Breastfeeding and Chocolate

Submitted by Nick on January 18, 2012

Some studies show that breastfeeding and chocolate do not go hand in hand. This is due to the caffeine present in chocolate. Most new mothers have breastfeeding problems. These could be engorgement, cracked nipples, leaking breasts, inverted nipples or even a baby just refusing to feed. Apart from breastfeeding problems one problem could be a baby who has colic and will not settle down. This could be due to certain foods that you have eaten as whatever you eat passes through to the baby via the breast milk. These foods may also result in your baby’s stomach getting upset or him being cranky and fussier than usual.


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Here is some breastfeeding advice related to breastfeeding and cocoa. Most doctors recommended that mothers stay away from caffeine and caffeine related products while pregnant and also during nursing. So while you may cut down on that cup of tea or coffee, remember that caffeine is also present in other foods like cocoa or chocolate.

The more caffeine you have, the more affected your child will be. Caffeine may stay in a woman’s system for only a few hours but it can stay in breast milk for much longer. Likewise, the same caffeine passed through breast milk to a baby can stay in the baby’s system for a number of days. Excessive caffeine intake by a mother will result in the baby showing signs of caffeine stimulation. These include a baby who is active, alert, does not sleep for long. The baby might also be unusually fussy. If your baby shows any of the above symptoms and you do have a significant amount of chocolate (caffeine) in your diet while breastfeeding; try limiting or avoiding this source of caffeine for about 2-3 weeks. If you notice a difference after this time, you will have identified the culprit. While nursing it is best to avoid chocolate, especially dark chocolate and anything that is made with pure cocoa powder. Breastfeeding and cocoa milk are not a good combination for either you or the baby.

Your breastfeeding diet is of utmost importance during this time. While you will need to drink a lot more than usual, stay away from hot chocolate, cocoa, colas, coffee and tea – for the reasons given above.  You will be able to see if the caffeine in your diet is affecting your baby. It may not be possible to stop caffeine from your breastfeeding diet immediately, but reducing the amount till you can avoid it completely will help.

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