Foods to avoid while breastfeeding is a rather controversial subject.
you tried your regular pre-pregnancy diet and a breastfeeding diet and your
baby is showing signs of discomfort during or after feeding, you may want to
single out some foods to avoid while breastfeeding.
It is important to
understand there is no right proven answer whether it works or not. It is very
individual. Some babies are thriving with their moms eating cabbage and garlic
every day. Other babies react to a sip of coffee. Very individual.
But if anything else in your breastfeeding process is right (latch-on,
positioning, milk supply), and your little one is still uncomfortable, try
measures below. Your baby will let you know whether they work or not.
Another aspect to keep in mind - amount matters. Whatever you eat - eat in
moderation. Many adverse reactions to the foods breastfeeding moms eat are due to large
amounts , not so much to the foods themselves.
Here is a list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding:
Caffeine-containing foods like soft drinks, chocolate,
coffee, non-caffeine-free teas, some cold medicine may cause colic,
fussiness, or gas. Babies may
become more alert, anxious, jittery and overstimulated. Caffeine has a
tendency to accumulate in your baby’s body. Many doctors
say that one serving of caffeinated food or drink per day is ok. My take
on it - if you can stay away from caffeine – stay away.
Be careful with herbal supplements. Read the labels. Some warn against using them if pregnant or lactating.
Here is a list of foods associated with baby’s meteorism and colic:
dairy, onions, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beans,
tomatoes, green bell peppers. Meteorism and colic can be caused by both raw and cooked vegetables.
Citrus fruits may cause rashes.
Garlic, cabbage, asparagus, artichokes and spicy food can change the
taste of your milk. Some babies don't like it and may refuse the breast.
Stay away from eating shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel. These
contain high levels of mercury. Buy fish in stores. If you are a fan of
locally-caught fish, consult the authorities about safe fish types and water
Pesticides and food contaminants are mostly concentrated in fruit and
vegetable skin, as well as in meat, poultry and fish fat. Try peeling your
fruits and vegetables and cutting off meat fat before cooking.
If there is a strong family history of severe allergies,
stay away from potential allergens while breastfeeding. The later your
baby comes in contact with an allergen, the higher the chances of not
developing severe allergic reactions. If
the allergies risk is minor, introduce potential allergens into your diet one
by one with a two-week interval. Consume allergenic foods in moderation. Visit
food allergies section for more.
Smoking has a negative effect on the breastfed baby and the breastfeeding
mother. There is no “harmless” dose. And since you gave up this habit for 9
months of pregnancy (if you did), breastfeeding is not the time to begin again.
Smoking suppresses prolactin, and therefore, slows down milk production. Not
smoking in your baby’s presence is not really a solution. Cigarette smoke and smell cause frequent
rhinitis and breathing difficulties. In addition, you expose your baby to the
contaminants in tobacco and nicotine. Visit Smoking and Breastfeeding section to read more.
Alcohol is harmful for a breastfeeding mother and the baby. There is no safe
amount. Alcohol DOES NOT promote lactation. In fact, it may slow down milk
production and the let-down. Alcohol consumption may cause baby’s motor
development delay and disrupt normal brain development. In addition, alcohol
impairs mother’s ability to think clearly. If you absolutely must have a drink,
do it right after the feeding to allow enough time for alcohol to leave your
body before the next feeding. I would still pump and dump the next feeding and feed
your baby some previously pumped "sober" milk. It is important to understand, that
alcohol concentration in your breast milk mirrors that of your blood. Only time
clears your blood and milk off the alcohol. Visit Breastfeeding and Alcohol section to read more.
All recreational drugs are harmful for a breastfeeding mother and the baby.
There is no safe kind or quantity!
When choosing foods to avoid while breastfeeding you need to consider
breastfeeding nutrition requirements. Make sure you don’t deprive your baby of
vital vitamins and minerals. Check breastfeeding nutrition section for food
There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win
their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.