CHOCOLATE, CAFFEINE & BREASTFEEDING

Posted on July 28, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

A recent series of posts highlighted the fine line between fact and fiction when it comes to breastfeeding. A mother-in-law’s counsel to her daughter-in-law, a new breastfeeding mother, to avoid chocolate and caffeine for its negative effect on baby, led to Internet uproar.  Indeed, mother-in-law was pilloried as a “liar.”

Whatever happened to perspective?

The culprit, if there is one, are similar, naturally occurring substances in coffee and chocolate that have stimulant effects. The cacao tree, Theobroma, contains theobromine while caffeine comes from the bean of the coffee tree. Both are stimulants and can cause irritability, wakefulness and jumpiness in people sensitive to the substances or who consume too much.

The blood – breast milk barrier is thankfully very efficient and for most breastfeeding mothers indulging in some chocolate or coffee causes no issue. Of course, moderation is important. Eat a pound of chocolate or drink eight cups of coffee in a row and baby might be as revved up as mom and, for sure, won’t sleep too well! No need, however, to abstain.

Knowledge is passed down from one generation to the next but that knowledge also needs to be updated. Breastfeeding mothers can take comfort in the effectiveness of the barrier between their body and what passes to the baby through the milk. This is not license, however, to abuse it.

So, enjoy that cup of coffee and no need to pass up the Godiva dark chocolate that goes so well with it!

 

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