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Moms’ Caffeine Doesn’t Impact Babies’ Sleep


Good news for expectant and nursing mamas who crave coffee: a new study has found that consuming caffeine doesn’t cause their babies to wake up at night, reports NPR.

Researchers in Brazil tracked 885 babies born in 2004 for a study published online today in Pediatrics. Although they hypothesized that moms who consumed large amounts of caffeine would have babies that awoke more frequently at night, that’s not what they ultimately found. They looked at the impact of maternal caffeine ingestion on crying and colic at three months of age, as well as frequent nighttime waking at 12 months, none of which seemed to be impacted by mothers’ caffeine intake.

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Researchers interviewed moms shortly after they gave birth and examined their babies. A follow-up interview three months later asked the mothers about their babies’ sleep habits during the 15 days prior. Researchers also took samples of coffee from the women’s home to measure the caffeine content.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics has previously advised that moderate amounts of caffeine (two to three cups of coffee a day) are safe for breastfeeding women. Nearly 20 percent of the moms consumed more than 300 milligrams per day (either from coffee or the herbal drink mate) and were considered heavy consumers of caffeine; only one mother reported not consuming any caffeine during pregnancy. About 14 percent of the babies woke up an average of three or more times per night; 41 percent woke up at least once a night. Researchers are unsure of why they didn’t find a link between moms’ caffeine consumption, although one theory is that the babies may have developed a tolerance to it. 

Did you drink caffeinated coffee or tea during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?