There is a lot of focus on the effects of caffeine on the fetus whilst pregnant and the general consensus is that it is sensible to reduce your caffeine intake whilst pregnant.
Decaffeinated coffee can be a great way to still drink coffee, but without the caffeine, and this is recognised by the medical profession, in particular the Swiss Water Decaf coffee method, which uses only water to decaffeinate coffee and is 99.9% caffeine free.
But, moving on, what about drinking coffee whilst you’re breastfeeding?
Whilst breastfeeding, it’s also sensible to be aware of caffeine consumption, since it may adversely affect your breastfeeding baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that moderate caffeine consumption during breastfeeding, which is two to three cups or 300 milligrams or less a day, should pose no effect on a nursing baby. But, more than 2-3 cups a day may start having effects on the baby.
There is also a myth that caffeine decreases the mother’s ability to produce milk, which is not supported by any fact and is an old wives tale. Indeed, one study (Nehlig & Debry, 1994) shows that caffeine can actually stimulate milk production.
So, it’s good to know that caffeine in small doses won’t harm the baby through breastfeeding…
Having said all of that, it must be stated that some babies who are more sensitive to caffeine have been shown to have greater irritability or turn colic. In a few cases, babies cannot efficiently eliminate caffeine from the body, which results in jitteriness, insomnia and constipation.
So, it may be be sensible to err on the side of caution and stick to a cup a day or indeed, it may be better to simply switch to decaf coffee whilst you’re breastfeeding. It’s absolutely fine to drink decaf coffee whilst breastfeeding. In fact, there are even some health benefits to it.
Just like regular coffee, decaffeinated coffee contains antioxidants, but about fifteen percent may be lost during the decaffeination process.
A single cup contains significant primary antioxidants in decaffeinated coffee such as hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols, as well as 4.8% of potassium, 2.4% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, 2.5% of vitamin B3.
The other thing to consider is that caffeine is found in other food and drinks, such as soft drinks, chocolate and tea, so you need to keep an eye on what you’re consuming.
Increasingly, mothers are turning to Swiss Water Decaf coffee to make absolutely sure that their caffeine consumption is at bare minimum levels.
For more information, check out our FAQ on Decaf & Conception, Pregnancy & Breastfeeding.