The truth about caffeine, alcohol and diet soft drinks for breastfeeding mothers, with expert input from Ms Kellie Kong, Dietitian from the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH).
Breastfeeding provides nourishment for your baby’s physical and mental development. Hence, a well-balanced breastfeeding diet is important not only for you, but also your baby.
“Getting the proper nourishment not only speeds up your postnatal recovery, it helps boost your energy and immune system as you take on the job of your life,” says Ms Kellie Kong, Dietitian from the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics,
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), a member of the
Dietitians share insights on what constitutes a healthy diet for breastfeeding mums and how what you consume may affect your breast milk.
What you can drink when you’re breastfeeding?
As a guide, drink at least 8-10 glasses of fluids a day to prevent dehydration. If you’re thirsty or the colour of your urine is dark, you should drink more fluids. Red date tea, ginger water, soup and milk are some examples of fluids, but water is the best thirst quencher and it is also calorie-free!
Coffee or tea
You may still drink coffee or tea when breastfeeding. However, keep to 2 cups of either coffee or tea per day. Caffeine has been shown to pass through breast milk and may interfere with your baby’s sleep.
Avoid alcohol in the week after delivery while your breast milk supply is being established. Please note that your baby’s liver is not completely mature at this stage and may not be able to cope with the alcohol that passes through your breast milk.
You may however, consume foods with small amounts of alcohol added during cooking, if the dish is simmered for at least 30 minutes with the lid off, as the alcohol will vapourise.
From the second week onwards, you may drink up to 30ml of alcohol a day (2 tablespoons). As it takes time for your body to eliminate the alcohol, wait for at least 3 hours before breastfeeding.
Alternatively, you can express and store your breast milk before drinking.
Diet soft drinks
Drinks (as well as foods) which contain approved sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame potassium and sucralose are considered safe when you consume them in moderation.
Read on for
food tips when breastfeeding.