Cutting Chocolate when Breastfeeding

Get information on when and why to cut chocolate from your diet when you are breastfeeding. Will this be necessary for every baby?

Woman eating a chocolate bar

Okay. Here is the sad, hard truth. Sometimes when you are nursing a baby, you will have to cut the chocolate.

I know there are people out there who say you don’t have to cut things when breastfeeding a baby, but those are people who obviously have never experienced what it is like to have a baby who cannot tolerate certain foods. Once you cut that food and your baby is a totally different baby, you know cutting that food was the right move.  

Kaitlyn had silent reflux, and for the year that I breastfed her, I could not have chocolate. Oh people! I know how hard this can be for the choco-holics out there! I know it!

I love my chocolate. Chocolate pie, chocolate cake, hot chocolate, plain old chocolate…I love it all. But if I had chocolate, Kaitlyn had flare ups with her reflux. Then she was miserable. As much as I loved my chocolate, I loved my baby more and it was something I could give up for a short while. And hey, it doesn’t hurt your waistline. 

There was one time when Kaitlyn was a few months old when we went to a birthday part at my in-laws. There was chocolate cake there, and in the moment, I completely forgot my chocolate restrictions. I ate it. 

Later that night, Kaitlyn was very upset. I went through the day to try to figure out what could have happened to make her so upset…oh yes. The chocolate cake! How could I have forgotten!!! After that night, I did not forget again. 

When Brinely was born and we were in the hospital, I enjoyed the second-best chocolate pie I had ever had (first best is the French Silk Pie recipe from the Pioneer Woman). I know, it is unbelievable. That amazing of food in the hospital? It was true. And I could have it with any meal I wanted. And I did. I even took one home with me, which was really necessary since my husband had us booking it out of there at the 24 hour mark. 

Then I noticed something. A few hours after my indulgence, Brinley would get extremely fussy. I did some experimenting and, sure enough, found that Brinley was a no-chocolate baby. Once again, I faced a year with no chocolate (and funny thing, I actually came out of this one not liking milk chocolate at all–only dark chocolate). 

Why Does Chocolate Bother Some Babies?

There are two ingredients in chocolate that can really bother babies. One is caffeine. The other is theobromine. Theobromine, like caffeine, can cause sleeplessness, tremors, restlessness, anxiety, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and withdrawal headaches. Both can affect the central nervous system.

Not all babies will be bothered by chocolate. I had two babies who did not have any negative issues when I ate away at my chocolate. But if you have a fussy newborn, consider the possibility of chocolate (or some other food). Cut it for a few days and see if things improve. If so, cut it out entirely and explore the other flavors of desserts in the world.  

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