Breastfeeding: stimulants and medicines

The barrier between maternal blood and breast milk is not particularly dense. Many chemical compounds (alcohol, caffeine, medicines) can be detected in the milk shortly after eating. The concentration is similar to that in the circulatory system. Even viruses can pass this barrier partially unhindered.

Which substances harm babies

The infant does not yet have the necessary mechanisms (enzymes) to break down the various foreign substances (caffeine, alcohol, nicotine). Thus, they stay longer in the child's organism and therefore have a prolonged and intensified effect. For the mother, this means taking in as little as possible substances that could harm the newborn.

These include:

substancecharacteristicsrecommendation
alcoholAlcohol enters the breast milk a short time after ingestion according to the concentration in maternal blood. It causes drowsiness and apathy in the infant. With regular consumption, damage in the brain of the newborn is likely. Possible consequence: delayed psychomotor development. In the mother, high doses lead to a decrease in milk production.Ideally, alcoholic drinks should be avoided during breastfeeding. 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks per week (Limit!) Are however justifiable. If alcohol is taken, this should take place immediately after and possibly long before the next breastfeeding. In these cases, the concentration in breast milk is lower.
caffeineA significant portion of caffeine in maternal blood appears in breast milk. The infant reacts with irritability and insomnia to the drug.The intake of 1 to 2 cups of coffee per week should not be exceeded.
nicotineThe nicotine and other harmful substances contained in the cigarette can also be found in breast milk. In infants, they can cause vomiting and spasmodic abdominal pain. In the longer term, the child's susceptibility to allergies may be increased.Do not smoke while breastfeeding (and generally).
drugsMany drugs pass into breast milk.Ask your doctor or pharmacist.
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