Foods to Avoid When Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for babies. It strengthens their immune systems, helps them fight off respiratory illness, and promotes bonding that is important to childhood development. Even though you may have just spent a long 9 months doing without a laundry list of foods, you may want to consider cutting back or eliminating the following because they may affect your baby while breastfeeding. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or health care regimen. 

  • coffeeCaffeine – Some is alright, but the stimulant does get into breast milk. Since babies aren’t prepared to handle caffeine as quickly or efficiently as an adult body, it may keep them awake. Try to save your caffeine boost until after your baby has been fed.
  • Alcohol – An occasional cocktail or glass of wine is fine, but more than one drink could affect your breast milk. If you plan on drinking, the best rule of thumb is to wait two hours after each drink before nursing. 
  • chocolateChocolate – Falls under the caffeine category and may similarly cause babies to miss naptime or become more fussy than normal. Keep your chocolate intake to a minimum and avoid it altogether if you suspect it is affecting your baby’s routine.
  • “Gassy” Vegetables – Broccoli, cabbage, onion, and garlic may cause gassiness. While there aren’t any conclusive studies that link these vegetables to irritable and upset tummies in babies, if you start to notice that your baby is more gassy or fussy than normal after eating these foods, then it might be a good idea to cut back on them.
  • 39734996_lSpices – Some including hot peppers, cinnamon, and curry may be an issue. Although you may be able to eat spices with no problem, listen to your baby to determine if they are causing them discomfort.
  • Common Allergens – If your family has a history of peanut, wheat, shellfish, dairy or other food allergies, proceed with caution. For severe allergies, it may be best to avoid these foods altogether and have testing done. Otherwise, keep an eye on your baby and consult a doctor if you notice symptoms like colic, vomiting, pain, or bloody stools.

  • Junk food – Eating well while breastfeeding means getting the right balance of food. Focus on eating enough protein, calcium, and iron-rich foods such as leafy greens. Whole-foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains tend to be the healthiest. Try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. 

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Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

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