Does Eating Too Much Sugar Affect Breast Milk?

Does Eating Too Much Sugar Affect Breast Milk?It’s Halloween and the official start to the sugar season. Between all the candy that will be floating around your house today through Valentine’s Day, you’re bound to indulge a time or two. But does eating too much sugar affect breast milk? Let’s find out…

The short answer is that a mother’s diet – even if it contains too much sugar – does not stop breast milk from being the most perfect food for her baby. In fact, even mal-nourished mothers who lack enough protein, fats and calories in their diet can still produce stellar breast milk.

Although trace amounts of what you consume enters your breast milk, it really remains relatively unaltered except for one area. Your breast milk contains a certain amount of fat, about 3-5% depending on how long you’ve been breastfeeding and where you are in your feeding. (More fat enters breast milk later in feedings.) This percentage doesn’t change, however the type of fat in your breast milk can change. Mothers who eat diets high in saturated fats pass that along to their babies. Those who eat more essentially fatty acids, give their babies an advantage.

With that said, breastfeeding experts universally recommend that nursing moms eat a well-balanced wholesome diet. That’s because, while the baby will get exactly what she needs through breast milk, if mom isn’t strong and healthy, she will suffer and ultimately the baby will as well.

It takes a LOT of energy to produce breast milk, breastfeed your baby and take care of your baby’s every need. You may be doing all of this alone and through extreme exhaustion. The last thing you need is to lack proper nutrition to sustain your busy life as a new mom. In fact, you should consume up to 500 more calories a day while breastfeeding in order to get the job done.

Getting to eat a bit more is exciting, especially if you’re experiencing the famish that breastfeeding can cause. But try not to use the extra calories on empty foods that add no nutritional value. Rather, use it as an opportunity to eat more wholesome foods that will make you feel great. Yes, even during the sugar season!

Sources: KellyMom, La Leche League and Livestrong