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Spicy food while breast feeding?

  1. #1
    Hiya is offline Registered User
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    Spicy food while breast feeding?

    Hi my baby is almost 8 months and I'm still nursing. I sometimes eat very spicy food and my baby seems fine with it. However, I'm not very sure how good it is for her. The same with tea. In the beginning I stuck to one cup of tea in the mornings but now have a cup in the evenings as well and sometimes drink like half a can of coke too plus I just love chocolate and have been eating chocolate almost everyday..is that too much caffeine in one day? Pls advice. Thanks
    Last edited by Hiya; 09-19-2008 at 08:55 PM. Reason: added a few words

  2. #2
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    cyberfish88 is offline Registered User
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    Hiya,

    I also eat a lot of spicey food and while I was worried at the beginning that my daughter could taste it, she was fine so I no longer worry. I think the biggest concern is that it effects the flavor of the milk so baby may not like it or may cause uncomfortable gas. So if you baby is fine with it, I would not worry. I read somewhere that what you eat effects the taste of your milk so your baby gets to experience a lot of new tastes if you eat a variety of things.

    As for chocolate, not so sure on that one but I also eat A LOT of chocolate (new cravings that started when I was pregnant) and my baby also seems fine!

  3. #3
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    Hi- I ate spicy food while b/f my son (now 23 mnths) and caused him no problems, in fact he now has quite a taste for spicy food himself. So now b/f my 2 month old daughter and not avoiding spicy food.
    If baby still feeds happily after you have eaten spicy food I wouldn't worry.

    While b/f my son I pretty much gave up diet coke completely (and I'm a diet coke addict) and had a can or two a month.
    With my daughter it's been much harder to give up and I have 3 or so cans a week.

    If you are worried about the eat why not switch to decaf tea? That's what I drank while pregnant.

  4. #4
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    There is a theory that the small amounts of tastes and flavours of what we eat get into our milk supply in order to help your baby become use to the family food in a safe way. Ultimately you want you children to eat the same foods as you do and so giving the small tastes via breast milk is the first step. This means that you shouldn't avoid foods while breastfeeding.

    Obviously if you baby shows repeated signs of a problem after you eat a certain food then it is worth thinking about what you are eating. But if you baby has no problems then I won?t be concerned.

    Generally it takes five cups of strong coffee a day (in 24 hours) before the amount of caffeine is measurable in your breast milk.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
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  5. #5
    ladybug is offline Registered User
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    Hi Sarah,

    So really, it takes 5 strong cups of coffee a day to affect breastmilk? I just want to be sure because I'm worried that one cup in the morning will keep my baby up all day. I've been doing decaf but I miss my one latte a day. Please advise.

    Also, what about wine and beer? I'd like to enjoy some with dinner.

  6. #6
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Caffeine

    From the Breastfeeding Answer Book page 130

    According to research, very little caffeine passes into a mother's milk, between 0.6 to 1.5 percent of the maternal dose (Berlin 1984). One study found that it takes the amount of caffeine that is in more than five cups of coffee per day before a breastfeeding baby is affected (Nehlig and Debry 1994). Caffeine can accumulate in a newborn's system, but this becomes less of an issue as the baby grows. According to one estimate, the half-life of caffeine is about five hours in an adult, 96 hours in a newborn, and 14 hours in a three- to five-month-old baby (Hale, p. 100).

    When figuring caffeine intake, be sure the mother is counting all her sources, including coffee, iced and hot teas, colas, other soft drinks containing caffeine, and any over-the counter drugs that contain caffeine. Also, caffeine is found in most cola soft drinks, but it is also in other soft drinks, so encourage her to check the label. Some over-the-counter drugs also contain caffeine.

    Be sure to mention that chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine and can produce the same effect if consumed in large amounts.

    If a breastfeeding mother consumes more caffeine in a day than is in five 5-oz cups of coffee (750 ml), caffeine could begin accumulating in her baby's system, causing symptoms of caffeine stimulation.

    A baby who is being over stimulated by caffeine is a wide-eyed, active, alert baby who doesn't sleep for long. He may also be unusually fussy. To find out if these symptoms are caused by caffeine, suggest the mother try going without caffeine for a week or two and substituting caffeine free beverages, both hot and cold, for her caffeinated drinks. (If a mother has been consuming large amounts of caffeine, she may experience headaches when she eliminates it from her diet.)


    Best wisehs,
    SARAH
    Last edited by LLL_Sarah; 09-21-2008 at 10:36 PM.
    La Leche League Leader
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  7. #7
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Alcohol

    The question of how much alcohol your body can mange and how much actually gets through into the milk is very individual and depends on many things including the amount you drink, the space of time you drink it in, how much you weigh, how much muscle mass you have and if you drink it alone or with other foods.

    Small quantities of alcohol are compatible with breastfeeding, however, large quantities are not. But let us remember that large quantities of alcohol are not compatible with parenting a baby whether you are breastfeeding or not.

    The following is taken from Medications in Mothers Milk (Twelfth Edition) 2006 by Thomas W. Hale, PhD, pages 322 & 323

    Ethanol

    Trade Name: Alcohol
    Uses: Depressant
    AAP: Maternal Medication Usually Compatible with Breastfeeding

    Significant amounts of alcohol are secreted into breast milk although it is not considered harmful to the infant if the amount and duration are limited. The absolute amount of alcohol transferred into milk is generally low. Beer, but not ethanol, has been reported in a number of studies to stimulate prolactin levels and breast milk production. Thus it is presumed that the polysaccharide from barley may be the prolactin-stimulating component of beer. Non-alcohol beer is equally effective.

    In a study of twelve breastfeeding mothers who ingested 0.3 g/kg of ethanol in orange juice (equivalent to 1 can of beer for the average woman), the mean maximum concentration of ethanol in milk was 320 mg/L. This report suggested a 23% reduction (156 to 120 mL) in breast milk production following ingestion of beer and an increase in milk odor as a function of ethanol content.

    Excess levels may lead to drowsiness, deep sleep, weakness and decreased linear growth in infant. Maternal blood alcohol levels must attain 300 mg/dl before significant side effects are reported in the infant. Reduction of letdown is apparently dose-dependent and requires alcohol consumption of 1.5 to 1.9 g/Kg body weight. Other studies have suggested psychomotor delay in infants of moderate drinkers (2+ drinks daily). Avoid breastfeeding during and for 2-3 hours after drinking alcohol.

    In an interesting study of the effect of alcohol on milk ingestion by infants, the rate of milk consumption by infants during the 4 hours immediately after exposure to alcohol (0.3 g/Kg) in 12 mothers was significantly less. Compensatory increases in intake were then observed during the 8-16 hours after exposure when mothers refrained from drinking.

    Adult metabolism of alcohol is approximately 1 oz in 3 hours so mothers who ingest alcohol in moderate amounts can generally return too breastfeeding as soon as they feel neurologically normal. Chronic or heavy consumers of alcohol should not breastfeed.

    Pregnancy Risk = D
    There is positive evidence of human fetal risk, but the benefits from use in pregnant women may be acceptable despite the risk (e.g. if the drug is needed in a life-threatening situation.)

    Lactation Risk = L3 ? MODERATELY SAFE
    Controlled studies show only minimal non-threatening adverse effects. Drugs should only be given if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the infant.


    (If you want the references to this please contact me at [email protected])

    From Breastfeeding Answer Book, Third Revised Edition (2003), page 598

    Alcohol passes freely into the mother?s milk and has been found to peak about 30 to 60 minutes after consumption (Lawton 1985). Alcohol also passes freely out of the mother?s milk and her system. It takes a 120 pound woman about two to three hours to eliminate from her body the alcohol in one serving of beer or wine (Schulte 1995).

    However, the more alcohol that is consumed, the longer it takes for it to be eliminated. It takes up to 13 hours for a 120 pound woman to eliminate the alcohol from one high-alcohol drink. The effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding baby are directly related to the amount the mother consumes.


    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    Last edited by LLL_Sarah; 09-21-2008 at 10:48 PM.
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  8. #8
    Hiya is offline Registered User
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    Thanks a lot for the information Sarah. My baby is quite active and hardly sleeps during the day. I should trying cutting down on my chocolates and see how she does.

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