Does Chocolate Affect Breast Milk?

Does chocolate eating have any effect on the mother’s milk? The answer to this is ‘Yes’.

Yes, chocolate eating in high amounts can affect breast milk composition. But if you are taking the chocolate in moderation it is safe for your healthy supply, but more than moderation can be problematic for the baby. Theobromine present in chocolate is just like caffeine and it can create a fuss in infants feeding on that milk.

Parents are sometimes wondering about whether to eat chocolate or not during breastfeeding. If you are a chocolate lover, you are not alone. Most mothers are fond of eating chocolates during pregnancy and even after that, during breastfeeding.

But you are confused and concerned about the health of your infant. You are receiving warnings not to eat chocolate while breastfeeding because it can make your baby a fussy one which all parents don’t want to have.

Indulging in chocolate eating makes you happy and it satisfies your craving. But again the problem is that you are not going to put your baby at risk of restlessness. So, better to have a sigh of relief. I have researched some useful information and tips for you so that you can enjoy your favorite chocolate with ease.

Reason to avoid chocolate in breastfeeding

The main reason to avoid chocolate in breastfeeding is the presence of theobromine in chocolate. This theobromine is just like caffeine and it is basically a psychostimulant. This theobromine if taken in excess amounts can pass through breast milk and in babies and this can cause some side effects after feeding in babies.

It is estimated that less than 1% caffeine in any form entering the bloodstream, ends up in the breast milk and it could be at its peak after a few hours.

Babies have weak digestive systems and they are still developing their food-digesting power. Excess amounts of these types of stimulants can cause various issues in babies:

  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Wakefulness
  • Gassiness
  • Loose pooping
  • Refusal to drink milk

If you are feeling that taking chocolate is making your baby suffer from any of these symptoms and cutting off chocolate from your diet is having a better effect on his/her behavior you should think again about consuming chocolate. Maybe you are going to cut off the sweet treat from your diet entirely if the problem is still persistent.

High levels of sugar in chocolate are also not suitable for infants. Taking high levels of sugary chocolates can cause cognitive development problems in infants.

How to select a bar of appropriate chocolate while breastfeeding

As we all know that dark chocolate contains higher cocoa solids, so it contains more theobromine and caffeine. Milk chocolate has moderate levels of theobromine while white chocolate has the least amount of theobromine. Dark chocolate is considered healthy sometimes because it has the least amount of fat and sugar. While white chocolate has higher levels of sugars and fats.

If you are considering avoiding theobromine, you must go with white or milk chocolate. But if you think that higher levels of sugar and fat are not suitable for you, try to have dark chocolate in moderation.

Always remember as long as you are conscious about your chocolate intake you are not going to exceed the healthy limit for you and your baby.

Acceptable levels of chocolates for breastfeeding mothers

Nursing mothers can take up to 300 mg of caffeine or other stimulants like this per day. So, you can choose the recommended amount of chocolate by estimating the amount of theobromine per ounce. I have searched for some estimated amounts of theobromine or caffeine in various chocolates for you. They are as follows:

  • 1 oz of dark chocolate contains 23 mg of theobromine or caffeine
  • 1.55 oz of milk chocolate contains 9 mg of caffeine
  • 1 oz of white chocolate contains almost negligible caffeine content

These conditions and amounts can vary from person to person. Even some women can enjoy eating chocolates while breastfeeding the same way they were eating before that. But some can face serious issues while having one in their diet.

Effect of higher levels of caffeine on milk supply

Higher intake of caffeine and theobromine can also affect milk supply in feeding mothers. Higher levels can cause dehydration in the body and can lower the production of breast milk. You must be aware of your water intake while breastfeeding the baby if you are fond of eating chocolates. Try to add some fresh juices also in your diet to compensate for the loss of water as a result of caffeine intake.

So, it’s up to you whether you are going to eat your favorite sweet treat while breastfeeding or if you are planning to cut it off from your diet to avoid any problems for your baby. You can select the type of chocolate according to your desire if you are not a person who lives without chocolates.

Chocolate eating while breastfeeding is not bad if it’s going on in moderation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can chocolate cause gas or colic in babies?

Yes, too much intake of chocolate can cause colic problems in babies. Higher levels of theobromine are not easily digestible by infants and in return can cause gas problems in them. It can make the babies upset.

Can hot chocolate milk be good during breastfeeding?

Yes, it is. Again the answer is, it is acceptable if taken in moderation. You can take 1 glass of hot chocolate milk per day while breastfeeding.

How long does chocolate affect milk after ingestion?

It is estimated that after ingestion of chocolates it can stay for 2-3 hours in breast milk with its effects. After that time the effect of theobromine in chocolate starts vanishing.

Does chocolate cause an upset stomach in babies?

Yes, it can. Too much intake of sugary and fatty chocolates can cause an upset stomach in babies. If it is not treated properly it can lead to diarrhea in babies.

Now it’s time…

It’s time for you to decide what to eat and what to not eat while breastfeeding your lovely one. Go ahead and do some research. If you are fond of eating chocolates then try to have them in moderation in care. If you think that eating chocolate is causing serious problems in your infant then you must try to leave them for the sake of your little one’s comfort and as well yours. 

You can find some chocolate alternatives as well to have a better experience.

Photo of author
From chocolate craving to winter hot cocoa drinks indulgence - I've being through it all. In as much as I'm always learning about the awesomeness of cacao/cocoa beans, there's one thing I know for sure. Quality cocoa product always comes tops. The devil is in the details. That's why you should listen to me. I've done the research. I've made all the mistakes in the books. Yes, I'm just like you but I know a thing or two that can help you make a better choice.