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 its consumption.
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 a negative impact on the baby’s health.
The importance of a mother’s milk
Mother’s milk is a natural food for babies and toddlers. They need it for healthy and proper development. A 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 doesn’t 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 the development of morbid obesity.
Green tea contains caffeine
Green tea contains caffeine, which has an 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 the caffeine effect of green tea is weaker. The caffeine in this 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.
Polyphenolic compounds and catechins
The tea also contains a high proportion of polyphenolic compounds and catechins (30-45%), which are responsible for the protective action of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. They also help with diarrhea.
It contains an inorganic salt (potassium fluoride), vitamins (B group vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K), an amino acid (theanine), phenolic acids, saponins, flavonoids (quercetin)… The essential oil from tea leaves gives the drink flavor. It contains more than 300 compounds.
Breastfeeding and caffeine
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 this period.
Caffeine sensitivity in infants
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 newborns will have trouble.
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.
Caffeine side-effects for babies
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 the baby’s body, which can cause restlessness, wakefulness, and irritability.
How long does caffeine stay in breastmilk?
Caffeine is present in the mother’s milk for more than 4-6 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.
Does the 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 a headache, restlessness, tremor, and insomnia. These effects vary from person to a person. Additional consumption of caffeine products and drinks can cause some dehydration.
How can you stay hydrated while breastfeeding?
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 are very helpful either if you drink during or immediately after breastfeeding.
Use flax or sesame seeds
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 to drink while breastfeeding?
Will you have more breast milk if you drink more fluids, especially cow’s milk? It is wrong to think that. Water is the basis of breast milk as it represents 90% if it.
How much fluids per day?
Thus, it is recommended that you drink 2.5 to 3 liters of liquid per day (600 ml more of the recommendations for adult females).
What to drink?
It is 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.
Can you drink green tea when breastfeeding or not?
Regarding all the 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 consumes. Caffeine in this real tea can cause them irritation, troubles sleeping, and other unwanted side effects.
There is no rule on how much of the tea you could drink during breastfeeding but I recommend that you don’t consume more than 2 cups 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 green tea or other caffeine products because he can’t tell you directly what he doesn’t like.