Coca-Cola is a carbonated drink which is manufactured by The Coca-Cola Company. Its major ingredients include carbonated water, sugar (sucrose or high-fructose syrup), caffeine, phosphoric acid v. caramel, and natural flavoring. A lot of people including breastfeeding mothers take Coca-Cola. Breastfeeding can be exhausting – especially when the supply of breast milk is reduced and questions such as “can Coca-Cola increase breast milk supply” could be asked. Breastfeeding is recommended by a pediatrician up till when your little one is 6 months, so your baby can have the essential nutrients contained in the breast milk. Breastfeeding keeps your baby healthy, fights against infections and diseases. It’s so important since it is the major and safest food till your baby begins solid meals, hence your breast milk supply ought not to decrease so your little one can have a healthy development.
Can Coca-Cola increase breast milk supply?
One major ingredient in Coca-Cola is caffeine. There is no evidence yet that moderate intake of caffeine makes the supply of breast milk to decrease although some research and clinical observation indicate that caffeine can increase the supply of breast milk. Drinks that contain caffeine should be taken in moderation as a large intake of it can dehydrate your body and lower the production of breast milk. It is advised that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should limit the intake of caffeine through any means including Coca-Cola to 200 – 300 milligram per day since a baby cannot process caffeine as adults would do.
Can Coca-Cola affect the health of my baby?
Many drinks including Coca-Cola contains large quantities of sugar. Research has proven that a high level of sugar has been linked to so many health complications. Another research shows that a high sugar intake while breastfeeding may also result in a high level of sugar in your breast milk which would be passed to your little one. A test was carried out on toddlers whose mothers drank a high content of soda while breastfeeding them and it showed they have poor cognitive development compared to those whose mother drank just a little amount of soda. Breastfeeding mothers are advised to consume less sugary drinks or drinks that contain caffeine because of the negative effect it has on the cognitive development of the baby. When you take Coca-Cola, the caffeine, sugar and other ingredients used in the manufacturing of the drink will pass through your milk and could build up in the body of your little one. It is important to monitor your baby after taking a bottle of Coca-Cola and breastfeeding to ensure he/she is not showing signs of a reaction to caffeine. If your baby is unusually irritable or fussy, you can reduce your intake of Coca-Cola. You can also drink Coca-Cola after a nursing session to allow the content of caffeine to drop before breastfeeding your baby. Getting your breast milk supply can be quite challenging but there are other ways to increase the breast milk supply. Below are few alternatives to pick from when trying to increase your breast milk supply.
5 alternatives to increase your breast milk supply
- Barley Malt: Barley malt is a barley grain that has allowed to germinate. This then turns into a sweet syrup malt that contains a good amount of beta-glucan, which is known to increase breastfeeding hormone- prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone in the breast that stimulates it to produce milk. Barley malt is sweet, healthy and contains the same nutritional value as barley. You can easily get barley malt at food stores and add it to your hot chocolates as a natural sweetener.
- Fruit juice: When you feel like taking something refreshing while breastfeeding, fruit juice is a good option which increases your breast milk supply and also gives you and your little one the needed nutritional value. It is advised that fruit juice should be without any additive. Some babies might react to some fruits, it is important to discontinue taking any fruit juice that your little one reacts to and try another fruit juice.
- Almond milk: Almond milk is gotten from almond which is rich in protein and calcium. It has been advised that nursing mothers should drink almond milk to increase the creaminess and the supply of breast milk. Almond milk also contains omega-3 fatty acids which are important to help to stimulate the hormone producing breast milk. If you wish to cut down on your daily calorie intake while breastfeeding, almond milk is the best for you since it contains a low amount of fat while given you and your little one the essential nutrients.
- Coconut water: Coconut water has so many benefits. It does not only keep you hydrated but it is filled with vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin C and Lauric acid that can help boost breast milk supply. Coconut water doesn’t only increase your breast milk supply, it also promotes your baby’s cognitive and bone development. You can get coconut water at any food store. Ensure artificial ingredients is not present in the brand you are purchasing.
- Infused Water: So many people can testify to the fact that taking water can get boring sometimes since it doesn’t have any flavours. You can put your favourite fruits in your infused water to satisfy your cravings for a sweet drink while still having the benefits of the fruits. Ensure that you don’t include any artificial flavours or sweeteners so it does not reduce your breast milk supply.
Staying hydrated during your breastfeeding journey is important. Some mothers might ask if taking Coca-Cola increases breast milk. Although Coca-Cola doesn’t decrease the supply of breast milk, some research and clinical observations show that the moderate intake of Coca-Cola could increase breast milk supply. Some babies might also react to the caffeine present in Coca-Cola hence the highlighted alternatives above that can increase your breast milk supply.
It is essential that you are feeding or pumping to keep producing more milk. Even with foods, drinks or supplements to increase your breast milk supply, your breast milk supply would not increase without feeding or pumping. The more you signal your body to produce milk, the more milk would be produced.