Can I Eat Chocolate While Breastfeeding? Will It Make My Baby Fussy?

Are you a nursing mom?

Do you find yourself craving chocolate or just wishing you could get back to eating the way you did before you got pregnant?

Do you catch yourself wondering, “Can I eat chocolate while breastfeeding?” more often than you’d like to admit?

If you’re a nursing mom wondering if you can eat chocolate, you’re not alone. Chocolate is tempting in almost any situation, and if you have been avoiding it for the past many months because you’ve been pregnant and nursing your baby, you’re probably longing to have just a little bite of it once again.

But can you eat chocolate when breastfeeding? In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to help make this decision for yourself. You’ll learn about which ingredients in chocolate may cause problems, how much you can realistically expect to eat while nursing, and what kinds of effects chocolate might have on your breastfed baby.

By the time you get finished reading, you should be prepared to handle this question the next time you catch yourself wondering about it.

So let’s start learning!

Can I Eat Chocolate When Breastfeeding?

If you’re one of the many nursing moms asking yourself this question, don’t worry. In short, yes, you can eat chocolate while you’re nursing. Of course, as with just about anything else, there’s a little bit of a catch to this, and you should be ready and willing to stop eating chocolate if you find yourself encountering any problems from it.

  • Most moms don’t notice any ill effects after eating a small amount of chocolate and then nursing their babies. Although the ingredients in chocolate can be transferred through your breastmilk, you’d have to eat a lot of it to cause a problem. One or two pieces of chocolate in a day, or even a nice slice of chocolate cake or a brownie, shouldn’t be any cause for concern.
  • Remember, however, that chocolate does contain caffeine, which could build up in your body enough to cause a problem throughout the course of your day. If you have chocolate and then have green tea followed by a cup of coffee or a Coke, then you might have too much caffeine going on in your milk supply. But if you just have some chocolate and cut back on other sources of caffeine, this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Dark chocolate is the least safe option when deciding which types of chocolate to eat when you’re breastfeeding. This doesn’t mean you can never eat dark chocolate, however. It just means that dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids overall than other types, so you’re going to encounter more of the negative effects that come from eating cocoa when you ingest it. Milk chocolate is in the middle range, and white chocolate actually contains no real cocoa solids, so it isn’t a cause for concern at all.

Which Ingredients are Bad for Baby?

So can you eat chocolate while breastfeeding? Chocolate has a lot of ingredients and substances that are found within it. When you’re trying to figure out whether or not you should eat it while nursing, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the ingredients that may affect your baby.

 can u eat chocolate when breastfeeding
  • Theobromine: This is what people are usually referring to when they mention the caffeine in chocolate, although the two terms are often used interchangeably. This is a stimulant present in chocolate that causes many of the same side effects as caffeine. You would have to eat well over 50 ounces of chocolate in a day to get too much theobromine for your baby in your breast milk.
  • Caffeine: With that said, however, there are also some types of chocolate that contain actual caffeine too. The presence of both caffeine and theobromine in chocolate may increase the overall effect of both, so pay close attention to what’s in the candy bar or other chocolate treat you’re planning on eating.
  • Sugar: There is a lot of sugar in chocolate, and although it might make you hyper, it probably isn’t going to do anything bad to your baby.
  • Dairy: There is dairy present in chocolate as well. If your baby is sensitive to dairy, you may want to avoid having chocolate when nursing. However, the amount of dairy present in a piece of chocolate isn’t enough to cause a problem for most babies who don’t have any sensitivities like this.

3 Effects of Chocolate on Babies

Even though it’s generally considered fairly safe to eat chocolate while you’re nursing, there are still some effects that you should be on the lookout for when you do this. If your baby starts to exhibit any signs of the following effects, he or she may be sensitive to chocolate or to some of the ingredients that are found in it. If this is the case, you should hold off on eating any more chocolate until your baby is weaned from breastfeeding.

 can i eat chocolate when breastfeeding

1. Your baby may become overly fussy. 

If you eat a lot of chocolate and then nurse your baby shortly afterward, you may notice that your little one gets very fussy very quickly. This is almost always because of the caffeine and theobromine content in your milk when you eat a lot of chocolate. If this happens more than once, you should assume it’s from eating chocolate and consider avoiding it for the time being.

2. Your baby may have diarrhea or vomiting. 

Your baby may be one of the ones who is very sensitive to the presence of chocolate in your milk. If this is the case, he or she will have diarrhea, vomiting, excess gas, or all three at once. This is uncomfortable for your baby and difficult for you to deal with, too, so it’s another good reason to avoid chocolate if it happens.

 can you eat chocolate while breastfeeding

3. Your baby may not sleep well. 

Similarly to the problem with fussiness, you may find that your little one can’t sleep well at night if you have chocolate before your nighttime nursing session. This may also be because of the increased presence of theobromine and caffeine in your breastmilk at this time.

Conclusion

So, have you learned a little bit about what to expect when it comes to eating chocolate while breastfeeding? We hope that you have found some answers so that the next time you use your phone to search “can u eat chocolate when breastfeeding” you’ll be prepared. Of course, every situation is different, and every mom and baby are different too, so be sure to proceed with caution if you’re trying out eating chocolate while nursing for the first time.

If you have any further questions or concerns, be sure to speak to your doctor or your baby’s pediatrician. A healthcare professional will be able to help you figure out more about whether or not it’s okay for you to consume chocolate while you’re nursing. Remember, however, that for the most part, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to at least indulge in a little bit of chocolate while you’re nursing your baby. As long as you don’t overdo it and your baby isn’t showing any signs of a negative reaction, you should have no trouble.

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