Xylitol and Breastfeeding

Mothers of young infants may reduce the risk of transmitting cavity-causing bacteria to their babies if they consume xylitol. Breastfeeding women should also be able to safely use the product, as xylitol is considered one of the safer sugar substitutes. You should talk to your healthcare provider, however, if you are concerned about the safety of xylitol products while breastfeeding.

Is Xylitol Safe During Breastfeeding?

In general, it appears that it is safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume xylitol (a natural sugar substitute). In fact, there is some evidence that maternal use of xylitol products can help prevent dental cavities in children.

Research Findings on Xylitol and Breastfeeding

Although there is little strong scientific evidence demonstrating that xylitol is safe for breastfeeding women, it is considered one of the safer sugar substitutes for breastfeeding women to use.
On a somewhat related note, it may be beneficial for mothers of young infants (whether breastfeeding or not) to chew xylitol gum. Interesting studies have shown that mothers who chew xylitol chewing gum regularly during the first year or so of their baby's life have a reduced risk of transmitting the bacteria that cause cavities to their babies. One study has even shown that these children had a significantly lower risk of dental cavities at five years old. It should be noted that these studies were performed only on mothers that had a high level of the cavity-causing bacteria in their saliva; it is not known if the benefits are as great if a woman has lower levels of the bacteria.

Discussing Xylitol and Breastfeeding With Your Healthcare Provider

If you are concerned, you should talk with your healthcare provider about xylitol and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about xylitol and breastfeeding that is right for you.
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