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Bad for Baby: Caffeine, Breastfeeding

Wednesday, 22 Feb 2012 02:05 PM

Memo to new moms: Can’t get baby to sleep? You might want to put down that cup of coffee.
Breastfeeding mothers who drink a lot of caffeinated beverages may increase their odds of having sleepless nights – because of the drug’s effects on their infants – reports Dr. Ruth Lawrence of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
In an article published in the Journal of Caffeine Research, Lawrence noted caffeine passed from a mother’s milk to breastfed babies can accumulate in their developing bodies, causing wakefulness and irritability.
Because babies can’t quickly metabolize it, caffeine in coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, sports drinks, and some over-the-counter medications can have a significant effect.
“People complain about irritable, colicky babies,” Lawrence said, “and I never hear them say to the mothers, ‘Well, let us check their caffeine level. Let us see — what are you drinking? How much chocolate are you eating all day?’ ’’
How much is too much? Lawrence said it depends on the individual mother, but said for most women less than 3 cups a day is “a resonable starting place.” She added, however: “Unfortunately a lot of things about breastfeeding are based on opinion, and I do not know that the 'safe' amount of caffeine for daily use has been carefully measured.”

© HealthDay

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Breastfeeding moms can pass caffeine to their babies, leading to wakefulness and irritability.
Wednesday, 22 Feb 2012 02:05 PM
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