Caffeine & Breastmilk - Dr Golly Sleep Program

Caffeine & Breastmilk

The sleep disturbance associated with a newborn's arrival almost makes coffee essential - particularly for breastfeeding mothers!  

It’s important to remember though that newborn babies can be sensitive to caffeine. Your newborn baby will take a significant amount of time to process the caffeine that comes through your breastmilk - which can remain in your system for up to 50 hours. 

The type of effect caffeine can have on babies include jitteriness, more unsettled behaviour, difficulty sleeping, increased colicky behaviour and general unhappiness. 

Be aware that caffeine isn’t just in coffee, but also found in tea, chocolate, cola and energy drinks. 

The amount of caffeine that transfers into your breastmilk is about 1% of what is consumed and reaches a peak 60 minutes after consumption.  It is recommended not to consume more than 200mg of caffeine per day while you are breastfeeding.

Caffeine content in common drinks and food:


Caffeine Level (mg)

Espresso coffee

145 mg / 50 mL shot

Formulated caffeinated (energy) drinks  

up to 80 mg / 250 mL can

Instant coffee (1 teaspoon/cup)

60–80 mg / 250 mL cup


10–50 mg / 250 mL cup

Coca Cola

up to 54 mg / 375 mL cup

Milk chocolate

20 mg / 100 g bar



Jillian holds the gold standard qualification of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant ( IBCLC). She has over 10 year's experience working closely with new mothers in the Maternity Unit setting as well as providing private consultations to new mothers in the comfort of their homes. She is also a Registered Nurse/Midwife. Jillian provides private lactation consults in your home or for those living outside Melbourne’s metropolitan area, Victoria or Australia via Zoom/Facetime meetings. 
If you are experiencing any concerns and would like to discuss these further please don’t hesitate to contact me. Queries here.
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