Drinking Green Tea While Breastfeeding- Good Or Bad?

Consuming Green Tea During Breastfeeding – Is It Safe?

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Gupta (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

The first thing that comes to mind when you say green tea is ‘health’. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants, a cup of green tea can do a world of good to your body. However, things change when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. When you’re lactating, everything that you eat or drink gets transferred to your baby via breast milk. So, if you’re wondering – Can I drink green tea while breastfeeding? read on as in this article, we explain whether it’s safe to consume green tea during breastfeeding.

Video: Is Drinking Green Tea Safe During Breastfeeding?

Is It Safe to Drink Green Tea When You’re Breastfeeding?

Breastmilk is the only source of nutrition for your child for the first six months. So, a mom’s diet should provide the necessary nutrients and be devoid of side effects.

Green tea doesn’t have any negative effects on babies when consumed in a limited quantity. In fact, green tea contains essential nutrients such as Vitamin B, folate acid, manganese, magnesium and other antioxidants which help in nourishing the baby and the mother alike. That said, the caffeine content in green tea can adversely affect some infants.

You can safely consume plain green tea that has a low amount of caffeine. Avoid teas that contain herbs.

How Much Green Tea Can You Drink While Breastfeeding?

Green tea is rich in nutrients that energise and refresh the body. However, since it also contains caffeine, green tea shouldn’t be consumed in excess.

Two cups green tea a day

Two cups per day of green tea, with each cup being around 230ml is considered safe for lactating women. The upper limit for daily caffeine consumption is 300mg and a cup of green tea has close to 29mg of the same.


  1. Keep a tab on your daily caffeine consumption. Coffee, fizzy drinks and chocolate contain caffeine, too.
  2. Avoid consumption of green tea with iron-rich foods such as leafy vegetables.

Benefits of Green Tea for a Nursing Mother

When consumed in moderation like every other thing, green tea offers a range of benefits. Here are some of the advantages of green tea while breastfeeding:

1. Provides Antioxidants

Antioxidants help reduce the risks of chronic diseases and free radicals. Green tea is rich in the antioxidant- Polyphenol.

2. Boosts Energy Levels

Breastfeeding is tiring. The caffeine content in green tea can provide that natural dose of energy that a nursing mom needs.

3. Boosts Hydration

It’s vital to maintain your hydration levels as the little one breastfeeds. Green tea is one of the best hydrating and healthy beverage options.

4. Supports Weight Management

If postpartum weight management is on your mind, look into green tea for its metabolism-boosting and fat oxidation features.

Side Effects of Green Tea on Lactating Mothers

Unless consumed in excess quantities, green tea does not have any side effects on the mother. But when consumed in excess, the following side effects can occur:

1. Causes Persistent Headaches

Consuming green tea more than the limit recommended could lead to headaches because of the caffeine in green tea. This will also depend on the amount of sensitivity to caffeine. Also, if you already have a headache, consuming green tea could only make it worse.

2. Causes Iron and Anaemia Deficiency

Tannin, a chemical found in green tea, interferes with iron absorption. Excess consumption of green tea leads to interference in iron absorption resulting in anaemia. This is one of the worst side effects of drinking excess green tea.

3. Can Interfere With Sleep Patterns

Caffeine is a stimulant that prevents sleep. If you’re overly sensitive to caffeine, then excess consumption of green tea could lead to sleep deprivation. Also, the active ingredients found in green tea stop the body from producing the sleep hormone melatonin. 

4. Affects Bone Health

There are compounds present in green tea that prevent calcium absorption. Consuming green tea in excess could lead to bone loss in nursing mothers and increase the risk of osteoporosis. 

5. May Cause Thyroid Issues

Overconsumption of green tea can impact thyroid function due to its increased catechin content.

Does Green Tea Reduce Breast Milk?

When it comes to green tea and breastfeeding, does green tea affect milk supply? Well, no studies prove that green tea reduces or stops breast milk. But to be on the safe side, wait for at least three hours after a meal to consume green tea.

What Happens If Green Tea Is Consumed in Excess?

When it exceeds the daily prescribed limit, green tea can lead to the following symptoms in babies:

  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Diarrhoea
  • Disturbed sleep and difficulty in falling asleep
  • Irritability and fussiness
  • Infantile colic

Infantile colic

You should look out for these symptoms even if you don’t exceed the daily caffeine limit.

Is Decaf Green Tea Safe?

Decaffeinated green tea isn’t entirely devoid of caffeine; it contains 2-5 mg of caffeine per 237 ml cup of green tea. As every tea maker has different standards of caffeine elimination, read the product label before buying.

Are Green Tea Pills a Good Option?

Not really. With green tea pills, you may accidentally consume more caffeine every day than the prescribed limits. This may affect your baby. (some pills contain hidden steroids as well).

Alternatives to Green Tea

If you want to avoid the consumption of caffeine while breastfeeding, you can go for these beverages:

Things to Keep in Mind While Drinking Green Tea While Breastfeeding

Here are the things you need to take care of while consuming green tea while nursing:

  • As much as possible, opt to purchase only organic green tea from reputable growers.
  • Select green tea that contains only tea and no added ingredients.
  • Avoid green teas that contain additional herbs, as the impact of herbs on nursing kids hasn’t been found as yet.
  • Stick to unsweetened varieties of green tea.
  • Choose whole-leaf green tea instead of green tea bags.


1. Which Type of Green Teas Are Safe to Drink During Breastfeeding?

Green teas like Sencha, Matcha, Hojicha, Longjing, Gyokuro, Tencha, and Genmaicha are safe to drink while nursing.

2. Is It Safe to Drink Matcha Tea When Nursing?

Yes, it is safe to consume matcha tea while breastfeeding as long as you limit the intake to just 1 cup per day. This is because it contains more caffeine as compared to green tea.

3. Can You Consume Drink Bottled Green Tea While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can consume bottled green tea while nursing. Just make sure that it contains only tea and no sweeteners, flavours, or additives.

Green tea for breastfeeding moms has a lot of health benefits. If consumed within prescribed limits, it isn’t detrimental to the mother’s or baby’s health.


1. Hachul. A, Boldarine. V, Neto. N, et al.; Effect of the consumption of green tea extract during pregnancy and lactation on metabolism of mothers and 28d-old offspring; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5790015/; January 2018

2. Chacko. S, Thambi. P, Kuttan. R, Nishigaki. I; Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855614/; April 2010

3. Do mothers need more calories while breastfeeding?; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/maternal-diet.html

4. Caffeine; Food Standards Australia New Zealand; https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/generalissues/Pages/Caffeine.aspx

5. Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more; Mayo Clinic; Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more; https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20049372

6. Sachs. H, Frattarelli. D, Galinkin. J, et al.; The Transfer of Drugs and Therapeutics Into Human Breast Milk: An Update on Selected Topics; American Academy of Paediatrics Clinical Report; https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/132/3/e796/31630/The-Transfer-of-Drugs-and-Therapeutics-Into-Human; September 2013

7. Breastfeeding; American Academy of Paediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/default.aspx

8. Disler. P, Lynch. S, et al.; The effect of tea on iron absorption; National Center for Biotechnology Information; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1410962/pdf/gut00496-0045.pdf; March 1975

Also Read:

Apple Cider Vinegar while Breastfeeding
Consuming Fennel during Breastfeeding
Is it Safe to Consume Turmeric while Breastfeed

Previous article «
Next article »