4 Great Caffeine Alternatives While You’re Breastfeeding
What’s the hardest thing to give up when breastfeeding? Some people say raw shellfish, others smoking, but for most, it’s caffeine. I mean seriously, functioning without a cup of coffee in the morning is already hard, factor in lack of sleep and adjusting to a newborn baby...well, that cup of coffee starts to sound like a must. But, we have some good news for you. While most of us know that what a woman eats or drinks can pass through to her breast milk, so large doses of coffee are not recommended while breastfeeding, most of us don’t know what can replace that morning coffee ritual. Here we have some coffee alternatives for you that are (almost) as good as that hot cup of joe. But first, the basics.
Studies show that caffeine does pass through breast milk. Caffeine becomes a component of breast milk even as quickly as half an hour after consumption. It takes a baby’s body much longer to detoxify caffeine than it would for an adult to process coffee, so it’s recommended to cycle coffee with other beverages or in some cases, abstain altogether.
In infants, the enzymatic pathways specific for metabolizing caffeine don't reach maturity until the first seven to nine months after birth. The APP continues to reaffirm its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby's life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.” 
So, that means that for those first months of breastfeeding, all the food and drink is passed on directly through your breast milk to your baby. That also means that coffee is generally viewed as a something to be consume din moderation because your baby feels each gram of caffeine much more than you do and their pathways are not fully developed yet.
Alas, months with limiting or eliminating coffee can seem like an eternity. But worry no more, we have a few great coffee alternatives that are (almost) as good as the real thing. Here are some caffeine substitutes for a breastfeeding mother:
- Teeccino is a popular coffee and tea substitute brand that specializes in carefully choosing ingredients that will benefit baby and mother. They offer gluten free options such as Dandelion Caramel Nut “Coffee” or Dandelion Red Chai Tea. We’ve tried their Dandelion Dark Roast - it’s actually shockingly similar to a real cup of coffee.
- Grass-fed organic bone broth – Bone broth can replace the ritual of a warm cup of coffee in the morning. Bone broth assists the organs and insides in keeping warm and constantly filled with nourishment. To prep, simply warm up a cup of bone broth with a few spices of your choices for a comforting pick-me-up at any time of the day.
- Dandelion tea – Dandelion tea is not necessarily the most pleasant tasting tea, but is has amazing health benefits for you and baby. If you like the taste of black coffee, give this one a try first to satisfy your taste buds. You will need a tea ball. Add half dandelion root granules and half chicory root granules to the tea ball and let steep in hot water.
- Chocolate Mushroom Elixir – If you’ve ever sipped the potent taste of an elixir, you’re aware that sometimes elixirs can be strong and bitter. Consider trying a chocolate mushroom elixir as your morning treat. Blend a chocolate mushroom elixir in a cup of boiling water. You can even froth it up a little bit to make it seem like your morning coffee.
While dandelion teas or mushroom elixir’s may never totally take the place of a warm cup of coffee, we promise that they can be a close second. And before you know it, you’ll be transitioning to solids and missing those precious moments breastfeeding your baby.
If you'd like to read about our favorite foods for boosting milk supply, check out our other post here.