Caffeine in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Caffeine in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

I had a friend who asked me to write a post on this, as she was trying to convince her husband that she could drink coffee while breastfeeding. Yes! you can drink caffeine during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but there is a limit. According to MotherRisk (http://www.motherisk.org/prof/updatesDetail.jsp?content_id=998) (based out of Sickkids, and my go to for any pregnancy related questions), 300mg of caffeine per day or less has NOT been associated with miscarriages, birth defects, fetal growth or neurodevelopmental outcomes in children. HealthCanada also recommends 300mg/d as the top amount of caffeine per day from all sources for pregnant and breastfeeding women. With that being said, I am a huge fan of caffeine as most of my friends and colleagues know. During my pregnancy with my daughter I knew by heart the amount of caffeine in all of my favourite beverages and I have to say I never felt deprived of caffeine. But, I don’t drink any coke, and am not a huge chocolate or tea fan either so I didn’t have to worry about getting caffeine from other sources.

My favourite drinks and their caffeine values

Starbucks short pike 180mg

Starbucks tall pike 260mg

Starbucks tall latte 75mg

Starbucks grande latte 150mg

Tim Hortons small coffee 140mg

Tim Hortons medium coffee 205mg

As you can see, I usually combined a short pike in the morning with a tall latte in the afternoon and felt good to go! And still had a few extra mg leftover in case I had a bite or two of chocolate or wanted a tea.

See below for a list of caffeine amounts in general sources.

Common sources of caffeine From Health Canada

SOURCE UNIT CAFFEINE PER UNIT, MG
Coffee
– Brewed 237 mL (1 cup, 8 oz) 135
– Instant 237 mL (1 cup, 8 oz) 76-106
– Decaffeinated instant 237 mL (1 cup, 8 oz) 5
Tea
– Average blend 237 mL (1 cup, 8 oz) 43
– Green 237 mL (1 cup, 8 oz) 30
– Instant 237 mL (1 cup, 8 oz) 15
– Decaffeinated 237 mL (1 cup, 8 oz) 0
Soft drinks
– Cola 355 mL (1 can, 12 oz) 36-46
– Diet cola 355 mL (1 can, 12 oz) 39-50
Cocoa products
– Chocolate milk 237 mL (1 cup, 8 oz) 8
– Candy (milk chocolate) 28 g (1 oz) 7
– Hot cocoa mix 237 mL (1 envelope, 8 oz) 5
Data from Health Canada. 4

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