Don't drink tea while breastfeeding baby

Drinking coffee, tea or eating chocolate while breastfeeding may lead to caffeine accumulation and symptoms such as wakefulness and irritability in babies, an expert has warned.

This is because babies cannot metabolize or excrete caffeine very well, said Dr. Ruth Lawrence, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Caffeine is found in a wide range of products in addition to coffee, tea, and chocolate, including soft drinks, sports drinks, and some over-the-counter medications.

Dr. Lawrence bases her responses on the scientific and medical evidence related to caffeine exposure in breastfed babies, and distinguishes between what is and what is not well understood in this developing field of study.

"Usually a mother, particularly if she is breastfeeding, is cautioned to limit her caffeine intake," said Dr. Lawrence.

After giving birth, mothers "should consume all things in moderation and try to avoid the excesses that might really add up to a lot of caffeine."

Dr. Lawrence made her comment in Journal of Caffeine Research, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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