There are many things we have to give up when we become pregnant. After we have the baby, we still have to give up some of those things if we plan on breastfeeding. Caffeine is one of those items on the “no” list for both pregnancy and when nursing.
It’s been over a year since I’ve had caffeine, and just when I thought that I didn’t miss it, Avery and I had a night of very little sleep. All I wanted the next day was loads and loads of caffeine to keep me awake. I stuck to my decaf coffee, though, scared that the caffeine would be transferred through my breastmilk and keep Avery up all day (and night) long. My concern for caffeine affecting Avery’s sleep might have no merit, according to a new study.
As reported in NPR, researchers in Brazil who tracked 885 breastfed babies born in 2004, found that those babies whose mothers drank a vast amount of caffeine were no more likely to have sleeping issues than those babies with mothers that drank no caffeine. In the study, all but one of the mothers consumed some variety of caffeine, 20% of those women consumed more than 300 mg day.
From those babies studied, 14% woke up more than three times a night, and 41% of the babies woke up at least once a night. This is pretty typical of any infant. I don’t drink any caffeine and breastfeed, and my daughter wakes up an average of two times a night.
Marlos Rodrigues Domingues, the co-author of the study and a researcher at Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Pelotas, isn’t sure why the babies weren’t affected by the caffeine. He suggests that they might have built up a tolerance for it in the womb. While more research will have to be done on why the babies weren’t affected by caffeine, the study concluded that “caffeine consumption during pregnancy and by nursing mothers seems not to have consequences on sleep of infants at the age of 3 months.”
Although the study gives nursing mothers the go ahead to start drinking caffeine, I don’t think I am going to go back to my old habit of regular cappuccinos. I’ve made it this long without the caffeine (and even made is through a sleepless night without it) I don’t see a benefit in going back.
Will you put caffeine back into your diet after hearing the results of this study?