Breastfeeding moms who drink lots of coffee don't have to worry about the caffeine keeping their babies from sleeping. Brazilian researchers from the Federal University of Pelotas did extensive research into the possible effects of maternal caffeine consumption on babies' sleeping patterns, and published their findings in the journal Pediatrics.
Does coffee cross over into breast milk? I'm not so sure, but the researchers concluded that new mothers who nurse their babies and love a cup of coffee or five don't have babies who wake up more often during the night, at three months of age. The study team said that they interviewed all mothers from Pelotas who gave birth in 2004. They were asked questions about their coffee consumption and their baby's sleep patterns right after birth, and when the baby was three months old.In addition, the researchers also monitored the sleep patterns of 885 of the 4231 babies it followed, for 15 days. What did they find?
20 percent of moms drank lots of coffee (which is more than 300 mg for the purpose of this study) during their pregnancies. 14.3 percent of mothers consumed lots of coffee three months after they gave birth. Interesting, right? There have been various studies about coffee consumption during pregnancy (See drinking coffee while you are pregnant is that OK?), and some conclude that drinking more than 300 mg a day increases the chances of miscarriage and stillbirth.
Of course, too much coffee isn't healthy for anyone. You may think, however, that the percentage of women drinking lots of coffee would be much higher in the three-month old baby group than in the pregnant group. After all, the potential health risks to your baby are gone, and new moms may need the caffeine to stay awake!
Back to the study, the researchers noted that babies of mothers who drank coffee during as well as after pregnancy were statistically a little more likely to wake up more often, but not significantly so.