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Is it safe to have caffeine while I'm breastfeeding?
Yes, but don't overdo it. When caffeine enters your bloodstream, a small amount of it (usually less than 1 percent) ends up in your breast milk. The amount in your milk peaks a couple of hours after you consume it.
Since your newborn's body can't easily break down and get rid of caffeine, it may accumulate in his system. (At about 3 months, your baby will begin to process caffeine more efficiently, and over time it'll become easier for him to excrete it.)
Many experts say that a moderate amount of caffeine (no more than 300 milligrams per day, or the amount in about 16 ounces of brewed coffee) is fine for nursing moms and should cause no changes in most babies' behavior. But drinking more than two or three cups of coffee a day may cause one or both of you to become irritable, jittery, or agitated, and can contribute to sleeping problems.
That said, every baby is different. If your baby seems to be bothered when you have even a small amount of caffeine, you may want to cut it out of your diet for a while to see if that makes a difference.
Which foods and beverages contain caffeine?
Coffee is one, of course. The amount of caffeine in a serving of coffee varies widely, depending on the type of bean, how it's roasted, how it's brewed – and, obviously, on the size of the coffee cup. (Although espresso contains more caffeine per ounce, it's served in a tiny cup, so a full cup of brewed coffee will deliver more caffeine.)
To manage your caffeine intake, though, you'll need to be aware of other sources, like tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, and coffee ice cream. Caffeine also shows up in herbal products and over-the-counter drugs, including some headache, cold, and allergy remedies. Read labels carefully.
Amount of caffeine in common foods and beverages
|coffee, generic brewed||8 oz||95-200 mg|
|coffee, Starbucks brewed||16 oz (grande)||330 mg|
|coffee, Dunkin' Donuts brewed||16 oz||211 mg|
|caffé latte, misto, or cappuccino, Starbucks||16 oz (grande)||150 mg|
|caffé latte, misto, or cappuccino, Starbucks||12 oz (tall)||75 mg|
|espresso, Starbucks||1 oz (1 shot )||75 mg|
|espresso, generic||1 oz (1 shot)||64 mg|
|coffee, generic instant||1 tsp granules||31 mg|
|coffee, generic decaffeinated||8 oz||2 mg|
|black tea, brewed||8 oz||47 mg|
|green tea, brewed||8 oz||25 mg|
|black tea, decaffeinated||8 oz||2 mg|
|Starbucks Tazo Chai Tea latte||16 oz (grande)||95 mg|
|instant tea, unsweetened||1 tsp powder||26 mg|
|Snapple||16 oz||42 mg|
|Lipton Brisk iced tea||12 oz||5 mg|
|Coke||12 oz||35 mg|
|Diet Coke||12 oz||47 mg|
|Pepsi||12 oz||38 mg|
|Diet Pepsi||12 oz||36 mg|
|Jolt Cola||12 oz||72 mg|
|Mountain Dew||12 oz||54 mg|
|7-Up||12 oz||0 mg|
|Sierra Mist||12 oz||0 mg|
|Sprite||12 oz||0 mg|
|Red Bull||8.3 oz||77 mg|
|SoBe Essential Energy, berry or orange||8 oz||48 mg|
|5-Hour Energy||2 oz||138 mg|
|dark chocolate (70-85% cacao solids)||1 oz||23 mg|
|milk chocolate||1.55-oz||9 mg|
|coffee ice cream or frozen yogurt||8 oz||2 mg|
|hot cocoa||8 oz||8-12 mg|
|chocolate chips, semisweet||4 oz||53 mg|
|chocolate milk||8 oz||5-8 mg|