Women love chocolates. After nine months of restricted diet, who doesn’t love to indulge themselves in the delicious, sweet taste of chocolate? After all, we consider it as a good mood booster. But is chocolate good enough to take a position in the list of lactation foods? Is consuming chocolate during breastfeeding safe? Or is it one among the foods to avoid when breastfeeding? In this article, we have provided all the necessary information to make a decision for yourself.
Table of Contents
An Introduction To Chocolate?
Chocolates are universally loved food that doesn't even need an introduction. It is a brown-coloured, typically sweet food prepared from roasted and grounded Theobroma cacao seeds. Chocolate contains the following ingredients: Chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar. The nutritional components a chocolate is made up of are fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, water, caffeine, cholesterol and theobromine.
Theobromine content (found in cocoa solids) in the chocolates is a matter of concern for mothers who eat chocolate while nursing. It is a perfect stimulant which has pretty much same effect as the caffeine in coffee. But a solace to a mothers who would love to eat chocolates while breastfeeding is - theobromine in chocolate is perfectly safe unless chocolates are being eaten in large amounts.
Which kind of chocolates during breastfeeding is safer? The white chocolates! Theobromine, which could cause chocolate effects on baby, is present in cocoa solids. Dark chocolate is darker in colour because of the cocoa solids. Higher the percentage of cocoa solids, higher is the theobromine and higher is chocolate effects on baby. In white chocolates, there are no cocoa solids and no theobromine. Therefore, least chocolate effects on baby.
[Read: Are Chocolates Harmful For Kids?]
Eating Chocolate While Breastfeeding - Why Do You Crave?
Sleepless nights are very common for new mothers because you need to breastfeed your baby day and night. Your sleep cycle might be disturbed too. This kind of sleep deprivation impacts your decision-making ability. And as a result of it, it can cause uncontrollable hunger pangs and cravings.
Can I Eat Chocolate While Breastfeeding?
Can breastfeeding moms eat chocolate is the question most of moms ask themselves. If you are also one among them, the answer is undoubtedly yes. Eating chocolate while breastfeeding is safe but it obviously comes with a little catch on this. If you ever find yourself or your baby facing any problems due to eating chocolate while breastfeeding, you should be prepared to stop it.
A small amount of chocolate while nursing does no harm. Although the ingredients in the chocolates could be transferred to your breastmilk and cause chocolate effects on baby, two pieces of chocolates a day or a slice of chocolate cake shouldn’t create much of a problem.
Some Chocolates are added with extra caffeine. If you consume caffeine-rich chocolates while nursing along with other caffeine products such as coffee, coke, tea, etc it might affect your baby. Do you want to include chocolates in lactation foods? Then, cut down other caffeine products.
Can breastfeeding moms eat chocolate? Yes! What kind of chocolates is best while breastfeeding? White Chocolates! Darker chocolate are best to be avoided. Milk chocolate is in the middle range and the white chocolates is best for your baby’s health.
How Much Chocolate Is Safe?
Can chocolate affect breast milk taste? For sure, yes! But what is the limit of chocolate your baby will be able to handle? Here is the answer.
Your baby can handle the chocolate in breast milk if the mother consume less than 750 mg of theobromine or caffeine a day. Anything beyond that could cause fussiness and irritation in your baby.
Aforementioned, it is best to include white chocolates in the diet for lactating mother instead of darker versions. Eating chocolates is much safer when the chocolates are white ones as it contains lower amount of theobromine. Your baby certainly wouldn’t mind white chocolate flavoured milk.
[Also read: Toddlers and Chocolate - Yes or No?]
Which Ingredients Are Bad For Babies?
Can chocolate affect breast milk? Most certainly yes! Chocolate consists of a lot many ingredients and substances. But what the ingredients in chocolates that could affect your baby? We have made a list. Familiarize with it and ensure to minimize its effects.
You might have heard or read about caffeine content in the chocolate phrase. But usually it is referred to nothing but theobromine. These two terms are often used interchangeably because of the effects they offer. The Theobromine is a stimulant with the effects same as caffeine. For your baby to get affected by the theobromine content in the chocolate, the breastfeeding moms should eat over 50 ounces of chocolate in a day.
There are a few types of chocolates which contain actual caffeine too. The presence of both - caffeine and theobromine, could cause higher effect. So always ensure to check the ingredients of the chocolate bar you are about to eat and make sure it is well within the limits.
The sweetness of a chocolate is mainly because of the sugars present in it. It causes no harm to your baby. So, obviously this ingredient doesn’t push chocolates in the list of foods to avoid when breastfeeding. But this ingredient could make you hyper.
Is your baby sensitive to dairy? Then, it is best to avoid consumption of chocolates in large amounts. The dairy present in chocolate could affect your baby if you consume chocolates enough to let it enter in your breast milk.
Effects of Chocolate on your baby:
Eating chocolate while nursing is fairly safe. It doesn't pose any harm to your baby if it is within the limit. But it is always best to watch out for the effects it might cause. In case, you observe any effects of chocolate on your baby, it is best to avoid to chocolates until you wean your baby from breastfeeding.
If you nurse your baby shortly after eating a lot of chocolates, your baby becomes fussy quickly. It is because of the ingredients present in the chocolates - theobromine and caffeine. If this happens, maybe it is time to exclude chocolates from your lactation foods.
Diarrhea and Vomiting
If your baby is very much sensitive to chocolate, even a little amount of chocolate in your breast milk could affect your baby. It might cause diarrhea, vomiting, gas. It might become really very difficult to deal with it and hence, one of the best reason to put back chocolate in the list of foods to avoid when breastfeeding.
Unable to Sleep Well
Sleep is most necessary for you and your baby. A well-rested baby is a feast to eyes. But if you eat chocolates just before the night nursing session, your baby might struggle to get good sleep because of the caffeine and theobromine content present in the chocolates.
Chocolates are safe if consumed within limits. But never indulge yourself in too much of chocolates. Because too much of chocolate could be too bad on your baby. Exercise the necessary precautions and enjoy the breastfeeding phase - a perfect time to bond with your baby.
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