Is Green Tea Safe While Breastfeeding?

Green Tea


Are you breastfeeding your little one to build his immunity and keep him safe from all infections and illnesses? Are you sipping green tea in a bid to lose the pregnancy weight safely? Well, if you can relate to the above situations reading this post is a good idea!

Elders in the family may be insisting that you have a nutritious and wholesome diet as your breast milk is the only source of sustenance for your fragile infant. But do you know the caffeine content in your cup of green tea can adversely affect your tiny tot?Having green tea while breastfeeding may not be the best idea. Although, green tea is a healthy beverage, its consumption is avoidable while lactating.Can you drink green tea while breastfeeding? Want to find out ? Read on!

What Is Green Tea?

Green Tea is a product made from a plant called Camellia Sinensis. It is a beverage that enjoys great popularity worldwide. An extract of this plant is useful in making medicinal drugs. It contains caffeine, polyphenol, and

tannins. (1)

Benefits Of Green Tea:

Green tea offers a horde of health benefits like the following:

  • Being a rich source of antioxidants, it strengthens the immune system and eliminates the free radicals in our body.
  • Prevents diseases like Cancer, Atherosclerosis, and Hyperlipidemia.
  • Helps reduce dental caries and cures gum diseases.
  • It stimulates the central nervous system.
  • Green tea is a mild diuretic(2).
  • Improves cognitive performance.
  • Stimulates weight loss.
  • Treats stomach disorders.
  • Prevents headaches.
  • It is a key ingredient in Veregen, an ointment that helps cure genital warts.

Common Side Effects Of Green Tea:

  • Green Tea contains caffeine, and its prolonged intake may cause restlessness, irritability, headache, insomnia, palpitations, and vertigo. It may also adversely affect the GI.
  • Green tea may potentiate anticoagulants and, therefore, increase the risk of bleeding.

Consuming Green Tea While Breastfeeding:

Moderate consumption of green tea while nursing is safe.Green tea and breastfeeding can sync in moderation. However, excessive intake of it can lead to the following health complications:

  • Green tea during breastfeeding can potentially reduce the milk supply in lactating mothers. You can feel yourself gradually drying up on the day you sip significant portions of green tea.
  • It can aggravate gastrointestinal discomfort and cause constipation in breastfeeding women.
  • The smallest drug concentration in your body can adversely affect the quality of your breast milk. Whatever a mother consumes, reaches the baby in just six hours. Excessive intake of green tea can make your breast milk absorb caffeine. Caffeine may over-stimulate a breastfeeding infant. He may show become wide-eyed, hyperactive, and restless. Therefore, excessive caffeine intake is not advisable for new moms as it may cause insomnia in your newborn.(3)
  • If you strictly avoided caffeine consumption during pregnancy but enjoy your cup of green tea now, your baby is more prone to the side effects of caffeine. It doesn’t mean you will have to bid adieu to your caffeinated drinks like green tea forever. Such babies gradually become insensitive to caffeine in the later years of life. So, you may go back to your habit, once your baby turns a little older.
  • Excessive green tea consumption is a strict no-no for lactating mothers. Drinking green tea while breastfeeding may subsequently result in breastfed infants developing irritability and suffering from an increase in bowel movement.
  • An oral intake of green tea by infants is dangerous as it can impair their iron metabolism and lead to microcytic anemia. The tannin content in green tea can prevent iron absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.(4)
  • According to a popular belief in Japan, green tea can adversely affect the absorption of iron in the mother’s body. Iron tablets are a must-have for all new mothers during the first six months post delivery. The iron supplements help to recuperate from the blood loss at childbirth. The constituents of green tea may prevent the body from absorbing the iron in food and other supplements. Therefore, many people feel it is a good idea not to take green tea along with food or other iron supplements. Significant research is still not available to prove this theory.

With these things in mind you must be thinking can i drink green tea while breastfeeding?However, consult your medical practitioner before taking high doses of concentrated products like green tea. (5)

How Much Green Tea Is Safe For Consumption During Breastfeeding?

Eight ounces of green tea contain 48 mg of caffeine. Doctors do not recommend more than 2-3 small cups (300 mg) of green tea per day for lactating mothers. An intake of more than 750 mg of green tea will allow your breast milk to absorb the caffeine and pass it on to your baby.

Tips For Breastfeeding Mothers:

  • Most teas contain caffeine. Hence, it is good to avoid them. But if you still feel like drinking a warm cup of tea to refresh yourself, go for herbal tea. Some of them even help increase milk supply like the fenugreek tea, fennel tea, raspberry tea, etc. These days, even decaf green tea is available in the market.
  • If you still don’t feel like avoiding green tea altogether, go for popular government certified brands.
  • Most green teas come with a combination of other herbs. Most herbs can affect your breast milk production. You need to be careful while choosing the flavor of your green tea. You should be aware of harmful herbs that you need to avoid during lactation and choose your tea wisely.

[ Read: Fenugreek For Increasing Breast Milk ]

Remember, that except during lactation and early childbearing, green tea can be the most desirable and healthy beverage.

Did you have green tea while nursing your dear baby? Did you or your infant suffer from any side effects? Please, share your experience with us.

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