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Caffeine, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Caffeine, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Hello! Today we are going to talk about caffeine intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There are so many things to think about when you are pregnant—it can quickly become overwhelming! If you are someone who enjoys your daily coffee ritual, giving that up can add to the overwhelm. The good news is that pregnant women can continue to enjoy coffee in moderation!!

With my first pregnancy, I eliminated caffeine all together. I remember feeling so tired and even having some caffeine headaches when I first eliminated it. With my second pregnancy, I decided to incorporate caffeine into my diet within moderation. It is important to listen to your body because effects of caffeine are individualized. Current guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend limiting caffeine consumption to 200 milligrams or less. It is important to remember that caffeine is found in foods/drinks other than coffee including tea, sodas, chocolate and energy drinks.

It is also recommended to continue to limit caffeine intake while breastfeeding. There are several different opinions by various research groups on how much is too much. I think it is best to continue to follow the recommendation of less than 200 milligrams per day that should be followed during pregnancy. You may also see symptoms of fussiness, irritability and difficulty sleeping in baby if you over consume caffeine while breastfeeding.

Here are a few examples of popular caffeinated beverages with their caffeine content:

  • 8 ounce drip coffee—100 mg
  • 8 ounce black tea—50 mg
  • 12 ounce Coke—35 mg
  • 12 ounce americano—150 mg
  • 16 ounce caramel macchiato—150 mg

It is important to consider how any caffeinated food/drinks fit into your overall eating plan for a healthy pregnancy. If you have any specific questions about caffeine in pregnancy and breastfeeding, ask your doctor or dietitian!

Katie Pipinich

Empathy, education and experience make her the best support team in your health goals or through your breastfeeding journey.

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