As a lactation consultant, one of the most common questions breastfeeding moms ask me is whether or not drinking caffeinated coffee will affect baby's sleep. While it's a difficult question to answer with absolute certainty, weighing this particular diet choice is important, as babies and parents alike need all of the uninterrupted sleep they can get!
Over the past few years many pediatricians and baby experts have agreed that a daily cup of coffee or a caffeinated beverage will generally not affect a baby's sleep patterns, and a recent study from Brazil supports this idea. Although we know that caffeine consumed by mom passes into breast milk, the good news for coffee drinkers is that this research has concluded that, "Caffeine consumption during pregnancy and by nursing mothers seems not to have consequences on sleep of infants at the age of 3 months."
So enjoy a cup of coffee! However, try to keep your intake to about 300 mg per day (one to two 12-oz cups) as there could be other effects such as daytime irritability or upset stomach. And keep in mind that it's not just coffee that contains caffeine. Many teas, chocolate, soda, Excedrin, etc. have decent levels, so note that seemingly small amounts of caffeine may add up throughout the day.
As always, talk to your health care provider or pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your intake and how it may affect your baby while pregnant or breastfeeding.
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