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Can I breastfeed if?

Can I exercise and breastfeed? via lactationlink.com

Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?, motherhood

Hi, mamas! I’m Lacey Parr, a lactation educator and mom of 3. I’m here today to talk about exercise and breastfeeding. 

After healing and resting from pregnancy and childbirth, many moms feel the need to bring some more movement into their routine. Often moms are concerned about how exercise and breastfeeding can go together. Luckily, studies have shown that moderate exercise will not affect your milk supply (1). So why do so many moms worry about exercise and breastfeeding? Lots of new moms begin exercising around 6 weeks postpartum and at the same time, baby often starts nursing more frequently. Many moms think this means they are having issues with supply, related to their exercise. But actually, 6 weeks is a normal growth spurt when baby will need to nurse more often. So feel free to start moving your body in healthy ways without any worries about supply. If you do have consistent worries about supply, please contact a lactation consultant. We have 4 lactation consultants here at Lactation Link that can help online or in-person

Bringing more movement into your life can bring not only physical strength, but the mental clarity mothers need! Be sure to check with your midwife or doctor before returning to physical activity after childbirth. New moms might find it helpful to think outside the exercise box. There are other options outside of joining a gym or starting a complicated routine. The physical movement that nourishes your whole body can be added throughout your day and can include your baby. I hope the following tips will encourage you to feel confident about exercise and breastfeeding. Here are a few ways that have helped other moms bring movement into their lives with a new baby:

  1. Start small & work up. You already have an 8-pound weight that you are lifting and carrying all day: your baby. So check weight lifting off your list, you’re already doing that ;). You can increase your amount of movement in other small ways as well. Nurse in different positions and locations, like the floor. When going for checkup, take the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also increase the amount of steps you take each day by parking in the back of the parking lot, or a block away from your destination. Anytime you can walk, rather than drive, will add more movement to your day.                          Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise? via lactationlink.com
  2. Include your baby. Many gyms do have daycare as an option, but if you aren’t ready to be away from your baby, you can remove the stress of pumping, finding a sitter and leaving your baby behind a few hours by bringing your baby along for more movement! Look at local barre, yoga and even Zumba classes that encourage babywearing. Natural movements at home like stretching on the floor and going for a walk can all include baby. With some practice, you’ll be able to hike and nurse at the same time with your baby carrier! Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise? via lactationlink.com
  3. Bring community along. Movement and exercise are more fun with friends. Put a call out on social media and meet up with other friends to take a walk. Bring your baby carrier or stroller with you and you’ve received fresh air, exercise and socializing all at once! In this relaxed environment, you can take breaks to nurse as often as baby needs.
  4. Get outside. Simply getting outside of our normal sedentary surroundings, we find more opportunities for movement. Take a walk in your neighborhood or find a hike in your area. Even a playground can be a great place to get more movement. The monkey bars can be a great place to hang (literally) and work muscles that need more movement. Take your vegetable chopping to your balcony or deck. Squatting or sitting on the ground to chop will not only work different muscles than doing it at the counter, it probably has a better view!Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise? via lactationlink.com
  5. Stack your life. I learned one summer when we were without a dryer that hang-drying my laundry was totally counting as exercise. Lifting a basket of heavy, wet laundry, walking it to the line, and going through the repetitive motions of bending, lifting and reaching was moving my chest and arm muscles in ways I hadn’t in months. I was cleaning, helping my family, getting fresh air and getting more movement. Think outside the exercise box. Do you have a flower bed or garden that needs weeding? Think of all the bending and squatting necessary to weed and tend to your plants. In addition to being outside, learning more about your food and helping it grow, you are exercising! Bring your baby along in your sling or on a blanket for easy access for nursing.

Being more active and adding more movement into your life after a baby doesn’t have to involve a gym membership or a strict exercise routine. Exercise and breastfeeding are compatible and helpful for you and baby. Recognizing the new movements you are already doing, including your baby, bringing along community, getting outside and stacking your life are all great ways to bring movement into your motherhood. 

Have you signed up for our free Confident Breastfeeding Course yet?

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Related articles:

Can I breastfeed if I want to lose weight?

Fun on the swings

What not to eat when breastfeeding

How to breastfeed in public

Thanks for coming by,

lactationlink.com

Lacey Parr, BS, CLE

Sources

(1) Daley, A.J., Thomas, A., Cooper, H., Fitzpatrick, H., McDonald, C., Moore, H., Rooney, R., Deeks, J.J. (2012). Maternal exercise and growth in breastfed infants: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pediatrics, 130 (1). 108-14. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22711727

What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

What not to eat when breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?, Uncategorized

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC. I’m a mom to 5 and lactation consultant with Lactation Link. I’m here today to debunk some myths about what not to eat when breastfeeding and if you need a breastfeeding diet. Thanks for stopping by!

Does that mean that your milk tastes the same no matter what you eat? No! One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that your baby is very gently introduced to.......Picture this (depending on your own personal experience you may be able to “remember this”!): You just had your baby and are dying for a really great meal.  You love Mexican food and want a spicy burrito from your favorite restaurant.  Your partner is more than willing to go get it for you, but then your mother comes to visit and is shocked!  She scolds you, with your baby at your breast, saying that you can’t possibly eat spicy food while breastfeeding!  Let alone all the beans that are in that burrito!  Suddenly you feel really anxious– you didn’t know that you had to change your diet while breastfeeding.  What can you eat now?! Is there a breastfeeding diet??

Breastfeeding diet myths debunked

Well, I have some good news!  Today I’m going to debunk that all-too-common myth that all breastfeeding mothers need to reduce or eliminate their intake of spicy food, gassy food, strong flavors, caffeinated drinks, or anything else you can imagine!

Is there a mother's breastfeeding diet? Read: What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.comMothers from cultures all over the world have been breastfeeding for, well, forever.  Many cultures have unique foods that would be considered anything but bland.  These babies thrive even when their moms eat these flavorful foods, so we know it’s not something that needs to be universally avoided.

Does baby taste what I taste?

Does that mean that your milk tastes the same no matter what you eat?  No!  One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that your baby is very gently introduced to your family’s tastes even before that first messy experience with solid foods.  That can help baby be more accepting of new foods when she is ready (1).

Is there a mother's breastfeeding diet? Read: What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

{Undercover Mama Nursing Top: Save 20% with code LLINK}

In fact, there was a study where mothers were given garlic pills and an hour later their babies nursed for longer periods than they had before!  The milk also smelled like garlic, so we can assume that the babies liked the subtle flavor change of the milk when mom consumed lots of garlic (2).

You don’t need to take garlic pills to encourage your baby to breastfeed, but you can rest assured that you can generally eat what you like while breastfeeding your baby, and baby might learn to like the same foods!

What about gassy foods?

But what about what your mom said about the beans?  Do beans, broccoli, onions, cabbage, or other traditionally gassy foods cause gas in your baby?  The research says no!  Gas in mom is caused by the breakdown of food in your intestines, but your milk doesn’t come from the contents of your intestines (or stomach).  Your milk is made from your blood, and gas doesn’t transfer from your intestines into your blood.

Is there a mother's breastfeeding diet? Read: What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.comGas in babies is usually caused by swallowing air, immature gut, or not understanding how to pass gas that occurs. Some doctors believe that gas as a reason for baby’s upset is assumed too often by parents (3). That said, if your baby seems uncomfortable or unwell, you are the expert!  Don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician.

Caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol are two substances moms are often instructed to eliminate while they’re breastfeeding.  While they both pass into breastmilk (since they pass into your blood– this is why they affect your behavior), the amount that makes it into your milk compared to the amount you drink is low. Learn more about how caffeine affects breastfeeding at Can I breastfeed and drink caffeine?.

Is there a mother's breastfeeding diet? Read: What not to eat while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding recommends that mothers limit their alcohol intake while breastfeeding, and ingest no more than 2 oz. liquor, 8 oz. wine, or 2 beers, as well as abstain from breastfeeding for about 2 hours after drinking to further minimize any alcohol in breastmilk (4).  Similarly, the AAP Committee on Drugs recommends no more than 2-3 cups of caffeine per day, as there should be little to no effect on the baby at that level (5).

What about fish?

Per the FDA, a few species of fish are to be avoided in order to prevent mercury accumulation in baby. These fish include king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, bigeye tuna and tilefish (from the Gulf of Mexico). However, other fish such as salmon, cod, herring and more are safe for up to 3 servings a week. See the full list at the Food and Drug Administration.

What about food allergies?

We’ve gone over a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t worry too much about what you eat while breastfeeding, but we all know that food allergies are a real possibility.  They are, however, much less common than some of the things you read on the internet can lead you to believe!  A family history of allergies makes them a bigger possibility, but signs of a food allergy can include: rashes, eczema, breathing issues, continual intestinal upset, and traditional allergy symptoms like red, itchy eyes.  If these occur, then an elimination diet for mom may be indicated, but it should be done under the care of a doctor and an IBCLC! (6)

What about milk supply?

Despite what you might have heard, following a specific breastfeeding diet to increase (or decrease) your milk supply is not evidence-based. Mothers experiencing a wide variety of food plenty and food scarcity all over the world (and throughout time) are (and were) able to fully breastfeed. Breastmilk is made from the body’s energy stores and the mother’s diet (7). So, mothers may find themselves needing to increase their caloric intake while breastfeeding and an extra 300-500 calories is the recommendation. This can be added through a larger portion of your meals or simply through a peanut butter sandwich. If you are concerned about milk supply, a breastfeeding diet will probably not make a difference. While some moms have found that eating a breakfast of oatmeal increases their supply, the best way to increase supply is to increase breast stimulation. The best tips for increasing supply are found in our breastfeeding video classes. Past blog posts, How to Increase Supply and 5 Ways to Keep Your Supply are helpful as well.

I hope this post has given your confidence and helped debunk the myth that mothers need to follow a breastfeeding diet. Have you noticed your baby likes or doesn’t like certain foods you eat?  Or has certain reactions when you eat certain foods?  We’d love to hear about it in the comments!  If you think your baby is having problems with what you’re eating, you may benefit from a one-on-one consult with one of our knowledgeable IBCLCs.  And check out our video classes for more awesome breastfeeding facts!

Thanks for stopping by,

lactationlink008

Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course?

I think you’ll find it really helpful. Click the image below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Sources

  1. Riordan, J. & Wambach, K. (2010). Anatomy and physiology of lactation. In Breastfeeding and human lactation (4th ed., p. 92). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
  2. Mennella, JA & Beauchamp, GK. (1991). Maternal diet alters the sensory qualities of human milk and the nursling’s behavior. Pediatrics 88(4): 737-44.
  3. Sferra TJ, Heitlinger LA. (1996). Gastrointestinal gas formation and infantile colic. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 43(2):489-510.
  4. AAP Section on Breastfeeding. (2012). Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk.Pediatrics, 129(3) e827-e841; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-3552
  5. AAP Committee on Drugs. (2001). The transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk. Pediatrics, 108(3): 776-1029; DOI:  10.1542/peds.108.3.776.
  6. Allergic Proctocolitis in the Exclusively Breastfed Infant. (2011). Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol #24, from Breastfeeding Medicine 6(6): 435-440.
  7. Lauwers, J. & Swisher, A. (2016). Nutrition during lactation. In Counseling the Nursing Mother (6th ed., p. 166). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. 
Can I breastfeed after breast surgery? via lactationlink.com

Can I breastfeed after breast surgery?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?

Hi mamas, I’m Stephanie Weight Hadfield, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and mom of 4. I’m here today to talk about breastfeeding after breast surgery. Enjoy!

This has been such a common question recently on our mother’s support forum on instagram.  Most people automatically assume that it isn’t possible to breastfeed after having had breast surgery, but many mothers who have had breast surgery are able to go on and have an enjoyable and fulfilling breastfeeding relationship with their babies. Diana West IBCLC, author of Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction Surgery, believes that breastfeeding is possible if three factors are present:

  1. At least one breast and one nipple
  2. Information 
  3. Support

The question here isn’t if you’ll be able to make milk, but how much you’ll be able to make. Most women who have had breast surgery are able to make at least some milk for their babies, if not a full supply. Let’s first discuss factors that may affect milk production. Then we’ll cover some practical things you can do to give yourself the best start possible, as well as how you can have a breastfeeding relationship with your baby even if you’re not able to make all the milk your baby needs.

surgery

 

In this post, I will be discussing the factors that influence breastfeeding after breast surgery and how to prepare to breastfeed.

  • Contributing factors
    • Where your scars are
    • When your surgery took place
  • How to prepare to breastfeed after breast surgery
    • Prenatal education
    • Consider one-on-one support with an IBCLC
    • Tips on choosing a supportive healthcare provider
    • Learn about at-the-breast supplementation

Can I breastfeed after breast surgery? via lactationlink.com

Contributing factors to breastfeeding success after breast surgery

First, consider where your scars are. Incisions around the areola (that darker skin around your nipple)  are more likely to interfere with milk ducts and nerves critical to lactation than incisions in the fold under the breast, in the armpit, or the navel. If a portion of milk-making glands are removed, your potential milk volume will probably be affected. Because of this, breast reduction is more likely to cause supply problems than breast augmentation. By the same token, if only one breast was affected by surgery, usually a breast biopsy or lumpectomy, full milk production is more likely.

Next, consider how long ago your surgery took place. Nerves can regenerate slowly over time. So, the more years that have passed since the surgery, the better chances you have for necessary nerve response, even if important nerves were severed. If you can feel both touch and temperature on your areola and nipple you are more likely to have the intact nerve pathways necessary for a normal milk ejection reflex.

Milk ducts, the supply lines of the breast, can regenerate too, and they do it fastest in response to pregnancy and breastfeeding. Many moms who had partial supplies with their first babies may find that they get progressively more milk with each subsequent baby, sometimes even a full supply.

There’s really no way to know exactly how breast surgery has affected your milk-making capacity until baby is born and your breasts get a chance to start doing their job. It’s important to remember that there is great value in any amount of milk you are able to provide for your baby. Babies can receive some immune protection and nutritional benefit from even small amounts of their mother’s’ milk. The benefits of the milk itself aside, breastfeeding is much more than just another way to get food into a baby. It’s also about a physical and emotional connection between mother and child. It is definitely worth working for, and any mother who chooses to should be supported in her goal.

Can I breastfeed after breast surgery? via lactationlink.com

So, what can you do to prepare yourself for breastfeeding after breast surgery? Here’s my advice:

  1. Learn as much as you can about normal breastfeeding, especially how to position your baby effectively to get a deep, comfortable latch, and the signs of good milk intake. Lactation Link’s Breastfeeding Basics course is a fantastic option for moms anywhere in the world. It’s more comprehensive and easy to understand than your typical local hospital breastfeeding course, and you can re-watch it as many times as you need.
  2. Consider scheduling a prenatal e-consult with one of Lactation Link’s International Board Certified Lactation Consultants to go over your health and surgery history and work together to create a plan to monitor and protect baby’s growth and maximize your milk supply. Learn more here.
  3. Choose healthcare providers for both yourself and your baby who are knowledgeable about breastfeeding, not just tolerant of it. Ask around for referrals and interview a few to find providers that will be a good fit for your family. This post, How to Choose a Healthcare Provider for Your Baby, is a great place to get some tips on this as well.
  4. Learn about at-breast supplementation. There are special supplementing devices that consist of bottles with long thin tubes that baby can latch onto along with your nipple so that he or she can be supplemented while breastfeeding if more milk is needed than you are able to produce. Think of it as an external, bonus milk duct system. These devices can be a fantastic way to preserve the benefits of the breastfeeding relationship while ensuring that your baby is receiving the nutrition he or she needs to grow well. Some mothers really love them, and others…not so much. There definitely seems to be a learning curve for using at-breast supplementers. While they can be helpful, they aren’t the only option for supplementation. Lactation Link IBCLCs can help you find the best solution for supplementation through an in-person consultation or online eConsult

Can I breastfeed after breast surgery? via lactationlink.com

Breastfeeding after breast surgery sometimes requires an adjustment of expectations. There will be many options for working through the challenges the come your way, and YOU are the one who gets to decide what works for your family. Give yourself space to celebrate your commitment to giving your baby the best start possible in life and all the work you put into that goal. And remember, your love for your baby can’t be measured in ounces or milliliters. It’s way too big for that.

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course?

I think you’ll find it really helpful. Click the image below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

Get in-person or online help with breastfeeding.

Stephanie Weight Hadfield, BS, IBCLC

Sources:

West, D. & Marasco, L. (2009). The breastfeeding mother’s guide to making more milk. New York: McGraw Hill.

West, D. (2001). Defining your own success: Breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery.  Schaumburg, IL: La Leche League International, 2001

 

losing weight while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

Can I breastfeed if I want to lose weight?

By | Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC. I’m a mom to 5 and lactation consultant with Lactation Link. I’m here today to talk about breastfeeding and losing weight!

I am often asked by moms if breastfeeding while trying to lose weight is okay.  In general, yes!  It is safe to lose weight and breastfeed your baby.

So what if you aren’t losing weight naturally while breastfeeding? Is it safe to diet? A lactation consultant shares tips and...

After the obvious loss of weight from the baby and placenta, some women find that they continue to lose pregnancy weight without any extra effort (lucky ducks!).  Just like everything related to babies, though, that’s not always the case and postpartum weight changes vary woman to woman!

losing weight while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

{ergobaby carrier}

How breastfeeding can affect mother’s weight

One study found that women who entered pregnancy with a normal-range Body Mass Index retained less weight if they breastfed for 6+ months, versus those who breastfed less than 1 week, who retained more weight.  The same study found that women who entered pregnancy obese were below their pre-pregnancy weight at six months postpartum if they breastfed exclusively!

Whether you notice that you don’t have to work hard to lose the baby weight or that you have to consciously watch your diet in order to drop pounds, it is still important to eat healthy as a breastfeeding mom. I like to recommend a colorful diet, drinking water as often as you are thirsty, try to minimize sweets and fried foods.  While your milk is still high-quality even if your diet isn’t perfect, how you feel, how you sleep, and your mood may be affected if you’re not taking in enough nutrients.

losing weight while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

{ergobaby carrier}

Can I breastfeed if I want to lose weight?

So what if you aren’t losing weight naturally while breastfeeding?  Is it safe to diet?  Studies have shown that short-term dieting combined with exercise does not affect milk supply.  Most women should eat at least 1800 calories per day and can safely lose around 1 pound per week.  Harsh diets like liquid fasts and diet pills should be avoided. Get some tips for postpartum wellness from a nutrition coach here. Remember to be cleared for exercise by your doctor or midwife after birth before beginning to work out.

Most mothers do want to lose weight postpartum.  Breastfeeding alone may help you in that endeavor, but the bottom line about postpartum weight loss is that eating healthy is always a good idea, exercise is safe while breastfeeding, and it’s okay to work to lose about a pound per week.  If you’re having trouble losing weight or are losing too much, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.  If you are worried about your weight loss’s effect on breastfeeding, reach out to us for a consult so we can help you reach your goals!

More on this topic from Lactation Link:

What not to eat when breastfeeding

Can I breastfeed if I drink alcohol?

Caffeine + breastfeeding

Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise?

Thanks for stopping by,

lactationlink008

Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

References

Baker, JL, Gamborg, M, Heitmann, BL, Lissner, L, Sorensen, TIA, Rasmussen, KM. (2008). Breastfeeding reduces postpartum weight retention. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 88: 1543-1551.

Lauwers, J. & Swisher, A. (2011) Nutrition in pregnancy and lactation. Counseling the nursing mother: A lactation consultant’s guide. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Can I breastfeed if I have surgery?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?

can i breastfeed if i have surgery? via lactationlink.com

Today we are continuing our series, “Can I breastfeed if…?” It’s not uncommon for moms to need to undergo surgery while she is breastfeeding. I myself had 3 unexpected surgeries while breastfeeding my daughter. To be able to breastfeed after surgery can be a way to help mom feel that she is back to normal after her procedure. I hope this post can reassure you that breastfeeding does not need to be interrupted for surgery.

Learn how and when breastfeeding is compatible w/ surgery. Many moms are able to breastfeed after surgery without problems. Can I breastfeed…

Can I breastfeed if I have to have surgery?

Almost always, yes! There is no contraindication to breastfeeding while fasting if that is necessary before your procedure.  Many mothers worry about sedation medications or anesthesia affecting their infants but, if you have a healthy baby, once you are awake enough to hold and nurse your baby, the anesthesia has left your system enough to not be an issue for baby(1).  Also, many prescription and over-the-counter pain medications are compatible with breastfeeding if that is necessary.  

Can I breastfeed if I need surgery? via Lactationlink.com || Breastfeeding support and education

As you can see, breastfeeding is compatible with most situations!  Even if breastfeeding has to be stopped for a short period of time, it can usually be resumed.  If you need information about pumping and storing for a planned breastfeeding break, be sure to check out our Pumping and Storing breastmilk video class. If you have further questions or a complex situation, don’t hesitate to schedule a consult to figure out how to best meet your breastfeeding goals no matter what is going on!

Thanks for stopping by,

lindsey-headshot-white-with-grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Sources

(1) Montgomery, A., & Hale, T. W. (2012). ABM Clinical Protocol #15: Analgesia and Anesthesia for the Breastfeeding Mother, Revised 2012. Breastfeeding Medicine,7(6), 547-553. doi:10.1089/bfm.2012.9977

can i breastfeed if i plan to drink alcohol? via lactation link

Can I breastfeed if I drink alcohol?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?

A common question we get in our community of moms begins with “Can I breastfeed if….” And it’s no wonder! We are told to avoid everything from roller coasters to alcohol to X-rays while pregnant, and  the conflicting recommendations can carry over after birth when our body is still nourishing our little ones. So today we are launching a new series, “Can I breastfeed if…” and we will discuss some commonly asked questions about the safety of various activities and substances while pregnant.  If you have a question share it on instagram with the hashtag #canibreastfeedif and we will repost and answer our favorites!

A common question we get in our community of moms begins with “Can I breastfeed if….” And it’s no wonder! We are told to avoid everything…

Can I breastfeed if I plan to drink alcohol?

The short answer is yes when done with a few guidelines in mind.  The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding recommends that mothers limit their alcohol intake while breastfeeding, and ingest no more than 2 oz. liquor, 8 oz. wine, or 2 beers, as well as abstain from breastfeeding for about 2 hours after drinking to further minimize any alcohol in breastmilk. (1)

can i breastfeed if i plan to drink alcohol? via lactation link

Pumping and dumping shouldn’t be necessary when following the above guidelines as it does not reduce the alcohol in milk any faster. Just be sure to feed baby right before leaving home and consuming your alcohol fairly soon after arriving.  This gives the alcohol time to work its way out before becoming reunited with baby.  Since milk is made from your blood, once your own blood alcohol level has gone down, so has your milk’s alcohol level.

can i drink alcohol if i plan to drink alcohol? via lactation link

So feel safe to enjoy that holiday eggnog and return to breastfeeding a few hours later. Do you have any questions for us in this series? Let us know in the comments and on social. Lots more info about how substances and food interact with breastmilk in my video classes.

Get more breastfeeding wisdom with my Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips. Click below to get started.

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Thanks for stopping by,

lindsey-headshot-white-with-grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Sources

  1. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. (2012, March). Pediatrics, 129(3), 842-856. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827
Mom holding newborn baby

Caffeine + Breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Can I breastfeed if?, Classes

Is it safe to consume caffeine while breastfeeding? I posted a Fact or Fiction about this topic Friday on instagram and many of you had a lot to say!  The Fact or Fiction statement was, “Caffeine should be avoided while breastfeeding.” Here’s a few comments from you guys.

Elizabeth Kallen said, “If I can’t have caffeine after being up all night nursing, then no one is going to get fed, dressed, or loved!”

Bethany Nixon said, “I have heard up to 5 cups regular coffee a day is okay…am I doing that? NO! But if I need a second cup in the afternoon to get over the afternoon slump I will!”

Addison Fagner said, “I don’t know the answer but I do know every time I drink soda, that same night is sooooo hard on my little one! I’ve stopped all caffeine now. Not worth it!”

Here’s my answer to the statement: Fiction.

Based on research studies, very little caffeine actually passes into mother’s milk (1).  Many experts agree that it takes more than 5 cups of caffeinated coffee daily to see effects in the breastfed baby (2).  That is the equivalent of about 300 mg.  Something to keep in mind is that you are aware of each source of caffeine you are consuming.  Examples of caffeine sources include coffee, iced and hot teas, energy drinks, caffeinated soft drinks, and some over-the-counter medications.  Chocolate contains a substance that mimics caffeine and can produce a similar effect in large quantities.

Newborn baby

While these are general guidelines, we know that every baby is different!  It may take a smaller amount to affect some infants.  Here are some symptoms to watch for indicating your infant is overstimulated due to your caffeine intake.

  • Wide-eyed
  • Alert
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Unusually fussy

If you are noticing these symptoms, try avoiding caffeine and substituting caffeine-free beverages.  Observe your infant and watch for an improvement.  If the symptoms were due to too much caffeine, your infant should improve within a few days to a week.

I hope this is helpful!  My passion is educating you on all your feeding options so you can reach your goals, whatever they may be!  My video classes are available to click and watch at your convenience.  You can learn in the comfort of you home in your jammies!  Also my classes NEVER EXPIRE! You can watch them over and over.  They also come with a notes outline.  A great promo going out to my newsletter subscribers in the morning.  Sign up to see how to get a free full-size nipple cream from Boob and Baby. The photography in this post is by Lizzy Jean Photography.

More on this topic form Lactation Link:

Can I breastfeed if I drink alcohol?

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Shipley - Lactation Consultant

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Berlin, C. et al. (1984). Disposition of dietary caffeine in milk saliva and plasma of lactating women. Pediatrics(73), 59-63.
  2. Nehlig, A. and Debry, G. (1994). Consequences on the newborn of chronic maternal consumption of coffee during gestation and lactation: a review. J Am Coll Nutr(13), 1, 6-21.