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

Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer: FAQ

Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer: FAQBreast Cancer Awareness Month brings extra pause to mothers who are pregnant and breastfeeding. As you share your body to nurture your baby, it’s hard not to think about the impact that breast cancer, or any other type of cancer, may have on you or your little one. Today we’re sharing FAQ about breastfeeding and breast cancer:

Does Breastfeeding Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer?

Yes! Studies show that breastfeeding does indeed lower a mother’s risk of breast cancer for the rest of her life. Breastfeeding for any amount of time reduces risk of breast cancer but breastfeeding for more than two years (lifetime total) more than doubled the risk reduction of breast cancer. Breastfeeding may be especially helpful at reducing risk of estrogen receptor negative, including triple negative, breast cancers.

How does Breastfeeding Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer?

No one knows for sure why breastfeeding reduces risk of breast cancer. Some experts believe it is because mothers who are pregnant and then breastfeed have less menstrual cycles in their lifetime and are therefore exposed to less estrogen, a hormone that contributes to breast cancer. Breastfeeding also changes breast cells and tissue which may make them less receptive to the spread of cancer. Additionally, women who breastfeed tend to make better lifestyle choices for the health of their own bodies and their babies, such as not smoking, not drinking excessive alcohol and eating a healthier diet.

Can you Breastfeed if You Have Breast Cancer?

You cannot transfer breast cancer through breast milk therefore it is completely fine to breastfeed if you have breast cancer. The taste of your breast milk and milk supply may change due to alterations in the breast tissue. That does not necessarily mean your baby will reject the breast, however.

Can you Breastfeed if You are Being Tested for Breast Cancer?

In most cases diagnostic tests for breast cancer, including a mammogram, MRI, X-ray, CAT scan, PET scan or CT scan, do not affect the safety or quantity of breast milk. Even local and general anesthesia is acceptable during breastfeeding. A biopsy may interfere with milk ducts or nerves that are essential to breastfeeding, but the procedure is not categorically unsafe during breastfeeding. Unless instructed by your physician, there is no need to wean for diagnostic testing. If weaning is recommended but you are not ready to stop breastfeeding, discuss other options with your doctor.

Can you Breastfeed if you are Being Treated for Breast Cancer?

Often treatment for breast cancer is not compatible with safe breastfeeding. This includes chemotherapy and radioactive isotopes.

Does Breastfeeding Reduce Risk of Other Types of Cancer?

Yes! Studies show that breastfeeding for at least the recommended six months reduces risk of both ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer (uterine cancer).

Sources: La Leche League, Mayo Clinic, Reuters, Fit Pregnancy and Susan G. Komen



Breastfeeding Success Story: Kay from Lorain County WIC

Breastfeeding Success Story: Kay from Lorain County WIC“I was 16 years old when I had my first baby and breastfed her until I returned to school.  Now that I am 20 years old I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant that I was going to breastfeed my son!

The WIC Breastfeeding Peer Helper Jessica has been a great support to me when I come to my WIC appointments.  I find that breastfeeding is easier to do, healthier for both myself and my baby, and I would definitely support another mom in her efforts to breastfeed.

The bra I received during Breastfeeding Awareness Month from Leading Lady through the WIC Program was a great surprise and very much appreciated!”

Kay from Lorain County WIC

Breastfeeding Success Story: Lindsey from Metro Nashville South Nutrition Center WIC

Breastfeeding Success Story: Lindsey from Metro Nashville South Nutrition Center WIC“The following is a story about our WIC client, Lindsey, who persevered through some very tough life obstacles and is determined to exclusively breastfeed. She was raised in an orphanage and had no exposure to a breastfeeding environment.


Lindsey’s first breastfeeding experience was painful and she had no support. The father of the child consistently encouraged her to stop trying to breastfeed and just give the baby a bottle. Lindsey refused. The more he suggested using a bottle the more determined she was to perfect the latch so it would not be painful. Finally, mom and baby got it right and she breastfed the first child for eleven months.


The next child was born five days ago. The father of this child abandoned them one week prior to delivery. Again, she was in the same situation as before, left to give birth alone. She googled and joined a birth support group on Facebook. The group referred her to a group of local labor doulas. A labor doula was her support for the birth of the second child.


Currently she is breastfeeding like a champ! No sore nipples, perfect latch, and the enjoyment of bonding time. The mom says her and baby lay around all day in their under wear breastfeeding and watching Netflix.”


Lindsey from Metro Nashville South Nutrition Center WIC

Breastfeeding Success Story: The Moms of San Marcos TX WIC

Breastfeeding Success Story: The Moms of San Marcos TX WICMarissa simply stated “Thank you so much for the donation! I’ve been breastfeeding for 10 months and it’s a journey I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world!”

Rebecca spoke of the loving commitment she made to her baby from the very beginning but expressed “I didn’t know it was going to be so hard!” Like most working mothers, she worried about mastering the balancing act of breastfeeding and pumping while getting her hours in. “Fortunately I work from home, and you can only see me from the face up on my webcam, so I used a pumping bra while working and no one could ever tell.”

Shannon described her tough but rewarding experience with tandem nursing. “My oldest was unhappy when my colostrum came back but we stuck it through. Then my youngest got a tooth! What a ride we’ve had.”

The Moms of San Marcos TX WIC

Breastfeeding Success Story: Adrianne from Louisiana WIC

Breastfeeding Success Story: Adrianne from Louisiana WIC“I choose to breastfed my baby to give her the certain antibodies that her body needs to fight off viruses. This will also bring the perfect bonding time for me and my daughter.


Breastfeeding has so many benefits to me and my baby. Research shows that babies who are breastfed are healthier babies, not to mention it will help shrink my uterus and burn calories to lose the weight that I’ve gained during my pregnancy.


I choose to breastfed because it is the natural way to provide nutrition to my baby. My plan is to breastfed for as long as my milk supply will allow me to.”


Adrianne from Louisiana WIC

What to Avoid While Breastfeeding

What to Avoid While BreastfeedingYou’ve just come out of this sacred 40 week period where you diligently (and perhaps neurotically) protected your unborn baby from anything potentially harmful in the “outside world.” The first thing you may want to do after giving birth is grab a big bottle of wine, plate of sushi and box of chocolate and have a mega “I’m not pregnant anymore” feast. Before you do, remember that you are still the one and only food source for your bundle of joy and some of that indulgent food you may be craving – as well as medications, intoxicants, and chemicals that may be in your personal care and beauty products – will seep into your breast milk to some degree.  Check out what to avoid while breastfeeding to keep your breast milk as pure as possible for the health of your baby.

Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

There are many myths surrounding foods to avoid while breastfeeding. Some are based on cultural experiences while others are anecdotal or old wives tales. There are actually very few foods to avoid while breastfeeding if any, however the answer for you will be based on you and your baby’s individual needs.

In general, eating a clean, diverse and well-rounded diet is the best way to ensure your baby gets the benefits of a wholesome diet through your breast milk. Lots of fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein, healthy fats and whole grains will provide you and your baby with a variety of nutrients to thrive. Plus, eating many different types of foods will change the flavor of your breast milk and offer your baby an introduction in the wonderful world of food, which may serve her well as she begins to eat solid foods in the future. Don’t forget, eating healthy is just as important for you as your baby. Breastfeeding and raising an infant takes a lot of energy so eating well will help give you the strength you need for the job.

Deli meat, sushi and soft cheese are back on the menu. And, contrary to what many believe, you can even have caffeine and alcohol in moderation. That means no more than 3 servings of caffeine a day and one or two drinks a day. Alcohol and caffeine will pass into your bloodstream, which means it will enter your breast milk to a very small extent. You’ll also want to steer clear of high mercury fish that could affect your baby’s brain development. Other foods like extreme amounts of sage, peppermint and similar herbs can decrease your milk supply so it’s important to be conscious of what you eat from a milk supply perspective as well.

Many moms are surprised to learn that babies with food allergies will react to their mother’s milk if she’s eaten an allergen. The most common infant and child food allergy is cow’s milk followed by eggs, nuts and shellfish. Keep an eye out for signs of any food allergies, especially after you’ve eaten any of these potentially risky foods. If your baby does have a food allergy you may need to eliminate those foods from your diet.

Medications to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Just like food, medications can creep into your breast milk. Some medications are deemed safe for babies while others should be avoided completely while breastfeeding. Often an alternative medication can be prescribed that is safe for your baby if your original medication is not. Make sure your doctor is aware that you are breastfeeding when prescribing medication and call your pediatrician to double check the safety of medications for your baby. Keep in mind, some drugs including over-the-counter medications that are not harmful to babies may cause a dip in your milk supply.

Intoxicants and Exposure to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Illicit drug use and smoking of any kind are not healthy for you or your baby while breastfeeding. Certain types of radiation exposure can affect your breast milk as well including working in a radioactive environment or working around radiation equipment.

Chemicals to Avoid While Breastfeeding

What you put on your body is absorbed into your bloodstream through your skin. Therefore, the ingredients in your personal care and beauty products may wind up in your breast milk in small amounts. There are hundreds of potentially harmful ingredients in personal care and beauty products and you may not be able to avoid all of them. However, do try to be as natural as possible with your product selection during this important time for the health of your baby. Be especially sensitive to your breasts by avoiding any soap or lotion on them since your baby will directly ingest it while nursing.

Sources: Babble, The Bump, La Leche League, American Pregnancy, KellyMom and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Loving Moments believes moms should have the knowledge, resources and power to make the healthiest choices for their babies, starting with breastfeeding. In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month in August, we are sharing Breastfeeding Basics, our educational blog series that we hope will empower you with information, encouragement and inspiration to meet your breastfeeding goals.


Breastfeeding Problems

For most moms, the joys and triumphs of breastfeeding far outweigh the problems, but that doesn’t mean issues don’t occur. In fact, even moms who have successful journeys probably ran into breastfeeding problems at some point along the path. Just like all other aspects of raising a child, it’s how you handle the situation that helps determine the outcome. With support, knowledge and perseverance, you can overcome most breastfeeding problems.

Here’s a look at common breastfeeding problems and what you can do to resolve them:

Latching Issues

Breastfeeding ProblemsLatching is one of the most important elements of breastfeeding success. When your baby is not properly latched she may not extract milk efficiently, which in turn may mean she’s not getting enough nutrients and it may reduce your milk supply. Plus, improper latch can hurt your nipples. Perfecting your latch may take several weeks but the effort will pay off.

Remember, for a proper latch you should cup your breast and pull your baby towards your nipple. Her mouth should open wide and close to cover as much of your areola as possible and your nipple should be pointed at the top of her mouth with her tongue cradling your nipple. Once the seal has formed, you should feel her tugging and hear her swallowing milk.

Visit a lactation consultant if you and your baby cannot get the hang of latching. This vital part of breastfeeding can reduce risk of breastfeeding problems in the future. A lactation consultant may be able to recognize other issues that might prevent proper latch such as flat or inverted nipples or a lip or tongue tie.

Nipple Pain

Slight nipple soreness may occur for the first few weeks of nursing as your breasts get used to being suckled. After that, you generally should not feel any pain from breastfeeding. If you do, it’s red flag that another issue is at play. The leading cause of nipple pain is improper latch so double check that your baby is latching correctly, and visit a lactation consultant if you suspect this is the culprit of your pain. Nipple pain may also occur when your baby is teething or starts solids, but usually this is temporary. To soothe nipple tenderness, you can use warm or cold compresses, gel pads and 100% pure lanolin cream. Breast milk itself can help heal sores and cracks as well. Be sure to wear soft, breathable nursing bras that won’t further irritate your nipples or cause chaffing.


Thrush is a yeast infection that you can get on your breasts and your baby can get in her mouth. It may cause red blisters, cracking and a burning sensation on your nipples as well as intense pain throughout your breasts. Your baby may have yellow or white blisters in her mouth and find it painful to swallow while nursing or sucking a pacifier. Thrush can continuously transfer back and forth from baby to mother until it is treated. If you believe you and your baby have thrush, call your doctor and pediatrician to get prescriptions to clear it up. Also, thoroughly clean pump supplies, bottles and pacifiers that may carry the infection as well.


It’s typical for babies to become distracted while nursing, especially as they get older and are more in tune with their surroundings. Feeding in a dimly lit, quiet and dull room may help. Try nursing at times when your baby is slightly tired and less likely to look for stimulation. Also, create a distraction of your own that does not preclude breastfeeding, such as singing to your baby, talking softly or telling a story. In public a nursing cover may help limit distractions.


Suckling at your breast can be very relaxing and often causes babies to fall asleep. Sometimes that’s a good thing but when you’re trying to ensure your baby is well-fed and you drain your breasts completely, a sleepy baby can be frustrating. In this case, try un-swaddling your baby and striping her down to her diaper. Turn up the lights and have some background noise such as music or your own voice. You can tickle her toes or use a cool washcloth if you need further stimulation.


Engorgement occurs when your breasts are too full, which can become painful, counteract milk production or cause a plugged duct. The best thing to do when your breasts feel full is feed your baby, pump or hand express milk for relief. Usually engorgement is more common in the early weeks and months of breastfeeding before your milk supply stabilizes to meet the needs of your baby.

Plugged Duct

A plugged duct is a blockage somewhere in the ductal system or nipple pore that obstructs milk flow. It usually only affects one breast at a time and the breast may feel hot, tender, swollen and hard in the area off the clog. The best way to treat a plugged duct is to massage the area, apply warm compresses and nurse or pump often. Although nursing and pumping may be painful, it can help loosen the obstruction until milk can flow freely again. An infection can occur if a plugged duct is not resolved.


Mastitis is an infection of the breast caused from a plugged duct or the introduction of bacteria through the nipple. The external symptoms are much like plugged ducts – warmth of the breast, redness, swelling and pain. Flu-like symptoms, fever and lethargy may also accompany mastitis. In addition to using warm compresses, massaging your breast and feeding or pumping often, seek help from your doctor if you believe you have a breast infection. She can prescribe medication (that is safe for your baby) to clear it up within a few days.

Low Milk Supply

Low milk supply can be very discouraging and often leads to premature weaning. Sometimes mothers believe they have a low milk supply because their breasts don’t feel as full, their babies begin nursing differently or their pumping output is less, however these are not necessarily signs of low milk supply. If you truly have a low milk supply, the best way to increase your milk supply is by breastfeeding or pumping more frequently and ensuring your breasts are drained each time. Also, eating a wholesome diet and incorporating galactogogues such as oats, lactation cookies, lactation tea, fenugreek and other herbs can boost milk supply. Watch out for foods and habits that may be counterproductive for your milk supply such as being dehydrated, not getting enough sleep and drinking too much caffeine or alcohol.

Sources: BabyCenter, La Leche League, Today’s Parent and KellyMom


Loving Moments believes moms should have the knowledge, resources and power to make the healthiest choices for their babies, starting with breastfeeding. In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month in August, we are sharing Breastfeeding Basics, our educational blog series that we hope will empower you with information, encouragement and inspiration to meet your breastfeeding goals.


Breastfeeding Supplies

Breastfeeding is one of those pure and simple natural acts of love and nourishment that doesn’t require a lot of “stuff.” It’s tempting to buy a ton of breastfeeding supplies before your baby arrives thinking they will help make breastfeeding easier or solve problems if they arise. The truth is, you can probably secure a few essential items as a starting point and then see what you need as your journey begins.

Here’s our list of recommended breastfeeding supplies:

Nursing Pillow: Propping your baby on a soft pillow can be useful to finding great breastfeeding positions. You’re hands may be busy holding your breast and helping your baby latch so having a secure place for your baby to lie is nice. There are many types of nursing pillows each with their own clever features. Some can be repurposed for helping your baby sit up or for tummy time as well. If you don’t want to buy a nursing pillow, any pillow you have at home will do.

Breastfeeding SuppliesNursing Bras and Nursing Tank Tops: Fumbling to remove your clothes and bra with a hungry, fussy baby in hand is no fun so be prepared with nursing bras and nursing tank tops that will make breastfeeding much simpler. Nursing bras and nursing tank tops offer easy access to your breasts either with nursing clasps and drop-down cups, slide-over cups or front-closures. Select styles that are appropriate for your stage of breastfeeding – stretchy styles are great for maternity and the early weeks of breastfeeding as your milk supply fluctuates. You’ll definitely want some daytime nursing bras and some nursing sleep bras as well. Nursing tank tops are terrific for wearing out-and-about, sleepwear or layering.

Nursing Pads: Many new moms experience leaks between feedings. Sometimes it happens as you get close to a feeding time, when you hear your baby cry or even when you think about your baby. Nursing pads simply fit right inside your nursing bra or nursing tank top to absorb any breast milk leaks. Loving Moments’ washable nursing pads can be reused and are soft, discreet and easy to wear.

Nursing Cover: For distraction-free nursing, a nursing cover is a handy tool. Our Loving Moments nursing cover is the ideal lightweight, breathable material that offers discretion while allowing your baby plenty of air flow. Plus, it doubles as a fashion scarf so you can easily carry it with you on-the-go.

Breast Pump: Whether you’re returning to work or not, a breast pump can be a life-saver. It allows you to be away from your baby occasionally and possibly get more sleep while your partner handles overnight feedings. You may also want to store breast milk to use at later dates or pump to relieve engorgement or build up your milk supply. Here’s some really good news you may not know: many insurance plans offer a free electronic breast pump to new moms. Ask your insurance provider if you qualify.

Comfort Place: A rocking chair, cozy couch or your bed are all super comfort places for breastfeeding. There’s no need to buy anything fancy – a peaceful spot in your house will do just fine. Both you and your baby will associate this spot with breastfeeding and being there will help both of you relax and enjoy being close.

If you run into common breastfeeding issues, consider these breastfeeding supplies:

Lanolin Cream: A pure lanolin cream is safe and soothing for sore or cracked nipples. Apply it after breastfeeding. Lanolin cream can help ensure breast pads don’t stick to your nipples as well. (Breast milk is also a great way to heal sore nipples. Simply hand express a little milk and rub it on your nipples after feedings.)

Nipple Shells or Gel Pads: For extremely sore nipples, engorgement, plugged ducts or mastitis, nipple shells or gel pads can make you feel a whole lot more comfortable. These wrap your breast in cold or warmth to help reduce swelling and tenderness.

Nipple Shields: For extremely sore nipples or flat or inverted nipples, a nipple shield can be helpful. Also, babies who have trouble latching may have an easier time while using a nipple shield.

Baby Scale: If you’re worried about your baby getting enough milk, invest in a baby scale so you can weigh your baby often. You can also weigh your baby before and after feedings to see how much she’s taking.

Sources: KellyMom, Parenting and Parents Magazine


Leading Lady’s All About Breastfeeding blog series serves to educate and inspire new moms with information on a range of breastfeeding topics during the month of August in honor of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month. This resource guide of helpful tips, breastfeeding advice, and research-based information supports our mission to raise awareness for breastfeeding and motivate moms on their breastfeeding journey.


Leading Lady and Loving Moments Partner with Black Breastfeeding Week to Raise Awareness for Breastfeeding in Black Communities

Leading Lady and Loving Moments uplift moms and babies with nursing bra donations to black breastfeeding groups.

Cleveland, OH —August 25, 2017 – Leading Lady and Loving Moments proudly partner with Black Breastfeeding Week to celebrate breastfeeding in black communities. As part of an annual philanthropic donation program the intimate apparel brands are sending nursing bras to grassroots breastfeeding support groups to empower families to make the best choices to nourish their babies.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Black Breastfeeding Week to support breastfeeding initiatives in black communities,” said Mark Corrado, third generation owner of Leading Lady. “Every mom deserves the resources, knowledge and power to make healthy choices for their babies and our annual nursing bra donation program aims to support these goals for moms around the country.”

Black Breastfeeding Week is a week-long event (August 25-31) at the end of National Breastfeeding Month that celebrates and advocates the health benefits and personal empowerment of breastfeeding as a timeless and priceless tradition. It is spearheaded by Kiddada Green, Kimberly Seals-Allers and Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka. This year’s #BBW17 celebration, themed #BetonBlack, includes an annual “baby lift up,” a twitter chat focusing on the connection between first food (breast milk) and continued nutritious food options, a rewind of the past five years of celebrating Black Breastfeeding Week, and much more.

Leading Lady and Loving Moments bras will be given to moms who attend Black Breastfeeding Week celebrations sponsored by more than 50 breastfeeding support agencies throughout the U.S. Find out more about Leading Lady and Loving Moments’ partnership with Black Breastfeeding Week here.

“During the 5th year celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week, we are thrilled to receive a nursing bra donation from Leading Lady,” said Kiddada Green, Executive Director of Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association and Co-Founder of Black Breastfeeding Week. “The nursing bras will be of great use to mothers throughout the nation who are participating in local events for this annual celebration.”

Leading Lady and Loving Moments’ contribution to Black Breastfeeding Week is part of an annual donation program of more than $350,000 in products to support moms, babies, families and communities. The celebration began during World Breastfeeding Week and continues throughout August to help raise awareness for breastfeeding and encourage more moms – at any income level, of any race, in any state – to nurture their babies in the healthiest way possible.

About Leading Lady:

Leading Lady is a premier nursing and full figure intimate apparel company dedicated to improving women’s lives with innovative products, resources and programs. Family owned and operated; Leading Lady has been supporting breastfeeding moms and babies for over 78 years. The brand promises superior quality and fit, a comprehensive selection of products and an excellent customer experience. The full collection is available for direct purchase at and in select retailers nationwide.

Website: | Social: @leadingladybras

About Loving Moments:

Loving Moments by Leading Lady’s maternity to nursing collection features comfortable, affordable, stylish bras and camis available at Walmart, and The breastfeeding-friendly line embraces the lifestyle of new motherhood.

Website: |Instagram/Facebook: @lovingmomentsbras| Twitter: @lovingmomentsbr