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Newborn and Infant Care

Nutrasweet and breastfeeding

02/27/1998

Question:

I know it is important that while breastfeeding to drink lots of fluid (water especially), and avoid caffeine if possible, but what about diet soda (as well as other diet foods/drinks containing artificial sweetener like Nutrasweet)?

Answer:

Nutrasweet also known as Aspartame is a sweetening agent used in foods and beverages. Aspartame is made up of two amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine. If the infant is known to have PKU (phenylketonuria) no Aspartame (or any product with Nutrasweet) should be ingested. Research has found that Aspartame levels in breast milk are generally thought to be too low to produce a significant side effect in a normal infant. However, some mothers complain that their infant's fussiness and irritability increase. If you find this in your infant you might want to cut out the Aspartame from your diet and see if the fussiness and irritability in your baby decrease. It is also important to remember that Aspartame has only been on the commercial market since 1981, so long term studies are not available. As with anything moderation is probably the key. If you have further concerns you should discuss this with your infant's health care provider.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati