Top 10 Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding

pregnant woman drinking

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It is important to understand what foods are best during the lactation period, which is almost as crucial as the pregnancy period.

It is a widely acknowledged fact that breastfeeding is very important for a baby as well as a mother. Though the doctors will advise you to eat whatever you like to eat while breastfeeding, you will get number of advices about the foods to avoid during breastfeeding.

Many nursing mothers will find their babies refusing breast milk after the mother consumes a particular food. This is a clear indication that there may be some foods which can upset their little tummies. It is advisable to avoid consumption of certain foods so as to prevent any adverse affects on the baby. Here we’ve a list of what foods to avoid while breastfeeding.

Top 10 Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding

1. Alcohol:

Alcohol is one of the most harmful foods you could think of consuming during your pregnancy and lactation period, and heavier doses of alcohol can cause severe si

de effects in a baby as some amounts of alcohol is released into milk after excessive alcohol intake. The symptoms may include weakness, drowsiness, deep sleep than normal and grogginess in a baby.

A baby can also gain excess weight over the period of time, through second-hand alcohol consumption! If you consume alcohol for relaxation, then you must drop the idea and adopt other means for its sake like drinking a herbal tea, taking a warm bath, getting a massage or walking.

[ Read: Drinking Alcohol During Breastfeeding ]

2. Caffeine:

It is advisable to cut back on tea, coffee and soda. Caffeine can cause crankiness and other sleep disorders in babies. Caffeine is not excreted out from the baby’s digestive system, thus, baby will not feel sleepy and becomes cranky. Caffeinated beverages can cause stomach irritation as the digestive system is not fully developed. Wait for your baby to sleep and then have your favorite cuppa. In this way your system will take few hours to clean up the caffeine from the body.

[ Read: Is It Safe To Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding ]

3. Gas-inducing Foods:

A baby can develop related symptoms like bloating and stomach disorders when a mother takes some gas producing foods. Foods that may not cause gas in a mother can still lead to gas related symptoms in a baby. These foods can include- cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and peppers. Some lentils such as kidney beans, lima beans and black beans can also cause gas problems. These should be taken in moderation or on occasional basis to see if the problem persists in your baby after eating these foods.

4. Citrus Fruits:

Acids present in citrus fruits can cause spill out and diaper rash in a baby. There are some acidic compounds in citrus fruits and their juices which may irritate your little one’s tummy, causing crankiness, spill out or even diaper rash.

If staying away from citrus seems to be good for a baby, then it is better you avoid them altogether during your nursing months. Thus, lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruits should be avoided during breastfeeding. You can munch on other sources of vitamin C like mango and papaya.

5. Spicy Foods:

Some mothers can’t resist extra jalapenos, but that may not be the good choice while breastfeeding. They are a big no -no foods to be avoided while breastfeeding to A baby can become fussy or even cranky a few hours after “spicy” breastfeed. So, avoid hot sauces, spicy peppers and other spicy meals. You can reintroduce spices into your meals once your baby starts solid foods.

[ Read: Is It Ok To Eat Spicy Food While Breastfeeding ]

6. Garlic:

Use of garlic in Mom’s diet can change the taste affect the quality of her milk. If you observe that your baby is avoiding breastfeed after garlic consumption, then limit its use. Garlic can change the taste and smell of milk for up to two hours after its consumption.

7. Dairy Products:

You must watch for dairy sensitivity in baby, especially when you eat yogurt, cheese, ice cream or milk. When baby appears colic and starts vomiting, it can be a reaction to dairy products.

The symptoms can also include stomach upset, eczema and sleeplessness. Stop consuming dairy products and start introducing them one at a time in a week. This way, you will observe how your baby reacts to a dairy product.

8. Big Fish & Shellfish:

Big fishes also come under the prior list of foods to be avoided during breastfeeding, as they contain mercury and can affect central nervous system of a baby. This high level of mercury can be extremely dangerous to a baby’s growing brain and may affect memory, attention, cognitive thinking, motor skills, visual skills and language. Hence, big fishes like shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tile fish should be avoided.

Shellfish should also be avoided if someone in the family is allergic to it. You must look for allergic symptoms in a baby if you take shrimp, lobster or other forms of shellfish. In general, if any type of food allergy history is present in the family, a mother should avoid consuming such foods.

[ Read: Fish While Breastfeeding ]

9. Peppermint Tea:

It should be avoided as it can reduce milk supply. It slows milk production once weaning occurs. While breastfeeding, it is better to avoid peppermint drops and candies; but in case you must have them, one or two a day should be fine, but not more than that. Instead, you can try chamomile tea which has a calming effect.

10. Parsley & Mint:

Parsley comes under ‘mint’ family which can also reduce milk supply. Herbal remedies also use parsley as one of their ingredients, so you must look out for that. Small amounts will not cause much effect on milk secretion, but if taken in larger amounts, it can be bad for milk production.

The human breasts pull out calcium from bones and fat reserves from a mother’s body to prepare milk for the infant. This is part of the evolutionary process and is unavoidable. So, a mother should take a balanced and healthy diet along with prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding to maintain stores of the body. Some medications can have negative impact on baby while breastfeeding; before taking any medicine, consult your doctor.

Hope your doubt on what foods to avoid while breastfeeding is cleared now. Do share your comments below.

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