Feeling guilty about eating chocolate while breastfeeding?
If breastfeeding and chocolate are on your list of favorite things, I have some good news for you!
You can continue to eat chocolate, as long as you eat it in moderation and do not see any side-effects in your baby.
It’s the caffeine in chocolate that most people are worried about, not really the sugar. If you are going to eat chocolate, it is best not to consume too many other caffeinated products such as coffee, tea or soft drinks.
Chocolate also contains Theobromine, which has a similar effect to caffeine. Some mothers find that they can eat as much chocolate as they want, without it affecting their babies. Theobromine has also been found to increase a mother's breast milk supply.
Some Good News for Chocolate Lovers
The substance Theobromine has been found to be the primary substance that causes severe symptoms, and especially gas in babies. White chocolate contains tiny amounts of Theobromine, reducing the risk of it affecting your baby. So, if you have found that chocolate is a no-no for your baby, maybe you should try white chocolate and see if your baby still reacts the same way. (That's if you like white chocolate of course)
My fellow chocolate lovers, as long as your baby does not mind white chocolate breast milk, it’s worth the try!
When you Need to Decrease your Chocolate Intake…
Unfortunately, chocolate and nursing don’t always go hand in hand…
- Your baby becomes more active and alert than usual.
- Your baby becomes fussy, restless and struggles to sleep.
- Your baby seems to have runnier stools and gas pain.
- Diarrhea or green stools.
- Your baby refuses to nurse.
- Rash around the anus.
If you discover that your baby has an allergic reaction or any of the symptoms mentioned above, you must stop eating chocolate or decrease the amount consumed. The symptoms should disappear within the first few days, but the cravings will last forever. ;-)
Most of the time, there are no weird symptoms, and most mothers can enjoy chocolate and caffeine in moderation while breastfeeding.