Are you a breastfeeding mother who doesn’t know what green tea and breastfeeding side effects are? If you like drinking green tea; read this article. You will find out why you should limit green tea consumption while breastfeeding.
Some substances affect babies more than others. Green tea contains caffeine that a baby will consume, if his mother drinks it. This substance can have negative impact on the baby health.
The Importance of Mother’s Milk
Mother’s milk is natural food for babies and toddlers. They need it for healthy and proper development. The baby receives the ideal proportions of nutrients and other substances with mother’s milk. In addition to key nutrients such as protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, natural salts and natural sugars, the child will necessarily need enzymes, hormones and antibodies.
Breast milk has a positive impact on the baby’s health in many aspects. It is extremely easy to digest and does not cause constipation. Babies have fewer cramps if they are breastfed.
The breastfed child receives antibodies that protect him against diseases that his mother beat. Mother’s milk protects him from infections, particularly from ear infections, diarrhea, gastrointestinal infections and diseases of the respiratory tract.
Breastfed children are less likely to be diagnosed with meningitis, childhood diabetes and some other diseases. Breastfeeding extends the period of natural immunity against mumps, measles and polio.
Breastfed babies are more resistant to disease later in childhood and even in adulthood. People who were breastfed as children are less prone to get cancer. They have normal cholesterol levels and have less possibility for development of morbid obesity.
Green Tea contains Caffeine
Green tea contains caffeine, which has invigorating effect the same as coffee. Caffeine is classified into a group of compounds named methylxanthines.
Theobromine and theophylline can be also found in green tea. Guarana, mate, cola and cocoa contains Methylxanthines.
A cup of coffee contains about twice as much caffeine as a cup of green tea, so caffeine effect of green tea is weaker. The caffeine in green tea bounds to tannins and releases slowly in the gastrointestinal tract. Tannins make the caffeine releases slower than coffee but the caffeine effect takes longer in green tea.
Green tea also contains a high proportion of polyphenolic compounds and catechins (30-45%), which are responsible for the protective action of the cardiovascular diseases and cancer. They also help with diarrhea.
Green tea contains an inorganic salt (potassium fluoride), vitamins (B group vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K), amino acid (theanine), phenolic acids, saponins, flavonoids (quercetin) … Essential oil from green tea gives the tea flavoring. Its essential oil contains more than 300 compounds.
Green Tea and Breastfeeding Side Effects
Milk production is cyclic because of breastfeeding and consequently of releasing of the hormone prolactin. As much as the baby eats as much milk should be re-produced. Mother’s milk contains substances that she consumed so it is crucial to know which must be limited during breastfeeding.
It is extremely important that you limit bad habits during breastfeeding because it will have a profound impact on the baby. Caffeine can accumulate in baby’s body, which can cause restlessness, wakefulness and irritability. Caffeine is present in the mother’s milk more than four to six hours. The baby can’t deal with caffeine till his 4th month so be careful with drinking too much green tea or other caffeine products.
Some babies are incredibly sensitive. Some immediately react on the ringing phone and on the smell of strong perfume.
So it is not a surprise that they may be slightly hyperactive due to caffeine. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, cola, chocolate and in stimulants (diet pills, decongestants and some Chinese herbs).
Some mothers say there is nothing wrong if they drink a cup of green tea or two. However, other moms say that they shouldn’t drink even a drop of caffeine drink because their newborn will have troubles. So we can link green tea and breastfeeding side effects.
American Association of Pediatricians says that a cup of coffee or two cups of green tea per day won’t hurt the baby. However, they point out that too much caffeine can interfere with a child’s sleep, cause nervousness, irritability and eating disorders.
Does Caffeine in Green Tea cause Dehydration?
Side effects of caffeine can be reflected in the frequent urination because it acts as a mild diuretic. It increases heart rate and can cause headache, restlessness, tremor and insomnia. These effects vary from person to a person. Additional consumption of caffeine products and drinks can cause some dehydration.
Importance of Drinking Fluids during Breastfeed
It is important that you drink enough fluids when you are breastfeeding. Some mothers say that tea for breastfeeding and grit with milk help. Other swear only on water. They believe that large amounts of fluid is very helpful either if you drink during or immediately after breastfeeding.
Some mothers swear on flax or sesame seeds because they stimulate lactation. Some of them prepare the drink from these seeds. Take a teaspoon of sesame or flax seeds and boil them in the water. Drink this lukewarm drink along with seeds.
What should Breastfeeding Mothers drink?
Will a breastfeeding mother have more breast milk if she drinks more fluids (especially cow’s milk)? It is wrong to think that. Water is the basis of breast milk.
Thus, it is recommended that a breastfeeding mother drinks 2.5 to 3 liters of liquid per day (600 ml more of the recommendations for adult females).
It is the best to drink water, non-carbonated mineral water, unsweetened herbal or fruit tea, unsweetened tea for lactation. It is exceptional to drink 100 % fruit juice, which can be mixed with water. Nursing mothers should be aware that milk is not the liquid. Milk is considered as food, which is relatively high in energy, so moderation in consumption is advised.
Should You Drink Green Tea when Breastfeeding or not?
Regarding all data that we have, green tea and breastfeeding side effects can be connected. Some newborns are very sensitive to strong smells, sounds and substances that their mother consume. Caffeine in green tea can cause them irritation, troubles sleeping and other unwanted side effects.
There is no rule how much green tea you could drink during breastfeed but I recommend that you don’t drink more than 2 cups of green tea per day. Every baby reacts differently on the substances like caffeine so you will see how your baby tolerates caffeine amounts.
Regardless of all, think of your baby and don’t drink too much of green tea or other caffeine products because he can’t tell you directly what he doesn’t like.