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A new study warns against sugary drinks while breastfeeding

A new study warns against sugary drinks while breastfeeding

Dining keys

  • A recent study found that consuming too many sugary drinks can negatively affect a baby’s cognitive development.
  • Breastfeeding mothers should avoid or reduce the consumption of juices, soft drinks and other sugary drinks.

It is known that alcohol should be avoided while breastfeeding. A recent study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition illuminates another drinking habit that can be harmful to breastfeeding babies. According to the study, mothers who drink a lot sugary drinks while breastfeeding may affect brain development of their children .

Shocking statistics about sugar drinks

Sugar drinks dominate us here in America. The Cancer Action Network reports that more than 50% of American adults consume at least one high-sugar drink a day. and the CDC reports that more than 10% of our daily calories (about 145 calories) come from these sugary drinks ( less than 10% added sugar is considered the daily threshold for a healthy diet). Now, new research shows how much this could affect breastfed newborns.

The results of the study

The study involved 88 mothers who reported consuming about 2.5 sugary drinks a day. The researchers followed the babies of these mothers for a period of 24 months and found that «the results of the baby’s neurodevelopment at 24 months postnatal may be adversely affected by maternal fructose intake in early childhood.» .

Breastfeeding is often praised as the gold standard of infant nutrition, providing tons of healthy benefits for developing children. But some of these benefits can be diluted when a nursing mother makes unhealthy choices for her, such as smoking, drink alcohol or even consuming too much sugar in your diet.

Dr. Michael Goran , co-author of the study, is a professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and director of the diabetes and obesity program at the Saban Research Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He says: “We really don’t know how much sugar in a mother’s diet would be a safe level for a baby. What we do know is that other added sugars should not account for more than 5-10% of daily calories, which doesn’t mean much. That is why it is better to minimize the consumption of sugary drinks. «

Barry Sears, PhD, President of Inflammation Research Foundation and the author of the best-selling book, Zone Diet , says: “In the first 1,000 days of a newborn’s life, his brain undergoes significant development. So an excessive amount of sugar received in breast milk in the first days will influence this. «

Other risks of excess sugar

Of course, not only babies can be adversely affected by sugary or sugary drinks, as nutritionists and scientists call them. «Excessive intake of fructose in the diet has been shown to increase the risk of obesity, metabolic and heart disease», says Deedra Franke, RN, BSN, IBCLC, lactation consultant at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Added sugars should not account for more than 5% to 10% of daily calories, which does not mean much. So it is better to minimize the consumption of sugary drinks.


In addition, there is a risk that these children exposed to sugar will develop a lifelong affinity for sweets: a 2014 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that babies who were exposed to sugary drinks were much more likely to drink one or more sugary drinks every day at the age of six. .

At an age when growing children need water for hydration and proper cell function and milk for strong bones, sugary drinks that replace these healthier drinks can cause lifelong ramifications.

Fortunately, even breastfeeding mothers can enjoy a sweet drink from time to time without the risk of affecting the cognitive development of their babies. «Although we do not recommend breastfeeding mothers to drink soda (especially if it is made with fructose-rich corn syrup) , fruit juices or energy drinks, it is good to use them easily as flavors to dilute in plain water, sparkling water or aromatic waters / sparkling waters at home «, says Goran.

What does this mean for you?

If you expect a sugary drink from time to time, there is little reason to change your habits. But if you consume more than one juice or juice each day, consider the reduction. Try to expand your daily soda intake for two or even three days or enjoy a drop of sparkling water juice if you want those gas bubbles.

The first few months of your baby’s life are a critical time for brain development, so it’s worth making a change to your baby’s diet.