Caffeine and Alcohol While Breastfeeding? - Littleton,CO

Updated on April 12, 2011
S.T. asks from Denver, CO
22 answers

So I was really good while I was pregnant about what I ate (and didn't eat) and drank (and didn't drink) . . . I asked my doctor about caffeine and alcohol while breastfeeding. He said one cup of coffee (200 mg) a day is fine and alcohol in moderation as well is fine. I'm just curious what other moms think/do/have done. I drink 1-2 cups of black tea a day and have maybe 4 drinks a week (never more than one at a time) but am feeling guilty about it. Do I need to be as "strict" with my diet while breastfeeding? I already went nine months!!!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Boston on

I drank coffee while breastfeeding and more than one cup a kids are FINE and never had problems sleeping or anything. The lactation consultants at the hospital actually told me it was fine. I needed a little caffeine to get me through the day.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I never felt comfortable drinking alcohol while breastfeeding, but I did drink coffee - once a day. I was never really much of a drinker anyway, though. I also drank a little coffee when I was pregnant. I was a coffee-drinker before I got pregnant and completely stopped when I found out I was pregnant. I got bad headaches. My doctor said a little coffee or tea each day was fine, in fact she recommended it for me.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Eugene on

I don't think drinking is a problem while breastfeeding--and the books I've read and midwives I've talked to have reiterated that. Your breast milk will have the same alcohol content as your blood does--so if you're completely drunk that's like .08% significantly less than is in a non-alcholic beverage. My rule of thumb is to never drink enough that I can "feel" it. But, a glass of beer can actually help your milk production in the evenings. As for caffeine--I don't really drink it so I haven't inquired about that one!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I drink one pepsi a day, and have alcohol once in a while. My DD is 100% healthy. I just make sure that if I am going to drink something, I do it right after nursing her. That way, by the time she is hungry again, the alcohol is out of my system. Or, if I know I am going to over-indulge, I will pump enough beforehand that she has something to drink while my system clears up. I might pump and dump, but only for my own comfort.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

I drank coffee and alcohol while I was nursing both my girls. They're just fine :) You should limit the amount of both that you drink though. The rule of thumb is if you feel the affects of the alcohol, then you shouldn't breastfeed. You can also drink right before or while you're nursing. The alcohol won't be in the blood stream, so the baby isn't getting any of it. If you just have one drink, it will be mostly out of your system by the time you nurse again (assuming that you're nursing every 1.5 - 2 hours).
I don't have the links right on hand, but if you go to and search for alcohol and caffeine you'll fine tons of GREAT and reputable information regarding both.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Lactation consultants regularly recommend drinking BEER to help women who struggle breast feeding.

The issue is this... milk is a body fluid. The concentration of alcohol in your milk is the same as in your blood. It's higher when you first drink and wears off over time... no need to pump and dump, that's just silly (do you get a blood transfusion to bring your blood alcohol down?). Also... your baby isn't getting what YOU DRANK, they get the content in your blood... so fall down drunk is probably about a tenth of a percent of your milk (0.1 percent as in .02 over the legal limit). Stay shy of that, and you're probably okay :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I honestly have always had both while breastfeeding. Lately I'm only making a small pot of coffee (between 6 and 8 cups, so only 3-4 mugs of coffee) per day (that is very limited for me since before having kids I drank at least one full pot a day, sometimes more). I also drink in moderation, never more than two drinks in one evening, usually no more than one, and not every night. I don't drink anything until the older kids are in bed or almost in bed and try to avoid nursing but have never done the "pump and dump" thing and do nurse while I'm having a glass of wine (or the gin and tonic I had last night, courtesy of my husband--he's a sweetheart).

Some babies are more sensitive to things I think since only one of my kids was fussy because of caffeine, and with that one I just cut back a bit and he was fine. I just make sure I'm drinking plenty of water (usually 60 to 80 ounces a day) and I think that helps to keep things balanced for me. I try to eat pretty healthy but mostly for my sake since your body pretty much borrows from your reserves to make milk rather than directly from your diet. I feel better if I eat healthy and balanced food and breastfeeding makes me really hungry (especially once I'm working out again).

So pay attention in case your baby is sensitive, but that is not an area I've ever stressed about myself and my boys grew very well. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Alexandria on

I would say that a glass of wine or a little drink is okay, if you want to drink to "feel it" pump and dump. I think the coffee or tea to one cup is a good rule of thumb. I would be able to see a difference in my babies if I had more than I should. They would have tummy trouble and even be a little more alert. You were good for 9 months just keep it up with a splurge every now and again :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

You may want to limit commercially processed dairy and switch to organic dairy products for now. Organic milk is guaranteed to have humane milking and slaughter practices, no Growth Hormones, No antibiotic use (unless animal was sick) and more strict quality control measures.

As for caffeine, 2 cups a day should be fine, as well as a drink of alcohol a day if you choose. Stout (Guiness and dark beers) and red wine are said to be beneficial to milk supply.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

This was 30 years ago but it was actually recommended to my cousin by her pediatrician to drink a glass of wine and let her first-born son nurse, since she was breast-feeding and he was an extremely fussy baby who could barely sleep or be happy for more than 20 minutes at a time. She tried it and had to admit, it worked great. Her son turned out fine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Its not the same as when passed through to a fetus. You may consume minimal amounts of both when breastfeeding and not pass it to the baby. (the same is not true for during pregnancy) A good gauge to use would be roughly a drink an hour(coffee or alcohol) and by a drink i mean a legal shot 1 oz, 4 1/2 to 6 oz of wine(depending on the percentage) or 16 to 20 oz beer(depending on percentage) or a cup of joe

In other words, dont turn down a glass of wine with friends, a good friends first homebrew, or that margarita on your date night just because you will later be breastfeeding. Especially later in your breastfeeding when you feed much less.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I've heard that alcohol can make you lactate more, but I'm not sure if it's ok during breast feeding. However, I definitely couldn't do without my morning cup of coffee! I haven't read anything that says caffeine should be avoided, and drinking it every morning didn't cause any problems for my children.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

The coffee is no problem at all.
I was told that for wine, to nurse, then right away, drink a glass of wine and lots of water, and 2 hours later, the alcohol has all gone out of the milk for next feeding (once a day of course, don't drink a glass after every time you nurse! :). Even if you don't watch when you drink it, one drink a day will do no harm, but that's supposedly the super duper safe way.

I drank coffee while pregnant and nursing, and was told by 3 doctors there are no tests whatsoever saying there is any negative effect from a cup of coffee per day. I also drank wine occasionally when I nursed and didn't sweat it. But think you're supposed to wait until the baby is a couple months old as well as being careful-check on that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Alcohol and caffeine are in your breastmilk if they are in your blood. If they are no longer in your system, they are not in your breastmilk. "Pump and dump" does absolutely nothing (unless you're uncomfortable) because the alcohol and caffeine are either in your system or they aren't.

All things in moderation :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I drank a cup of coffee in the morning - not too much more caffeine than that, maybe soda here or there. I am not a regular drinker but if I wanted to have some wine (a glass or two) or a couple of drinks with friends once in a blue moon - than I did. I tried to time it on these occasions so it was right after nursing, and I could then drink plenty of water and wait to bf for a couple hours ideally. I felt the same way...I went 9 months cold turkey!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I've never been much of a drinker, but I did have the occasional glass of wine while breastfeeding. I also drank one or two cups of coffee every day while breastfeeding. My kids are 8 and 6 now, and they are healthy and have developed normally. So I agree, as long as it is in moderation, you'll be fine. If your drinks are never more than one at a time, then I think you're okay. :-) Congratulations on your baby!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

These substances can transfer into your breast milk. Do yourself and your child a favor and discontinue consuming these substances.



answers from Denver on

For me, it depends on time of day with the alcohol. If you nurse, then put the baby down, and have a few hours before nursing again, your body metabolizes it. If you are drinking while nursing, the baby is getting alcohol... I think it's 1/440th of what you are getting, but they are much smaller and they have absolutely no way of metabolozing it. That said... does it hurt? I don't think anyone knows. These things fall into the category honestly of "no one knows" in moderation. I have read scientific studies saying alcohol can actually be helpful for the abby in developing emotional stability. I have read the opposite. Who is doing tests on babies and alcohol? Well, logically, no one! AND even if they did do these tests, you can't ever test the same baby for consuming NO alcohol AND for consuming alcohol. So there is no way to know. You have to go with your gut and be comfortable with your decision.

I can't remember the "half life" for caffeine. You can look it up and see how long it stays in your system and drink it according to the time it will affect the baby the least.



answers from Santa Barbara on

I didn't breastfeed, I didn't give birth to my daughter. My sister-in-law is an emergency room physician and is a crazy athlete (the kind that runs with her babies in the jogger three weeks after giving birth via c-section four times). To our surprise she also drank alcohol in moderation while breast feeding. I would like to think she didn't do anything so harm the kids, it was in moderation for sure.



answers from Miami on

When I got pregnant I gave up on Coffee, smoking and drinking. When I gave birth I stayed away from the cigs and not a big drinker to begin with but boy I missed my coffee. Right back to it. My child is a tad add, maybe because i went back to coffee?



answers from Phoenix on

I had 2 beers a day to help w/ milk production & 1 caffinated drink , on days that I really needed one.



answers from Denver on

I would say that if you are comfortable with the effects of a little alcohol or a little caffeine on your child than you shouldn't worry. I baby is having trouble sleeping then you might want to back off on the caffeine. Also, keep in mind that a little bit of alcohol can be a lot on a little system (this is why you can't use alcohol based hand sanitizer on a small child). Just some thoughts to consider.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions