Can You Drink Kombucha While Breastfeeding?

Kombucha, a fermented tea beverage with a centuries-old history, has gained significant popularity in recent years for its potential health benefits. However, for breastfeeding mothers, the question of whether it’s safe to consume kombucha can be a cause for concern.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of kombucha and explore whether it’s advisable for nursing mothers to enjoy this probiotic-rich beverage while breastfeeding.

Understanding Kombucha

Before we delve into the specifics of kombucha and its impact on breastfeeding, let’s first understand what kombucha is and how it’s made.

Kombucha is a tangy, slightly fizzy drink made from brewed tea, sugar, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). The fermentation process involves placing the SCOBY in sweetened tea and allowing it to ferment for a period of time, usually one to two weeks. During this fermentation, the SCOBY consumes the sugar and produces various compounds, including probiotics, organic acids, and a small amount of alcohol.

The resulting beverage is often touted for its potential health benefits, which include improved digestion, immune support, and detoxification. However, it’s essential to examine whether these benefits are suitable for breastfeeding mothers and, more importantly, whether kombucha poses any risks.

Kombucha and Breastfeeding: Is It Safe?

When it comes to breastfeeding, safety is a top priority. The question of whether kombucha is safe to consume while breastfeeding has led to some confusion and varying opinions. Let’s break down the factors to consider:

Alcohol Content:

One of the primary concerns when it comes to kombucha and breastfeeding is its alcohol content. During the fermentation process, kombucha can contain trace amounts of alcohol, typically below 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). This is comparable to the alcohol content in many non-alcoholic beers and is generally considered safe for breastfeeding mothers.

However, it’s crucial to be aware that alcohol can pass into breast milk. The alcohol content in kombucha is so low that it’s unlikely to have any adverse effects on your baby. Nevertheless, if you’re concerned about alcohol passing into your breast milk, you may want to consume kombucha in moderation and ensure it has been properly fermented, as more extended fermentation can reduce alcohol levels.

Caffeine Content:

The caffeine content in kombucha depends on the type of tea used during brewing. Black or green tea is the most common base for kombucha, and they contain caffeine. While the caffeine content in kombucha is generally lower than that in a cup of brewed tea, it’s worth considering your overall caffeine intake while breastfeeding. High caffeine intake can lead to irritability, poor sleep, and fussiness in infants.

If you are sensitive to caffeine or worried about its effects on your baby, you might want to choose a kombucha made with caffeine-free herbal teas as the base.

Probiotics and Digestive Health:

One of the significant benefits of kombucha is its probiotic content, which can aid in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide numerous benefits, including promoting gut health. For breastfeeding mothers, a healthy gut can indirectly benefit both you and your baby by supporting your overall well-being.

While there’s no direct evidence that kombucha’s probiotics are harmful during breastfeeding, it’s essential to be mindful of any adverse reactions you or your baby may experience. Some individuals can be sensitive to probiotics, which can lead to gas, bloating, or changes in bowel habits. If you experience any adverse effects, consider reducing your consumption or opting for a probiotic supplement designed for breastfeeding mothers.

Sugar Content:

Kombucha is initially sweetened with sugar to fuel the fermentation process. As the fermentation progresses, the sugar content decreases. However, some residual sugar remains in the finished product, giving it a mildly sweet taste. While this sugar content is generally considered safe, it’s essential to monitor your overall sugar intake, as excessive sugar consumption can have adverse health effects.

Moderation is key. If you’re concerned about sugar intake, consider brewing your kombucha at home, where you can control the sweetness level by adjusting the fermentation time and sugar quantity.

Allergies and Sensitivities:

Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to certain components of kombucha, such as the tea base or specific additives like fruit flavorings. If you have any known allergies or sensitivities, exercise caution when trying kombucha for the first time while breastfeeding.

It’s also advisable to choose plain, unflavored kombucha if you’re unsure about how your body or your baby will react to it. This way, you can introduce kombucha into your diet more gradually and monitor for any adverse reactions.

However, it’s essential to be mindful of the following points:

  1. Alcohol content: Ensure that the kombucha you consume is properly fermented and contains low alcohol levels.
  2. Caffeine content: Consider your overall caffeine intake and choose caffeine-free options if necessary.
  3. Probiotics: Monitor for any adverse reactions to probiotics and adjust your intake accordingly.
  4. Sugar content: Be aware of your sugar intake, especially if you’re concerned about excess sugar consumption.
  5. Allergies and sensitivities: Exercise caution if you have known allergies or sensitivities.

As with any dietary choice during breastfeeding, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a lactation consultant to determine what’s best for you and your baby. Every mother and baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. By making informed choices and paying attention to your body’s signals, you can enjoy kombucha as a potentially healthy addition to your diet while breastfeeding.


In conclusion, the question of whether you can drink kombucha while breastfeeding largely depends on individual factors and moderation. Kombucha, with its potential benefits for gut health and probiotic content, can be a part of a balanced diet for many breastfeeding mothers.