5 Benefits to Drinking Matcha While Breastfeeding (Instead of Coffee)
As a mother, juggling diaper changes, playtime, a breastfeeding or pumping schedule, and parenthood's emotional ups and downs isn’t easy! With so much on your plate, you might be looking for an energy boost to power you through the day.
Doctors advise that nursing mamas limit their caffeine intake to 300 milligrams per day. This is about the amount of caffeine in two cups of coffee.
You’ve made it through to the fourth trimester and beyond, and you might be ready to start reintroducing some of your pre-pregnancy indulgences. Caffeine is one substance that is generally recognized as safe, in limited quantities, for breastfeeding women. However, there are better alternatives. That’s where matcha comes in.
Moderation is Key: Limit Caffeine Consumption While Breastfeeding
It’s important to be aware that almost everything you consume as a breastfeeding mother will be passed to your little one through breast milk. Caffeine is no different; drinking caffeinated beverages will ultimately cause your breast milk to contain caffeine. Therefore, as with many things, moderation is key when consuming caffeine as a breastfeeding mother.
Matcha is a great example: when prepared with one-half teaspoon of matcha powder, this trendy tea contains under 40 milligrams of caffeine per delicious serving. Matcha has a wealth of other benefits, too, making it an excellent option for nursing moms.
What Is Matcha?
Like all true teas, matcha comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Farmers grow matcha plants in the shade. Though this causes the plants to grow more slowly, developing in less sunlight causes beneficial compounds like chlorophyll, caffeine, and antioxidants to accumulate in the leaves in high quantities.
After harvest, the leaves are stone-ground into a fine powder. This is the green, chalky substance that we know as matcha!
Matcha powder is most commonly whisked into a liquid and consumed as a beverage. However, it can add a nutritious and flavorful punch to smoothies, baked goods, and numerous other foods and drinks as well!
What Are the Benefits of Matcha for Nursing Moms?
Beat “Pregnancy Brain” Fog
Many women experience brain fog, fatigue, and confusion during and after pregnancy. This is understandable; a woman’s brain reshapes and partially rewires during pregnancy to prepare for life as a mother. All the changes and new demands in your life can add up. It’s perfectly normal to experience forgetfulness, confusion, and overall fogginess as a new mom.
Luckily, matcha's energy and cognition-boosting powers can help remedy this condition. The chemical components of matcha tea have been shown to boost cognition and memory while reducing redness and swelling in the brain.
Matcha owes its cognitive benefits to the super-powered combination of caffeine and a molecule called epigallocatechin gallate (yes, it’s a mouthful – researchers abbreviate it EGCG).
Decrease Redness and Swelling
The high quantities of antioxidants found in matcha tea can do wonders to reduce redness and swelling in the body. Additionally, it is common for your breasts to be sore while breastfeeding. Matcha tea helps make it an alluring beverage during the postpartum period.
As with the cognitive benefits of matcha, the anti-inflammatory effects of this beverage are also owed in part to EGCG. This molecule regulates the body’s inflammatory response to stress.
The chlorophyll found in high concentrations within matcha is partially responsible for the tea’s antioxidant abilities.
Chlorophyll is a large molecule that can effectively remove the dangerous chemicals known as reactive oxygen species (or, more simply, oxidants) from our bodies. This prevents oxidative damage to tissues and may reduce redness and swelling in the whole body.
The immune-boosting effects of green tea are well documented. During breastfeeding, your immune system works overtime to produce the antibodies that will be passed to your little one through breast milk in order to strengthen their own developing immune system.
To prevent your immune system from becoming run-down, it’s a great idea to supplement your diet with immune-boosting teas like matcha.
In addition, preliminary research has shown that the chemical components of matcha green tea can have active beneficial effects on the body. Of course, it’s essential to take as many measures as possible to prevent viral infection.
Matcha is also a great and tasty way to further protect yourself and your little one against infection!
High Fiber Content
Though it’s not often discussed, postpartum constipation is incredibly common. This condition can have many causes, from the healing process after delivery to diet, sleep, and routine changes.
As it is made with whole, ground tea leaves, matcha has more fiber than coffee. This makes it a better choice for women dealing with postpartum constipation. Staying hydrated will also help resolve this issue. Matcha or an electrolyte-fortified hydration drink designed for nursing moms can help you raise your fluid intake and feel better quickly.
Consider Alternatives to Coffee for Healthy Energy and Hydration
Breastfeeding is a wonderful opportunity to bond with your little one and give them the gift of personalized nutrition and a healthy immune system at the same time. However, nursing can be mentally and physically draining for you as a new mom.
Fortunately, proper nutrition and hydration can do wonders to help you feel your best.
Swapping coffee for a healthier morning beverage is a lifestyle change worth considering while nursing. Matcha green tea is a super-powered health food that can make a great alternative to coffee. The antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber in matcha can make a big difference in your health – and with a delicious earthy flavor, it can make your morning better, too!
Matcha contains some caffeine to jump-start your day, albeit less than coffee. This makes it a good coffee alternative for nursing mamas concerned about transmitting caffeine to their little ones.
Remember, moderation is key! Avoid drinking more than two or three cups of matcha per day.
So what are you waiting for? Try Greater Than’s energy-boosting, natural electrolyte drinks for nursing mothers to help boost hydration and energy. There are plenty of delicious, natural, and healthy alternatives to coffee that will keep you running at one hundred percent all day long!
Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy | American Pregnancy
How Pregnancy Changes the Brain | Brainfacts.org
Medicinal Uses of Chlorophyll: A Critical Overview | Nova Science
Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review | Chinese Medicine