Hot Topics: Babies nursed by coffee drinkers not affected by caffeineMothers of new babies might be forgiven for turning to caffeine to get through those sleep-deprived months. They might worry that drinking coffee interferes with the sleep of breast-fed babies, but a new study says it’s not so.
By: Source: NPR.com, INFORUM
Mothers of new babies might be forgiven for turning to caffeine to get through those sleep-deprived months. They might worry that drinking coffee interferes with the sleep of breast-fed babies, but a new study says it’s not so.
Instead, researchers in Brazil found that the babies of heavy coffee drinkers were no more likely to wake up than were babies whose moms didn’t have a serious espresso habit.
Crying and colic at 3 months old, as well as frequent night waking at 12 months, were not affected by a mom’s caffeine intake.
It’s not clear why the infants’ sleep wasn’t affected. The babies might have developed a tolerance to caffeine while in the womb, Rodrigues says. But other studies have found no caffeine metabolites in the urine of babies whose mothers drink coffee, suggesting that the babies don’t absorb caffeine the way older children and adults do. The results were published in the journal Pediatrics.
The researchers tracked 885 babies born in 2004. All but one of the mothers consumed caffeine, either in coffee or in the herbal drink mate, which is popular in South America. And 20 percent of those women drank a lot of coffee – more than 300 milligrams a day of caffeine, or about six espressos.
About 14 percent of the babies awoke more than three times a night, and 41 percent woke up at least once a night. Caffeine or no, it seems likely that babies will wake up when they want to.
What SheSays: Hooray! Breast-feeding moms don’t have to give up coffee. This is, however, just one study.
Like most things, moderation is key. Sipping a latte to get through the morning after a short night’s sleep is likely just fine. But downing a pot of coffee to get through a sleepless night of teething is probably not healthy for mom or baby.