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Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

You’re nursing your baby and are constantly worrying about which foods to avoid while you are breastfeeding? There’s a huge responsibility to knowing what not to eat while breastfeeding and what food is safe for your baby. Most breastfeeding mothers can eat and drink whatever they like, and it won’t have any adverse effects on the baby. Following a well-balanced diet will help you and your baby get proper nutrition. If your baby reacts unusually to a particular food, try avoiding it for several days, and then take notes. If that particular food is making your baby uncomfortable, the best thing to do is to eliminate it from your diet.

Milk is your baby’s nutritious food source, so make sure you eat healthy and on time. Doctors advise nursing mothers to feed breast milk for at least first six months after the baby is born. Breast milk has healthy amounts of proteins, minerals, vitamins, and immune boosters that are essential for growing infants. There are immunoglobulins (an antibody) found in a mother’s breast milk that improves the immune system of the baby.

Foods to Exclude from your Diet

Certain types of food, like spicy or gassy foods, tend to change the taste of milk. Try to avoid such foods, since it can make your baby irritable or fussy. Many doctors recommend that nursing mothers continue the same food intake as when they were pregnant. This helps your baby in recognizing certain flavors, when being breastfed.

  • Cabbage
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Radish
  • Pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Turnip
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Melon
  • Pineapple
  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Grapes
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Egg
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Sodas
  • Chocolate

Listing the kinds of foods a nursing mother should eat isn’t complicated. There should be some variety in your diet, because this will help introduce different flavors to your baby. This is a very natural way of preparing your baby for the different kinds of foods he/she will eat later. There are certain no-no habits that need to be followed, to keep your baby healthy and out of harm’s way.

I think this goes without saying that any doctor or a dietitian will advice a pregnant women not to have any alcoholic beverages. The same holds good for women who are breastfeeding. Drinking alcohol affects the way you may handle your baby, not just concerning breastfeeding but also for day-to-day activities. You may drop the baby from your arms or fall asleep if you’ve had alcohol. Consuming alcohol can also reduce milk production, as alcohol can cause dehydration.

It’s not advisable to smoke cigarettes, when nursing your baby. It increases the health risks for you and your baby. If a mother can’t stop smoking, or doesn’t want to quit smoking altogether, it’s safer to cut down on the number of cigarettes per day.

A cup or two of coffee per day is alright, but too much of caffeine is bad for babies who are being breastfed. This can affect the baby’s sleep, which means the baby’s going to be up for a longer time and won’t let you sleep. So if you want a good night’s sleep, record your daily intake of coffee.

Spicy Foods
Babies tend to give hints or symptoms to certain spicy foods that change the flavor of the milk. Too much of spicy or gassy foods should be avoided, as the baby may become fussy or develop gas due to it.

Carbonated Water
Carbonated water has excessive amounts of sodium, which can be harmful for your baby’s digestion. So, avoid drinking carbonated water. Consumption of lots of pure water is a healthy way to keep you and your baby’s health risk-free. This will prevent you from getting dehydrated (if you’ve had an alcoholic drink). Another benefit of consuming enough water is that it helps in producing enough milk for your baby.

Have lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, iron and calcium rich foods. Pay attention to your baby’s needs and behavior. It will help you understand what foods to avoid while you’re breastfeeding your baby. Every mother takes on an immense amount of responsibility to care for her child and the dos and don’ts follow with it. Breastfeeding can be a challenge-free activity, when the nursing mother is aware about what is good for her baby.

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I am a father of three and my wife is a registered nurse specialized in children.

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