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  • Writer's pictureChardá Bell, IBCLC, CBE, CD

Coffee & Pumping?

YES! You CAN have coffee while breastfeeding. The older the baby the better they can process the small amounts of caffeine that cross the blood milk barrier. Your milk is made from your blood. Whatever is in the blood can cross over into the milk at different varying amounts. Visit or for more info. If pregnant visit

In the first 2-4 weeks, while milk production is establishing and your body is coming back to a place of stillness, maybe avoid caffeine for the first week or two if possible. If you must then it’s ok, don’t panic but make sure you are working with a lactation provider to keep them aware of your concerns.

Here are my quick tips:

• Have just one cup a day so you don’t overstimulate baby

• Try a caffeinated tea if you need a boost later; generally has less than coffee

• If you pump after having a cup of coffee or anything caffeinated, make sure you label the milk you pumped so that you know not to give baby that milk at night. If you give a baby caffeinated milk at bedtime, you may be in for a night of torture, soooo….

Avoid giving baby that caffeinated milk at night to ensure a normal night of rest/sleep for ALL.

Otherwise, you will be up a least for a little bit with an alert baby at hours you wouldn’t expect.

Try dream feeding your baby, offering the breast when they are drowsy, relaxed or half sleep. This should get you some additional rest and help baby fall asleep more soundly and maybe for longer.

The goal is that they will fall asleep from being pressed against your warm body and eating some breastmilk from your body, which has a little melatonin in it, to help regulate the circadian sleep rhythm again. Off to dreamland!

Need sleep tips? My favorite gentle sleep coach is Jen Varela.

Happy pumping, latching & all of the things!

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