What do alcohol, smoking, medication and caffeine do while breastfeeding?

The way in which breastfeeding is put together is quite complex. What you eat as a mother affects the composition a bit but has the most effect on taste and smell. Yet there are a number of substances that you have to pay very close attention to when you breastfeed: alcohol, smoking and certain medications. These substances can be harmful to your baby. Read here what the effects of alcohol, smoking, medication and caffeine during breastfeeding.

The effect of caffeine during breastfeeding

Caffeine is not a harmful substance at first. So you can drink some coffee when you breastfeed. Fortunately, because you will need that with your new sleep rhythm. Or actually: very little sleep. Still, it is wise to pay attention to your caffeine intake. Your child can become restless from too much caffeine and that would have even more effect on your non-existent night's sleep.

Before you know it you end up in a vicious circle of drinking too much coffee, making your baby restless, you sleep even less and therefore drink more coffee. And so the circle is round. The nutrition center recommends keeping it with 1 cup of coffee per day if you are breastfeeding. In doing so, they take into account the fact that you also drink soft drinks and tea that also contains caffeine. If you do not drink that, then you should use 2 cups of coffee per day.

Consequences of alcohol in breast milk

If you want the very best for your child, you better not drink alcohol, not even after your pregnancy. Alcohol ends up in breast milk. Babies who consume alcohol will drink less well and get a disturbed sleep rhythm. In addition, alcohol can affect the admission reflex, which reduces milk delivery. There are studies that report a decrease in milk release of 23%!

Approximately 30 to 60 minutes after you have drunk a glass, the alcohol percentage in your breast milk reaches the peak, after which it slowly decreases. In any case: if you leave the bottle. Because the more you drink, the longer it takes before the alcohol is out of your body. If you want to ensure that your baby does not consume alcohol, it is wise to wait 3 hours with the next breastfeeding. You know for sure that everything is from your mother's milk.

Even after the birth you have to be aware of what you eat and drink. For example, alcohol, smoking, medication and caffeine during breastfeeding can affect your baby.

Drink alcohol and breastfeed

Wait with your very first glass until you are sure that you have a good milk production and your child is growing well. It is therefore never wise to drink a glass of wine right after birth. Are you a few months further and would you still like to drink a glass? Do this just after breastfeeding. Or fry some milk before you drink. Drink 1 glass and wait 3 hours until you start feeding again. Is your baby hungry before? Then give breast milk that you have expressed before. It is therefore good to already have a small supply.

Flasks after alcohol

There are stories that indicate that when you poke after your alcoholic snack, the alcohol is out of your body. But that is incorrect. Also exercising, drinking coffee or throwing a liter of water does not help to ensure that the alcohol leaves your body faster. If that were the case, we would never suffer from hangovers either. The only way to get the alcohol out of your body is to wait until your liver has broken it off. And that just needs a few hours.

What do medications give during breastfeeding?

The substances of medicines also end up in breast milk and therefore end with your little baby. This does not only apply to many medicines that you can buy in the pharmacy. It also applies to medicines without a prescription and even for certain homeopathic remedies.
Fortunately, there are enough medicines that are not harmful to the baby. Always tell your doctor that you are pregnant (if that person did not know it) so that it is taken into account. If you buy something yourself, always read the package leaflet or ask at the store if you can use the medicine in combination with breastfeeding. When in doubt: do not buy. You can also check out this website for certainty if the product is harmful to your baby.

It is possible that you have to use a remedy for a certain disease or condition that can be harmful to your baby. Your doctor will then discuss with you how you can best deal with this. For example, first to pumping milk or just wait with breastfeeding until the drug is out of your body.

Smoking and breastfeeding

If you smoke and breastfeed, you can be sure that the nicotine reaches your baby. That is obviously harmful to your baby. If you are planning to continue smoking, it does not mean that you can not breastfeed. That sounds very strange, but in your breastfeeding there are antibodies that your baby needs to fight against the harmful substances of smoking. Breastfeeding therefore remains the best choice for their child for smokers. In any case, do not try to smoke in the presence of your child and certainly not during feeding.

How long does nicotine remain in breast milk?

According to a small study, the nicotine is from breast milk after about 90 minutes. If you want to reduce the harmful effects of smoking on your baby, it is good to smoke immediately after food and to keep the time between this cigarette and the next food as long as possible (at least 90 minutes). Do not smoke in your home or near your baby.

Baby withdrawal nicotine

What we have been able to find in information is nowhere indicated that babies become addicted to nicotine and have to get rid of it later. As it can be the case with other drugs. What smoking can cause with your baby:

  • Higher risk of cot death.
  • Respiratory complaints such as chest tightness and increased risk of respiratory infection.
  • Greater chance of bronchitis.
  • Higher risk of asthma.
  • It is possible that your baby is crying longer and more.
  • Higher risk of ear infection and meningitis.

More info about alcohol, smoking, medication and caffeine during breastfeeding

If you still have questions about alcohol, smoking, medication and caffeine during breastfeeding, you can always ask them at the clinic or your doctor.

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