Breastfeeding Diet: Foods to Avoid While Nursing

While you were pregnant you may have found yourself craving certain foods. Now that you’ve decided to breastfeed, you may also have found that not all foods are good for you or your newborn. When you consider your breastfeeding diet, do you know what foods to avoid or limit while nursing?

Unfortunately the list of items to limit or avoid isn’t the same for every breastfeeding mother and child. Some babies don’t react to spicy foods whereas there are others that will be miserable whenever mom decides to eat something with extra spices.

One way to learn about what is acceptable to your baby while you’re breastfeeding is to pay attention to how they react the day after you’ve eaten certain foods you’re not sure about. The baby may develop extremely painful gas cramps or be particularly fussy when you eat some foods. Pay attention to what you’re eating and then try to make a correlation between your diet and how your baby reacts.

Common foods that moms have learned to avoid while breastfeeding:

* Intense spices such as garlic, chili powder, cinnamon, and pepper
* Caffeine
* Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, and cabbage
* Cow’s milk if your family has a history of milk allergies
* Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, sorbitol, and saccharin
* Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish because eating too many of these fish could cause higher levels of mercury in both mother and child

Of course, the above list is only a recommendation that many pediatricians give. It doesn’t mean that any or all of these foods must be scratched from your diet. Eating any of the above doesn’t mean that your child is destined to gas and colicky behavior until they are weaned. You and your baby may not be affected by these foods. The best way to determine that is to eat small amounts of one food and pay attention to how your baby reacts to it the next day.

There really is no exhaustive list of foods that should be avoided during the time a mother breastfeeds. You and your child are different than every other mother and child pair in the world. And since you are different, it’s quite likely that what bothers one duo won’t bother another.

You don’t have to give up your favorite foods just because you’re breastfeeding. Eat your favorite foods but learn to recognize any problems your baby may have associated with your diet. You may even want to keep a journal to track any adverse reactions your baby has to what you eat.

Leave a Comment