Can’t resist the call of your sweet tooth while breastfeeding? One of these most tempting sweets is chocolate. Everybody in the world loves chocolate, may it be dark chocolate, white chocolate, or milk chocolate. However, for nursing mothers, it is common to ask if they can eat chocolate when breastfeeding.
It is really tempting to add chocolate to your diet in breastfeeding. Why not? It is a good source of sugar that can be converted into energy. An ample supply of energy in your body is very much needed by breastfeeding mothers because of the sleepless nights. But does eating chocolate really have side effects that can be experienced by your baby? Let us find out!
What are the ingredients of chocolate?
For us to better understand the answer to the question, “Can chocolate be eaten while breastfeeding?”, let us first take a closer look at its ingredients.
- The main ingredient that you can find in your dark chocolate and milk chocolate bars is the cacao. It can be cocoa solids, beans, mass, or liquor. Moreover, cacao has caffeine, cholesterol, and theobromine.
- Sugar is also added to your milk chocolate, and white chocolate since the natural taste of cacao can be bitter.
- Dark chocolates have an additional component called the cocoa butter.
- Milk chocolate and white chocolate uses milk solids.
- Emulsifiers are also used to make the chocolate withstand the heat.
- The chocolate bar also contains vegetable fats.
- Artificial flavorings and colorings are also added to give a different dimension to your chocolate.
Can chocolate be eaten while breastfeeding?
Restlessness and sleepless nights brought by taking care of a newborn baby can make you crave sweets, especially ready consumable chocolates. But, do you think eating chocolate and breastfeeding makes a great pair?
According to experts, you are free to eat chocolate while breastfeeding. But, just like consuming other substances, you must intake moderate amounts of it as too much chocolate can harm your baby. You must remember that everything you eat is what your body processes and converts into breast milk. So, eating chocolate while breastfeeding would mean that the baby will also consume its ingredients, and we all know that chocolate is high in fats and sugars and has little nutritive value.
A breastfeeding mother needs to have a healthy diet when breastfeeding. Your breastfeeding diet must include lots of vegetables and fruits. You can consume chocolates and other sweets but only as “occasional treats”. You don’t need to depend on the sugar that can be found in the chocolate to stay energetic, you can have that by following a healthy diet for breastfeeding.
What are the side effects of chocolate on the baby?
As mentioned before, chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has caffeine and theobromine content. These two substances, which can be found from cacao and cocoa solids, are what can harm your baby.
Chocolates contain caffeine and theobromine. You should not be consuming too many chocolates when you are breastfeeding your child because this will affect your child’s development.
Worse, your child will not be able to get the much-needed sleep of infants. If you are fond of chocolates, then you should try to lessen or totally avoid the consumption of it. If you cannot avoid consuming chocolates, then try switching to white chocolates because these chocolates have the lowest caffeine and theobromine content.
What are the effects of caffeine intake on a breastfeeding baby?
he caffeine stays longer in the infant’s body because its half-life is high and the infants do not urinate or defecate frequently to help get rid of the caffeine.
Caffeine works the same way to infants: it causes them to stay awake. Worse, it may induce insomnia later on followed by increased irritability and hyperactivity, which can have a negative impact on their development.
Breast milk volume and nutrients can also be lowered by caffeine in chocolates, so the infants will not be nourished properly if you consume too much chocolates.
What are the effects of consuming theobromine on a breastfeeding baby?
Aside from caffeine, chocolates contain theobromine which can harm the baby also. Here are some effects of theobromine to an infant who is breastfeeding:
The infant can accumulate too much gas if they breastfeed on a mother who consumes too much chocolate or other cocoa products. Theobromine can always be found in significant quantities in chocolates and cocoa products, with dark chocolate containing the highest theobromine quantities compared to white chocolate.
When should you stop eating chocolate?
It may not be like what you expected, but chocolate and breastfeeding don’t usually go well with each other. The caffeine and the theobromine content of chocolate are very harmful to your child and might cause some bad things. Once you notice these signs in your baby, you must stop eating chocolate right away and get a breastfeeders’ diet change.
- Gas formation in your baby’s tummy
- Your child is irritable and fuzzy
- Your baby experiences insomnia
- You are noticing hyperactivity
- Your baby is not interested in drinking milk
Remember, your baby consumes what you eat through your breast milk, and a mother would always choose what’s best for her baby, even if it means removing chocolate from her diet. Breastfeeding will become a happier journey if you decide to eat healthier food!
Other food that a breastfeeding mom should avoid
Aside from chocolates, there is also some other food that you must avoid while you are breastfeeding. Here is a list:
- Coffee is also high in caffeine
- Some fish have mercury content
- Parsley and peppermint can decrease your milk supply
- Dairy products must be avoided when your child has eczema
- Alcohol mixes with your breast milk
- Citrus fruits may cause diaper rash
- Peanuts can trigger allergies
- Garlic can smell in your milk and can make your baby reluctant to drink it
- Wheat can cause pain in your child’s tummy
Baby over chocolates
Don’t worry! You do not have to give up chocolate completely, you can still have some in moderation. But, not eating chocolates at all is just a small sacrifice to ensure that your little one will be safe and healthy!