Can I Drink Soda While Breastfeeding? Is it Safe?

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Are you worried about drinking soda while you are breastfeeding? From additives to caffeine, it’s normal to think about how soda might affect your nursing baby.

Overall, soda is safe to consume while breastfeeding and will not cause any adverse effects to you or your breastfed baby. However, if the soda is caffeinated, avoid consuming more than the recommended limit of 300 milligrams per day. 

Let’s dive into more information regarding drinking soda safely during breastfeeding. 

Can I Drink Soda While Breastfeeding?

Soda is safe to consume while breastfeeding when consumed in moderate amounts. However, limit soda intake due to the caffeine, sugar, and calorie content. 

It is essential to be aware of the caffeine intake of soda as breastfeeding moms should not consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine total per day (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]). Excess amounts of caffeine consumption during breastfeeding can cause adverse symptoms in the baby — more on this below!

different bottles of soda

The caffeine content of cans of soda varies depending on the type. Typically, cola has 22 milligrams of caffeine per cup, while citrus sodas and root beers are caffeine-free (source: Mayo Clinic). 

Since the CDC recommends a 300 milligram maximum of caffeine daily while breastfeeding, you might think that you can safely drink over 10 cups of soda and still not reach that limit!

However, there are significant amounts of extra calories and sugar in soda. Also, you must consider any other sources of caffeine you consume throughout your day, whether from coffee, tea, or energy drinks.

Additionally, remember that a serving of soda is a cup or eight fluid ounces. However, a typical soda can is 12 ounces and a bottle, such as that from a vending machine, is about 16 ounces. Therefore, it is easy to drink more than a serving of soda, and the caffeine, sugar, and calories can quickly add up!

When considering if you should drink soda, you need to factor the amount consumed and the serving size into the amounts of sugar, calories, and caffeine consumed.

As mentioned above, soda is high in sugar and calories. Therefore, it should be consumed in moderation or not at all. Healthier options include sparkling or flavored waters that are caffeine-free and free of calories and sugar. 

soda in a glass with ice and straw

Can I Drink Caffeine-Free Soda When Breastfeeding?

Caffeine-free sodas are typically citruses, such as Sprite or 7Up, or orange sodas. While these are better options for moms during breastfeeding from a caffeine perspective, these beverages still have some health implications.

While low in caffeine, these sodas are often very high in calories and sugar, just like their caffeinated counterparts. Sugar is a source of empty calories that can contribute to feeling tired and sluggish, weight gain, and even diabetes mellitus (source: American Pregnancy Association).

Therefore, it is best for breastfeeding women to avoid sugary beverages like soda, sugary coffee drinks, lemonades, fruit punches, and more. 

Similarly, diet sodas are safe for breastfeeding women, but they do not have any quality nutrition. Since hydration is essential during breastfeeding, opt for plain water, juice, or tea instead of soda.

pile of soda in cans

Does Drinking Soda When Breastfeeding Cause Gas? 

Many believe drinking soda when breastfeeding can cause the baby to be gassy or have digestive discomfort, but this is a breastfeeding myth. There is no evidence of a relationship between maternal soda consumption during breastfeeding and flatulence in the infant. 

Yet, when you consume very large amounts of soda (or any other beverage containing caffeine, such as black tea, coffee, and energy drinks), this can cause adverse effects in your baby.

Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine, such as 10 cups of coffee, may mean your baby could experience difficulty sleeping, fussiness, jitteriness, and irritability (source: CDC). Keep in mind that a cup of coffee could have as much over 100 milligrams of caffeine, compared to just 22 in a cup of cola. 

If you notice these aforementioned symptoms in your baby after you consume a lot of caffeine, especially in younger and newborn infants, consider lowering your caffeine intake and replacing your soda and coffee with water, juice, or decaf tea. 

I hope you found this article helpful in breaking down the information regarding drinking soda while you are breastfeeding. Overall, the advice is pretty much the same as drinking soda during pregnancy – moderation is best!