Is it safe to drink coffee while breastfeeding?

The good news is that research overwhelmingly suggests that some caffeine (up to 300 mg or so) is perfectly okay while you’re breastfeeding – that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of two or three cups of coffee each day.

What are the concerns about drinking coffee while breastfeeding?

The prime concern for most moms is that caffeine will absorb into their breast milk, which their baby then consumes. Fortunately, the amount of caffeine that actually makes its way into breast milk is very small, and so as long as you stick to a moderate amount of caffeine, there’s no reason to worry.

One problem with caffeine while nursing that is highly overlooked is how it might disturb your sleep. Babies don’t tend to be on the most considerate of schedules, and each cup of coffee or tea you drink makes it that much more difficult to squeeze in a power nap while your baby is doing the same.

That being said, if you need a bit of the good stuff to help you stay energized for your baby and your life in general, a couple cups of coffee a day is A-OK.

Caffeine by drink

  • Drip coffee (8 oz cup): about 95 mg
  • Tea (8 oz cup): 0-50 mg depending on the type
  • Coke (12 oz can): 34 mg
  • 5-hour energy (2 oz shot): 200 mg
  • Red Bull (8.46 oz can): 80 mg

  • J.F. Ludvigsson, J. Ludvigsson. “Socio-economic determinants, maternal smoking and coffee consumption, and exclusive breastfeeding in 10205 children.” Acta Paediatrica. 94(9): 1310-9
  • Ina S. Santos, Alicia Matijasevich, Marlos R. Domingues. “Maternal Caffeine Consumption and Infant Nighttime Waking: A Prospective Cohort Study.” Pediatrics. 129(5): 860-868. Web. May 2012.
  • “Breastfeeding and Caffeine.” Women’s Health Research Institute, Northwestern University. Northwestern University, March 5 2012. Web.
  • “Breastfeeding and Diet.” NHS Choices. Gov.UK, January 29 2016. Web.
  • “Caffeine Content of Drinks.” Caffeine Informer. Caffeine Informer, 2017. Web.
  • “Caffeine Levels and Effects While Breastfeeding.” Web.
  • “What effect does the mother’s consumption of caffeine have on the breastfeeding infant?” La Leche League International. La Leche League International, January 9 2016. Web.
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