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Foods to avoid while breastfeeding

Being a mother is one of the most beautiful experiences in the life of a woman. It is important that the health of the baby is maintained properly during the period of breastfeeding. There are many restrictions on food and drinks during the period of pregnancy. This is also similar during the nursing period when the baby breastfeeds. It is very important for mothers to maintain their nutrients while they are breastfeeding their baby. Even though not all babies might react similarly to every food or the level of nutrients in the breast milk, there are certain foods which should be avoided as they might cause a change in the breast milk and cause problems for the baby.

  • Caffeine:

Caffeine is the most common food product which is almost recommended by every health specialist to be avoided by nursing mothers. This is because caffeine in drinks such as coffee, soda, tea, and others could lead to complications for the baby. Caffeine finds a way to get into the breast milk and this might not be good since the body composition of the baby is not formed enough to adjust to caffeine as we adults are. Caffeine might cause lack of sleep in babies and they might stay up all night crying. If you want to have a cup of coffee, wait for your baby to fall asleep.

  • Seafood:

Seafood need not be ignored completely, but it is very important that you know which kind of seafood can be consumed and which needs to be avoided. Some seafood has a high amount of mercury in them which can again get into your breast milk. Mercury can be very bad for the neurological development of the child. You can eat fish once or twice a week and ensure that those fish are not high in mercury.

  • Alcohol:


  1. This is of common knowledge as you had been advising the same during your pregnancy. The same rule applies during your nursing days. Alcohol is very harmful to the baby and can be passed onto them through the breast milk. However, it is not necessary to stop the consumption of alcohol completely during the nursing period. Only a small amount of the consumed alcohol stays in the breast milk and this does not harm the baby if you wait for two hours between the consumption of alcohol and breastfeeding your baby.
  • Peppermint and Parsley:  

Peppermint is used to make a delicious tea and Parsley is used as a garnish in food. However, both of these useful herbs can be quite harmful to your baby. They might not directly cause any harm to your body, but they reduce the amount of breast milk. This can be bad if your baby is going through a growth spurt, during which he would need more milk than the usual amount of milk that he drinks since he is growing. Both these herbs are often consumed by mothers who want to stop the breast milk production after the nursing period.

  • Chocolate

Chocolate is another food which does not have to be entirely avoided by you. However chocolate has caffeine in it which is why it is advisable to avoid it as much as possible. Some babies might not be tolerant of the chocolate reside then flows to your breast milk and this might have a laxative effect on them. It is better to keep a track of the poop and the behavior of your baby at all times. If you find that your baby is having a runny poop or is getting cranky after you have consumed chocolate then it is better to stop entirely.

  • Dairy:

This is one of the most debatable food products that are consumed during the nursing period. Some experts say that the consumption of dairy products is safe while some do not. The main thing is that some babies might be intolerant to dairy products. You would have to see if your baby is having any reaction to dairy products, if you see that your baby is having any behavioral or skin issues then it might be better to stop consumption of dairy products.

  • Citrus Fruits:

Citrus fruits provide Vitamin C to your body, but the acid present in them might be quite harmful to the baby. Due to the gastrointestinal tract of the baby being immature, they might not be able to tolerate the acidic components of citrus fruits. This can cause vomiting, spitting up and change in the behavior of the baby making them fussier. They could also develop diaper rashes. If you want to have some Vitamin C, it is better to consume mango or pineapple instead.

  • Peanuts:
  1. Peanuts have allergenic compounds which can pass to the baby through breast milk. If you have a family history of being allergic to peanuts then it best that you do not consume peanuts during the nursing period. There are many types of research which state that exposing a baby to peanuts at an early stage can cause a lifetime of allergy from peanuts. However, there is no concrete evidence of these researches and hence it is best to see individually how babies react to peanuts through breast milk consumption.
  • Spicy Food:

Different babies have different reactions to spicy food. Some may be irritable to it and some might be completely fine with it. If you see that your baby is becoming fussy, avoid taking spicy food.

  • Garlic:

Garlic can cause your mouth to smell after consumption, but it also enters your breast milk and makes your milk smell. If you find that your baby is pulling off while nursing and making faces or does not want to nurse sometimes, find the last time you consumed something that contains garlic. Babies normally do not like the smell of garlic and hence avoiding garlic is the best way out.

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