Chocolate and Breastfeeding

When you are breastfeeding your little one, you can eat just about anything you like. If your baby is a little gassy or you notice any changes to his bowel movements, you might want to check your diet. If your child begins to cry a great deal and not usually during the times associated with colic – late in the afternoon or early in the evening, you should see if any changes to your breastfeeding are causing these changes. Among all the things chocolate and breastfeeding are most concerned. So is chocolate safe for breastfeeding babies?

Can Breastfeeding Moms Eat Chocolate?

First thing first, yes, you can eat chocolate during breastfeeding because it delivers sugar and can give you energy. But breastfeeding moms should limit or even eradicate chocolate intake if they or their babies react to chocolate. There are many reasons why chocolate may affect your baby. Here are a few of the reasons:

1. Caffeine in Chocolate

You may be not aware of it but caffeine is a major ingredient in chocolate. Chocolate during breastfeeding can have an impact on the health of your baby. Many breastfeeding women find that if they eat too much chocolate, their babies become gassy. Besides, caffeine must be ruled out while babies' digestive system is still developing.

So at least, nursing mothers should not consume more than 3 cups of coffee daily. In addition to chocolate, caffeine can also be found in soda, tea, energy drinks, and certain ice cream. Be careful when consuming them.

2. Theobromine in Chocolate

Another component of chocolate is theobromine. If you are nursing your baby, you should not consume theobromine or foods that contain it. Or your baby will experience excess gas problems after breastfeeding.

If you just can't say no to chocolate, you should change to eating white chocolate which has lower theobromine content and will have fewer side effects on your child. In addition to chocolate, theobromine can be found in specific candy, cocoa powder, instant breakfast, koala nuts, and chocolate based foods.

3. Other Side Effects Brought Out by Chocolate and Breastfeeding

Check to see if your baby exhibits any of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Rashes

If your baby has any of the side effects listed above, you may need to take your child to the pediatrician. If you are still nursing, you may have to give up chocolates temporarily.

Foods that Should Be Avoided During Breastfeeding

Besides chocolate, there are a number of other foods that should be avoided from your regular diet while breastfeeding. Check out the following:

1. Say No to Alcohol

Everything that you consume is subject to coming through to your baby while breastfeeding. You should not drink while pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. If you do have a drink, you should wait two hours for every drink you have before you can resume breastfeeding again. A drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of liquor, or 5 ounces of wine.

2. Avoid Allergy Foods

Chocolate and breastfeeding surely causes a lot of concern. You should also pay close attention to your baby so you are able to tell if he or she is allergic to any foods. Allergic reactions include a rash, diarrhea, or problems breathing. Some common foods that typically create an allergic reaction include cow's milk, eggs, corn, soy, wheat or peanuts. Always make sure to check your baby's stool to see if there are any changes in color or texture that could reflect an allergic reaction.

3. Limit Spicy Foods

Eating spicy foods is not harmful to your baby but it could cause them to act a little fussy or take away their appetite. You may want to keep spicy foods to a minimum while breastfeeding.

4. Know Which Fish to Eat

Make sure you are familiar with the types of fish that are good for you while breastfeeding. Avoid any fish that contains mercury and stay away from king maceral, swordfish, and tilefish. Don't eat more than 6 ounces of fish every week.

5. Stay Away from Gas-Inducing Foods

Besides the combination of chocolate and breastfeeding, nursing moms should avoid other gas-producing foods. The following vegetables and foods could possibly cause your baby to become more gassy than usual:

  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Whole-grains
  • Chewing gum

Watch the video below to learn 5 great tips to make your baby and you more comfortable during breastfeeding: 

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