Dietary Hazards Caffeine and Alcohol

About 1% of a maternal dose of caffeine (whether from coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, or medicines) is transported into the breastmilk. Infants metabolize caffeine more slowly than adults, and caffeine in breast milk may cause irritability and wakefulness. High intake of alcohol can inhibit milk production. Moreover, infant exposure to alcohol during breast-feeding may have serious adverse effects on development. Ethanol itself readily passes into the milk at concentrations approaching those in maternal blood and can produce lethargy and drowsiness in the breast-feeding infant. Heavy alcohol consumption (more than 4-5 "drinks"/day) by nursing mothers may impair psychomotor development in their infants.10 The effects of occasional light drinking are unknown.

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