It has been recommended that babies should be breastfed exclusively for the first six months although breastfeeding can continue until when your baby is 12 months or even till your baby is a year and 6 months. It depends on what works for you as a mother. Breastfeeding is the major and only source of nutrients for a baby since it contains all the antibodies needed to fight against bacteria. It also gives your baby the essential nutrient to develop every part of their body.
However, as a mom, you must watch what you eat or drink as it affects the baby through breast milk. This is the reason most moms ask “Can I take Cacao powder while breastfeeding”? The truth is a baby’s digestive system is still developing and might not be able to digest strong allergens in the beans that make cacao powder. So, even a healthy cacao powder product or a drink made from cacao powder might be injurious to your baby’s health if taken without caution. It has been recommended that mothers who are breastfeeding should take natural milk and their produce to help the baby’s developing digestive system.
Breastfeeding mothers should also check for the safety of the ingredients of anything they are taking so their baby’s health would not be put at risk since what the mother takes is being passed to them through the breast milk. Cacao powder contains caffeine and although it has other beneficial substances and nutritional value for an adult since it is processed at a lower temperature than cocoa powder. The intake of any product that has cacao powder in excess by a breastfeeding mother can lead to stimulating the newly developing central nervous system of your baby.
Can cacao powder harm my baby?
No parent wants their little one to have reactions due to the intake of strong allergens present in the cacao powder. Below are a few elements present in cacao powder which can be harmful to your baby.
- Caffeine: Caffeine overexcites your baby’s developing central nervous system. Some amount of caffeine can be passed along to your baby when breastfeeding. Although some babies may not be affected by the caffeine, others might be overly sensitive to any amount of caffeine and this can make them extra fussy or restless.
- Alkaloids: This substance present in cacao powder would normally have positive effects on an adult body but it interferes with the normal absorption of calcium in a baby and this results in the improper development of the organs of the baby or the formation of the bone apparatus of the baby.
- Allergens: Different babies react to allergens differently. The allergens present in the cacao powder are strong and might cause different reactions in babies based on the strength of their immune system. Allergic reactions ranging from diarrhea, colic, constipation, and eczema might be seen in different babies.
- Chemicals: Different chemicals including preservatives flavoring colors that are added by manufacturers to enhance the color and taste can be injurious to your little one’s health. Cacao beans are grown in different plantations and sprayed with different pesticides or chemicals to make the growth faster and these chemicals can interfere with the proper development of the baby.
It is important to note that cacao powder should be taken by breastfeeding mothers in little quantities and with caution. Below are guidelines on how to take cacao powder while breastfeeding.
Tips on how to take cacao powder while breastfeeding
- Take cacao powder after feeding: It is essential to take your cacao powder after feeding your little one to avoid or reduce the risk of your baby having allergic reactions to it. You can take your cacao powder after feeding when you are sure you would not be breastfeeding for at least 3 hours.
- Avoid taking cacao powder until your baby is above 3 months: Your baby’s digestive system is still developing but might be able to digest a little amount of cacao powder from 3 months and above.
- Take a sip or two for a start: To avoid putting your little one at risk take just a sip or two to monitor how your baby reacts during the day. If your baby acts fussy, restless, or has a rash after breastfeeding, it is advisable to stop taking the cacao powder.
- Drink cocoa powder only in the morning: The caffeine which stimulates the central nervous system becomes inactive after a while so it is important to take your cacao powder in the morning to avoid keeping your baby awake or restless throughout the night.
- Avoid taking the strong cocoa powder for the sake of your baby’s health and ensure you dilute the cacao powder with milk that has low-fat content to avoid putting your baby at risk of having allergies.
- Avoid taking cacao powder when your baby has diarrhea or acid reflux because this could make the condition worse. Your baby becomes uncomfortable while having diarrhea or acid reflux and having any amount of caffeine can trigger the central nervous system and make your baby overly uncomfortable.
Can I take cacao powder while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding a baby is very important because this is the baby’s only source of nutrients for proper development. Breast milk is supposed to give your baby the needed nutrient to also fight off bacteria and infections. Therefore a mother has to be cautious of what she takes since it could be passed to the baby. Cacao powder contains caffeine, preservatives flavoring, and other forms of chemicals that could be injurious to your baby’s developing digestive system. This is why it is recommended that a mother should take cacao powder in low quantities if she cannot avoid taking it to avoid putting the baby at risk of allergies or more serious complications.
The above guidelines would help you know how to take alcohol powder while breastfeeding so you can avoid putting your baby at risk. Although cacao powder can be beneficial to an adult, it should be taken rarely and with caution to protect the baby’s digestive system. Ensure you closely monitor your little one to see if there’s any reaction to the cacao powder and discontinue taking cacao powder if any reaction occurs.