How Does Caffeine Affects Your Nursing Baby?
Obviously, caffeine will have a greater effect on your baby than you, due to the differences in size and the baby’s immature digestive system. Caffeine is a stimulant, and an accumulation of caffeine in your baby’s system could have noticeable effects on their behavior.
Kellymom described the following symptoms of a baby that is affected by caffeine:
- Wide eyed
- Overly active
- Hyper alert
- Awake more than is normal
- Will not sleep for long periods of time
- Unusually fussy
How long does the caffeine take to leave the mother’s system?
Caffeine can clear a mother’s system in around eight hours or less, but in a baby it can stay for several days. Knowing this, you can choose to only drink or consume caffeine immediately after you have breast fed. This way it will be virtually out of your system by the time you next breastfeed. Still keep your total quota under the five small cups a day limit, however, including all sources. Drink a few glasses of water after consuming coffee, as this will dilute the caffeine and reduce the effects of its diuretic properties.
I can’t give up coffee. Help!
If you just can’t manage to do without your daily fix of caffeine, try following these tips:
1. Limit the amount of caffeine you do consume as much as you can.
2. Caffeine is at its highest level in breast milk around one hour after you have drunk it. Bear this in mind when drinking your one or two precious cups a day.
3. Smoking will only increase the effect of caffeine on you and your baby, so don’t smoke if you drink caffeine. Of course, you shouldn’t be smoking anywhere around your baby at all. If you were unable to kick the habit while pregnant, talk to your doctor for help.