Looks appetising doesn’t it.
Actually it’s my daily cup of decaf tea, using two decaf tea bags, plus loads of milo plus loads of milk, plus some zen-like picture arranging. Did I mention I was a coffee drinker until Buddy arrived?
This was pretty much what got me through the first few months of having a newborn. I remember as though it was yesterday when Big Buddy (i.e. Buddy’s dad) told me I should stop drinking it. He thought it might have been what was stopping Buddy from sleeping for more than 20 minutes at a time. Turns out he was wrong. That’s all I wanted to say about that – that I remember it . . . I remember it well (note that Big Buddy). I tried decaf coffee when I fell pregnant, but they all tasted as appetising as storm water run-off looks. Plus I felt like I was betraying my decade long addiction and cheating the little coffee beans.
I know what you’re going to ask – two tea bags because they make it taste less like creek water (any country folk know what I mean, a cross between dirt, cow manure, grass and pesticides), and milo . . . well milo just makes it less like creek water with milk added.
I rely on it because it’s what I most look forward to of a morning, more than the odd shower, more than chocolate, more than sunshine, more than the ABC news. I guess it also has a soft spot in my heart because I really focussed on it at night when Buddy was a freshin, and I was dreading the next day fearing that I’d fail again and I couldn’t sleep from worry. They were some tough tough times. But I had the double decaf, milo tea latte to look forward to. I couldn’t stuff that up. And it took me back to my former professional life where I was the master of my domain. Admired and rewarded for how well I did my job, told people what to do and they did it, cajoled people with my words and then clocked off at the end of the day. It’s more than just bedazzled tea.
But when I hear my friends say they have a coffee a day, I wonder ‘What’s so bad about caffeine in breastfeeding anyway’. So here’s what I found out . . .
- Yep, caffeine is a stimulant, who would’ve thought. And it does go through the breast milk, but things only go through at a very small rate.
- Tea has more caffeine than coffee when compared in dry form, but because tea is taken in a very dilute form it ends up having less.
- Instant coffee (60-80 mg per cup) has less than percolated coffee (60-120 mg per cup). Normal tea is less than both (10-50mg per cup).
Go with me here – so if the low caffeine Madura tea I drink is 2.8 % caffeine by dry weight; that means per cup of tea about 3 % of it is caffeine at the max. If a small percentage of that goes through my breast milk (let’s say 0.02 %) then a minute amount is making it to Buddy! So I don’t need to feel bad about my low-caf-mocha-latte tea.
Unfortunately, my café of choice is the percolated. According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, kids can have increased anxiety if they directly consume about 3 mg of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight per day – so 95mg per day of caffeine for kids aged 5-12. Fair to assume I guess, that there is a much lower tolerance for newborns. So, even if all of the caffeine went through the breast milk (which it doesn’t), a weak-ish flat white would be fine surely!
Guess it comes down to whether I want my first coffee after a 12 month break to be anything less than perfect and strong. Considering I’ve dreamt about my first cup when I’m no longer breastfeeding – where I would be (at a small off the beaten track so shabby it’s cool café overlooking the beach), what I would be wearing (faded jeans, a white linen shirt two sizes too big, oversized sunnies and a vintage cross body bag), who would be with me (maybe I’ll invite friends and have a party, maybe I’ll keep it all to myself to savour the moment) and how it would smell (rich, oh so rich) – I think I should wait.
What do you think? Do you drink coffee while breastfeeding? Does it affect your little ones’ sleep do you think?