One of the biggest ironies of parenthood: the time when you most need coffee is the time it is restricted.
Caffeine is a guilty pleasure many mums try to cut out, fearing it will compromise their breast milk. It turns out though, that limited amounts of coffee are usually safe for breastfed babies.
There is no black-and-white answer to combining coffees and breastfeeding. As we’ve all heard a couple of million times: every baby is different. Advice on the topic varies, too. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than three cups daily. La Leche League, on the other hand, says that five cups a day is safe.
It is estimated that around 1% of the caffeine a mum drinks will pass through her breast milk to the baby. The caffeine level in her breast milk is at its peak an hour after being consumed.
How much caffeine is in my drink anyway?
The Australian Breastfeeding Association outlines the average amount of caffeine in a range of popular drinks.
Most experts have agreed that breastfeeding mums should limit their caffeine intake to 300 milligrams a day. Having said that, some babies may become restless, suffer colic or have other reactions to even the smallest amount of caffeine.
How do I know if caffeine is affecting my baby?
Unfortunately, it is a case of trial and error to see if your baby reacts badly to your caffeine intake.
“Take caffeine out of your diet for a week and see if there is a change in your baby’s behavior. Then put caffeine back into your diet and see if she reverts back to the irritability. If she does, you have your answer.” – Wendy Sue Swanson, pediatrician
Basically, cut out your source of energy to see if the child that sucks all of your energy sleeps better. This kind of seems like a cruel joke!
Think feeding gets easier? Think again! This mum has accepted her kid’s fussy eating habits.