Caffeine & Breastmilk

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August 03, 2021
2 min read

The sleep disturbance associated with a newborn’s arrival almost makes coffee essential – particularly for breastfeeding mothers!

Newborns are sensitive to caffeine

It’s important to remember though that newborn babies can be sensitive to caffeine. Your newborn baby will take a significant amount of time to process the caffeine that comes through your breastmilk – which can remain in your system for up to 50 hours.

The type of effect caffeine can have on babies include jitteriness, more unsettled behaviour, difficulty sleeping, increased colicky behaviour and general unhappiness.

Caffeine isn’t just in coffee

Be aware that caffeine isn’t just in coffee, but also found in tea, chocolate, cola and energy drinks.

The amount of caffeine that transfers into your breastmilk is about 1% of what is consumed and reaches a peak 60 minutes after consumption.  It is recommended not to consume more than 200mg of caffeine per day while you are breastfeeding.

Caffeine content in common drinks and food:

Drink/Food Caffeine Level (mg)
Espresso coffee 145 mg / 50 mL shot
Formulated caffeinated (energy) drinks up to 80 mg / 250 mL can
Instant coffee (1 teaspoon/cup) 60–80 mg / 250 mL cup
Tea 10–50 mg / 250 mL cup
Coca Cola up to 54 mg / 375 mL cup
Milk chocolate 20 mg / 100 g barTooltip Text



Jillian Eadie
Jillian holds the gold standard qualification of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant ( IBCLC). She has over 10 year’s experience working closely with new mothers in the Maternity Unit setting as well as providing private consultations to new mothers in the comfort of their homes. She is also a Registered Nurse/Midwife. Jillian provides private lactation consults in your home or for those living outside Melbourne’s metropolitan area, Victoria or Australia via Zoom/Facetime meetings.

If you are experiencing any concerns and would like to discuss these further please don’t hesitate to contact me. Queries here.

Learn more about the Dr Golly Philosophy here.

Shop the Dr Golly age appropriate routines here.

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