There are lots of people with a love for kombucha, and for good reason. Kombucha is special fermented tea that has been heralded for its heath benefits including increased immunity, improved digestion, and more energy.
It’s grown in popularity in the last couple years, and now many consider it their newest healthy obsession. Because of its health benefits, a breastfeeding mother would probably expect it to benefit their baby as well. But this might not be the case.
We talked to breastfeeding mothers who said they regular drank kombucha to see if they could see any effects in their children. One of the women we spoke to said that after she started drinking kombucha every day, her baby started getting very irritable and had really bad constipation. She mentioned that kombucha was the only part of her diet that had changed recently.
We decided to do some research to see if there was a connection.
According to Hale’s Medications and Mother’s Milk: 14th Edition, kombucha tea is actually considered to an “L5.” L5 substances are those that pose the highest risk for breastfeeding mothers. There haven’t been any large-scale studies on the effects of kombucha, but here’s something most people don’t know — since it’s fermented kombucha actually contains small amounts of alcohol.
The FDA doesn’t require an alcohol label for a product that contains 0.5% alcohol or less. This is an unfortunate rule that people should be weary of, especially pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that women need to wait two hours after ingesting even a small amount of alcohol before nursing.
Another reason why pregnant and nursing women should avoid kombucha is because it contains bacteria which could be potentially harmful.
Although research on kombucha and its effect on your baby is limited, we recommend discussing it with your doctor. And unless you absolutely can’t stand to go without it, we recommend that you stop drinking kombucha while breastfeeding. Better safe than sorry.