If we were allowed to write prescriptions, we would definitely hand out ‘scrips for a “cuppa joe” each morning to mamas who love (and NEED) it!  Let’s get right into it: Most research suggests that it is perfectly safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume caffeine in moderate, preferably small, amounts while breastfeeding. While the caffeine that mother consumes does make its way into breastmilk, the amounts are so low that in most cases it does not effect baby.

We ALWAYS recommend starting slow, maybe a 1/2 cup, and observing baby’s behavior. Infants under 6 months may be more sensitive to caffeine than older babies. Mothers who avoided caffeine during pregnancy may have a more sensitive reaction to caffeine during the postpartum period.

Interesting read from Kellymom.com , “Per Medications and Mother’s Milk (Hale 2017, p. 139-140) caffeine is in Lactation Risk Category L2 (safer); milk levels are quite low (0.06-1.5% of maternal dose) and usually peak 1-2 hours after ingestion. One study has indicated that chronic coffee drinking might decrease iron content of breastmilk (Nehlig & Debry, 1994).

The American Academy of Pediatrics has classified caffeine as a “Maternal Medication Usually Compatible with Breastfeeding.” Caffeine is given directly to premature babies (as a treatment for breathing problems) in much higher levels than than those generally found in the breastmilk of mothers who consume caffeine.” Remember that things like chocolate, tea, and even decaf coffee have enough caffeine to cause reaction for some babies. If baby is having a reaction to caffeine they may be more active, wide eyed, alert or fussy. Of course if your infant shows any signs of sensitivity, physicians may recommend abstaining from any type of caffeine while breastfeeding. If you are feeling like you are “missing out” on any of your old favorites that you enjoyed pre-pregnancy, ask your physician!

Don’t deprive yourself!

These awesome ceramic coffee mugs are made by @tankturner (via Instagram at @breastfeedingart)