View Full Version : Caffeine and breastfeeding
09-14-2005, 06:36 AM
My sister-in-law has complained that my nearly 5 month old nephew never sleeps. He is up all night crying no matter what they do. She thought he wasn't satisfied with just breastmilk, so she's been trying to introduce formula and cereal. Although he rejects it, she thinks it is better in the long run to get him used to it now before he has to to go a daycare in November. In a half-joking way, I told her he had better sense.
Anyway, she sent me an email yesterday, saying she is just exhausted, and that Matthew refuses to sleep at night. She closed the email by saying that she is "living on caffeine" and that she was finishing her "2nd 24 oz. cafe latte".
Um, hello? I don't know much about breastfeeding, but doesn't *everything* you eat or drink pass through the mother's breastmilk into the baby? Isn't Matthew wired to the gills from all the caffeine she is drinking? When I mentioned it, she said she doesn't always drink that much, it was just that she was too tired to function at work. I suspect she drinks at least 24 oz. a day.
I know it's terrible for anyone, but aren't nursing mothers especially suppose to avoid all caffeine?
09-14-2005, 08:55 AM
As far as I know, and I have breast fed 2 children...everything you put
into your body goes into your breastmilk....they say to really limit caffeine
if you have any--and NONE is best.
Now say 1 c. of coffee is "probably" ok
since the mothers body *does* process out some(small amounts during digestion, etc) of that before it gets into the milk.
My pediatrician explained that small amounts of alcohal does get processed
out before it reaches the milk supply ( I asked if 1 glass of wine once in a while was ok on special occassions) so I "assume" the same would go with caffeine. (Don't flame me please!)
But anything over a *small* glass of either would definately go into the milk. (Again I am not advocating drinking alcohal while breastfeeding).
I would "pump" my milk out anyways to be on the safe side if I drank any alcohal on special occassions to get it out of my milk supple since I would like to have a couple of glasses of wine ( I always kept extra breastmilk in freezer)....
anyways it does sound like she is drinking quite a bit of coffee and
remember a small body like a baby cannot process caffeine
out like an adult and the effects will be stronger.
So she is kinda setting her self up in an endless cycle for the both of them.
Does she breastfeed on demand or on a schedule? at night at all?
I always breastfed my youngest on demand at night and he slept really well;
that's me though and there might be other circumstances involved.
Maybe if she added more feedings in at night he would sleep better?
I did a lot of attachment parenting/family bed with my youngest at that age so breastfeeding him during the night was easy for me. There are a lot of other parenting styles out there that are very different though and contradict
what I did so my suggestions might not fit into her parenting beliefs.
Either way, any parenting style, I would think he needs an extra feeding during the night if he's hungry; unless he is just a fussy colicky baby which
I have no experience with ( I think those babies fuss even when you try to feed them and will not stop crying for some reason). Either way, coffee
I am sure is not helping the little one settle down.
Sorry so long and drawn out!
09-14-2005, 09:21 AM
Caffeine should always be used in moderation when breastfeeding, but there are babies who are very sensitive to it and Mom has to totally cut out caffeine. They don't always react on the time table that most people expect either. Mom may have a cup of coffee in the morning and baby will react in the evening.
09-14-2005, 10:31 AM
I know from my experience with my alomst 4 month old that when I would have any kind of caffeine he would be very fussy and hard to get down at night. For some reason when I have caffeine he gets very gasing. Not at all a happy camper. So no more for me which I am not suppose to have anyway! :o
09-16-2005, 04:53 AM
Thank you for all your advice and experiences. I directed my sister in law to the site to read them (and the links on attachment parenting).
Matthew is fed on demand, and I'm not exactly sure of the sleeping arrangments at this point. I believe his bassinette (or whatever it is called nowadays) is in the master bedroom, but his crib is in his room. Most night, Lori takes him to their guest room, lays down with him and nurses while half asleep.
She feeds him several times throughout the night. The doctor said he was just a fussy baby, but, I mean, isn't there a *reason* for the fussiness? If all his needs and demands are being met, why is this little guy such a grump? LOL! She has agreed to lay off the coffee and see if it doesn't make a marked improvement. I'm betting it does. :D
Thanks again, all!
09-16-2005, 01:05 PM
When I got pregnant a million years ago, I quit smoking, I quit drinking pop and caffeine. Why? Not because any doctor told me to. They didn't know much 40 years ago about that stuff.
But, my inner guidance told me to NOT indulge in these things, while I breastfed, I also didn't do any of these things.
I almost lived on ice, lemons, and tomatoes. Pretty much anything else made me deathly ill.
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