But you might be wondering if it’s ok to have tea or coffee, or more specifically caffeine when you’re breastfeeding? The short answer is yes, it is generally safe to have caffeine when you are breastfeeding, but you do need to be mindful of how much you are consuming.

It is recommended that breastfeeding mothers do not exceed 200mg of caffeine per day when feeding your little ones.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association reports the following caffeine estimates in common foods and drinks 1,2:

  • Espresso coffee: 145 mg/50 mL shot
  • Formulated caffeinated drinks/‘Energy’ drinks: up to 80 mg/250 mL can
  • Instant coffee (1 teaspoon/cup): 60–80 mg/250mL cup
  • Tea: 10–50 mg/250mL cup
  • Coca Cola: up to 54 mg/375 mL cup
  • Milk chocolate: 20 mg/100 g bar
  • Takeaway coffee: 51–332 mg/serving3

Typically, most breastfeeding mothers can consume a small amount of caffeine per day without it affecting their baby too much. However you might find your newborn can be sensitive to caffeine, so if you notice this you might need to cut back or cut it out and see if that helps. By 3-4 months however, they should be better able to handle it.

Some mums find their babies continue to be sensitive to it even as they grow, noticing they are unsettled or have poor sleep when they consume any, or too much caffeine. And some mums will notice no changes at all. Whether or not to consume caffeine is a personal choice as to how it affects both you and your baby, so it might take some trial and error to work out how and when to safely consume a cup of tea or coffee around your baby’s feeds.

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