Is it Safe to Eat Pizza While Breastfeeding? 

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Pizza is a fan favorite around the world, whether it is topped with melty mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, or even pineapple! However, are there implications of eating pizza for breastfeeding? Let’s talk about it!

Overall, pizza is safe to consume while nursing. However, it is typically high in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol and, therefore, should be consumed in moderation. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into more specific variations of pizza, including spicy, vegan, and more for breastfeeding women. Read on to learn more!

Is Pizza OK During Breastfeeding? 

In general, pizza is safe to consume while breastfeeding as long as the meats are cooked through and to the appropriate temperatures. For example, the chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

freshly made pizza on a pizza stone

However, pizza is typically high in sodium, fat, calories, and cholesterol which can be detrimental to your health. Therefore, it should be eaten in moderation. 

Pizza Types When Breastfeeding

Now that we have covered pizza in general, here we will briefly discuss the breastfeeding implications of specific types of pizza and what to consider.

Spicy Pizza

Many enjoy spicy ingredients on their pizza, such as spicy meats, chilis, or hot sauce. You can enjoy these toppings when you are breastfeeding too!

There is no reason to avoid spicy foods when you are breastfeeding unless you notice increased gas or fussiness in your baby after you eat spicy foods. If you do, eliminate spicy foods for one week to see if the gas and fussiness resolve (source: Texas Children’s Hospital). 

Cheese or Meat Topping

Slice of pizza with salami, black olives and melted cheese.

During pregnancy, meat such as pepperoni or salami is a concern when not heating before eating (such as when you want to eat cold leftover pizza!).

However, while breastfeeding, as long as the meat is not raw or undercooked, you can eat cold meats safely without fear of bacteria, such as salmonella, spreading to your baby through your breast milk (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]). 

However, since avoiding processed and fatty meats is recommended, opt for chicken or a vegetarian pizza (source: American Pregnancy Association).

Cheese is also typically high in fat, especially saturated fat. Saturated fat can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and can also increase the risk of heart diseases, such as high blood pressure or heart attack. 

Vegan Pizza

Vegan pizza slice with a topping of Mushroom, Tomatoes, peppers, onions, sweetcorn and olives

When consuming vegan pizza, there is less concern for undercooking because no eggs, dairy, or meats are present. However, many vegan pizzas can also be very high in sodium. Therefore, try to find a vegan pizza that is lower in salt or make one at home where you can control exactly how much sodium it contains. 

Homemade vs. Restaurant Pizza

Both homemade and restaurant pizza is safe to consume while you are breastfeeding. As mentioned above, making your pizza at home allows you to control how much sodium it contains.

However, you must also ensure that the meats are thoroughly cooked. When dining at a restaurant, the internal temperature is much less of a concern for you as a patron.

Additionally, if you have leftovers from the meal, make sure that they are placed in the fridge within two hours from the meal being served – not two hours from leaving the restaurant (U.S. Food & Drug Administration [FDA]).

If you are not able to get home within that time, do not take the leftovers with you. For take-out pizza, only take-out if you can go home and eat right away. 

Is Pizza Sauce OK When Breastfeeding?

Pizza sauce is also OK to consume when breastfeeding. However, due to the acidic nature of the tomatoes, many breastfeeding women wonder if pizza sauce will cause gas or fussiness in their babies, similar to spicy foods.

pizza sauce in a glass bowl

As mentioned above, there is no list of what specific foods can cause digestive upset in your baby (source: Texas Children’s Hospital). Therefore, just look for patterns in your baby’s symptoms. 

Can Pizza Affect Milk Supply?

While pizza and any common pizza topping directly affect milk production or supply, ensure that you are staying adequately hydrated. Hydration is essential for promoting milk supply. The high salt content in pizza can dehydrate, so drinking fluids is incredibly crucial. 

In conclusion, pizza is safe to consume while breastfeeding, as long as some considerations are made. I hope you found this article helpful in discussing how to safely and healthfully eat pizza while breastfeeding.