Maternal caffeine intake and breastfeeding duration: A systematic review
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Department of Midwifery, School of Health and Care Sciences, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Obstetric Emergency Department, General and Maternity Hospital Helena Venizelou, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Maria Tigka   

Department of Midwifery, School of Health and Care Sciences, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A162
Globally, caffeine is the most commonly consumed addictive substance with an estimated prevalence of about 80%1. Excessive intake is not recommended, especially during the perinatal period due to reported adverse effects2. Research on breastfeeding is scarce with the majority focusing on the potential impacts on the breastfeeding child3. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of maternal caffeine consumption during the perinatal period and the associations between caffeine intake and breastfeeding duration.

Material and Methods:
The online databases PubMed/Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL and Google Scholar were systematically searched for relevant articles published between 1993-2023 following PRISMA guidelines. Keywords were: “maternal”, “caffeine consumption”, “caffeine intake”, “breastfeeding initiation”, “breastfeeding duration”, “breastfeeding cessation’’, “lactation’’.

Five cohort studies met the inclusion criteria. Mattar et al.4 and Tigka et al.5 reported longer duration of breastfeeding in association with maternal caffeine consumption in their studies (mean±SD: 5.32 ± 5.66; p=0.031 and β=0.09; SE: 0.04; p=0.045, respectively). On the contrary, caffeine was negatively associated with longer duration of breastfeeding in two prospective studies conducted by Clifford et al. and Rebhan et al. (HR=1.34; 95% CI: 1.06-1.70 and OR=1.49; 95% CI: 1.25-1.79, p<0.001 respectively)6,7. Finally, a Swedish study recruiting 10205 infants did not demonstrate any associations between maternal caffeine intake and breastfeeding duration8. The prevalence of antenatal caffeine consumption ranged from 52.6 to 86.6%4-7 and from 49.3 to 84.8% during lactation4,5,7.

The results of the included studies are contradictory, thus preventing safe conclusions on this issue and the provision of evidence-based advice to breastfeeding mothers. Evidence on correlations between maternal caffeine consumption and breastfeeding duration is insufficient, highlighting the need for further research.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
There was no source of funding for this research.
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