Caffeine in the Breast Milk of Breastfeeding Mothers

Caffeine in breast milk can vary depending on how much caffeine the mother consumes.bottlemilk

The amount of 1 mg of caffeine per 3.4 floz or 100 ml of breast milk is the estimated amount present after a breastfeeding woman consumes a 16 floz Grande brewed coffee from Starbucks (330 mg of caffeine).

Breast Milk Caffeine Formula

Researchers found that women who consume 100 mg of caffeine usually transfer about 2-4 micrograms of caffeine per 1 ml of breast milk with peak concentration being 1-2 hours after consuming the caffeine.

  • We took the average amount which is 3 micrograms/ml.
  • 3 micrograms = .003 milligrams.
  • .003 x 100 ml=.3 mg/100 ml of breast milk.
  • A 16 floz Starbucks delivers 330 mg of caffeine so we have to multiply .3 by 3.3 to arrive at .99 mg or rounded up to 1 mg of caffeine per 10 0ml of breast milk.

Breastfeeding and Safe Caffeine Amount

The European Food Safety Authority recently released the findings of their research regarding caffeine safety and included data concerning lactating/breastfeeding women.

They concluded that single doses of about 200 mg pose no risk to the nursing child, but breastfeeding women should consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day in total.

However, other research shows that up to 3 months old, a baby’s body does not do a good job of processing caffeine. Therefore, it can build up in the baby’s system over time.

Breastfeeding mothers should keep this in mind when consuming anything containing caffeine, however, after 3 months it is probably safe for mothers to have moderate caffeine amounts of 200 mg per day.

It is worth noting that caffeine, when given to premature babies or babies with low birth weight, actually stimulates their breathing and prevents sleep apnea and possibly sudden infant death syndrome. Recent research concluded that this treatment is safe and poses no risk to the baby’s cardiovascular system.

However, only medical professionals should administer caffeine to at-risk newborn infants since accurate dosing is paramount.

Research has just been released that shows that almost all of the samples of breastmilk tested from an online breastmilk marketplace contained levels of caffeine. Women should use caution when using such resources. The researchers also found bacteria and unsafe levels of other drugs in the samples obtained.

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Last Modified: October 30, 2015

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