A new study has found that women are strongly advised to stop drinking sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juice while breastfeeding, and warn that a high-sugar diet may cause cognitive development delays in future generations in the months after pregnancy. The study, from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, involved 88 participants who said they drank sugary drinks every day for the first month of breastfeeding newborns.
Many beverages, from sugary coffees to sodas and regular juices, contain a lot of sugar, which for some people may be the main source of refined sugars in the diet. It is no secret that high levels of sugar are associated with a large number of health problems, most extremely the development of type 2 diabetes and all its associated complications.
According to new research, a high-sugar diet during lactation may lead to high sugar in breast milk, which is eventually passed on to newborns. Using tests to assess development, the researchers found that two-year-olds who drank sugary drinks daily while breastfeeding had poorer cognitive development than those who reported drinking less sugary drinks.
The link suggests that higher amounts of sugar passed from mothers to offspring may have a negative impact on the baby’s developing brain, making them lagging behind their peers who are not exposed to such high sugar levels. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet and eating a range of healthy foods recommended by health professionals to nursing mothers may help prevent this unnecessary outcome.
Dr Paige K. Berger, lead author of the study, explained: ‘Ultimately, we want babies to receive the highest quality nutrition, and our findings may be used to guide future nutritional advice for mothers during breastfeeding to better ensure that babies receive the right cognitive development cornerstones.’