Since there may be a lot of caffeine in green tea, breastfeeding women may need to avoid consuming any green tea products. Although normal intakes (such as one cup per day) are probably safe, problems could potentially occur. Caffeine passes through breast milk and may cause problems in breastfed infants. Before consuming green tea, breastfeeding women should ask their healthcare providers about the possible risks.
An Overview of Green Tea and Breastfeeding
It is not known whether green tea is safe for breastfeeding women. Green tea contains caffeine, which may be a concern for some breastfeeding mothers.
Is Green Tea Safe While Breastfeeding?
It is not known whether high intakes of green tea are safe while breastfeeding. Green tea is not free of side effects (see Green Tea Side Effects) and drug interactions (see Green Tea Drug Interactions). Generally, high intakes of green tea are not recommended for breastfeeding women.
What about normal intakes, such as one cup of green tea per day? Although probably safe, it may cause problems during breastfeeding. Each cup of green tea contains about 10 to 80 mg of caffeine. Caffeine passes through breast milk and may cause problems in breastfed infants, such as irritability.
Green tea supplements (such as extracts, capsules, and tablets) should be avoided during breastfeeding. It is not known whether these products are safe for breastfeeding women.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Green Tea and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about green tea and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about green tea and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed January 31, 2008.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: green tea (May 2006). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/greentea/. Accessed January 31, 2008.
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