breastfeeding

I Like To Think Of My Caffeinated Breast Milk As An Extra Nutritious Latte

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200523405-001As a new mom, it seems there is no end to the many things you can feel guilty about. It’s even worse if you’re a guilty personality type like myself—if something goes wrong, it must have been my fault. Right?

I drank coffee and wine moderately through both of my pregnancies. I seriously could not make it through the day without a cup of coffee or two, especially while working. And once there was a new baby in the house, I was totally screwed again—sleepless nights, interrupted sleep, and very few naps meant that a full pot of coffee must be ready at all times.

But wait—as a breast-feeding mom, my body still wasn’t my own. With my first kid, I tried to stick to stringent rules about when and where to enjoy caffeine and alcohol while breast-feeding. If you consult Dr. Google, most sources say it’s A-Okay to have caffeine while breast-feeding with an important qualification: in moderation.

With my first son, I was extra careful about when and how much coffee I had, enjoyed at strategic times throughout the day when I knew I wasn’t going to breast-feed or pump for a few hours. Yay, me. But by the time I had my second son with a crazy toddler running around the house, I forgot all about considerations for moderation.

I didn’t necessarily throw caution to the wind and hook myself up to a caffeine drip (though I was tempted), but I did forget about monitoring how close to breast-feeding I drank my morning, midmorning, and lunchtime cuppa. The funny thing is that my second son is an even better sleeper than my first son was, which may be a total coincidence. But clearly, my disregard for caffeine regulation with baby #2 didn’t noticeably disrupt his sleep habits.

There have been a few times where I caught myself chugging coffee before I was going to pump, and I thought—Crap, I’m supposed to be moderating my caffeine intake, aren’t I?

Now that my son has passed the important six month mark (where a baby becomes less sensitive to caffeine, according to KellyMom), and I’m pumping less during the day, caffeine in my breast milk is a non-issue. There were occasions where I felt guilty and second-guessed myself about ODing my infant on caffeine, but thankfully, that ship has sailed. I still haven’t figured out how new breast-feeding moms are supposed to survive on “moderate caffeine” and zero sleep—but I’d love to know their secret.

(photo: Getty Images)