Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for a baby and provides them with all the nutrients they need for their first year of life.
Your body regulates the composition of your breastmilk, but what you eat can affect it’s contents.
Some foods you eat while breastfeeding can be harmful to baby. Others can harm your milk supply, give baby gas, cause colic or make it hard for baby to sleep.
Women are recommended to eat a well balanced diet while avoiding the following foods that can be harmful while breastfeeding.
*I am not a doctor. This information should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice. I advise you to consult with your doctor for all your dietary and health needs*
Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
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Dangerous Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
Some foods that make their way into breastmilk can be dangerous for baby and should be avoided while breastfeeding. They include:
Fish High In Mercury
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are important for brain development in babies.
Some fish, however, is also high in mercury, a metal that can be toxic. If your baby is exposed to high levels of mercury through your breastmilk it can affect their central nervous system. Their fine motor skills, speech development, and visual-spatial awareness could be impaired.
So, to be safe you should avoid fish that are high in mercury while you’re breastfeeding. Some of these include:
- King mackerel
- Orange roughy
Instead, women are recommended to eat 8-12 oz of low mercury fish or seafood a week to safely get enough omega-3 fatty acids. Some of these include:
- Canned light tuna
Alcohol does make its way into breastmilk and drinking alcohol should be avoided while breastfeeding.
If you do drink, you need to wait until there is no more alcohol present in your breastmilk before it is safe for baby. Alcohol can be present in breastmilk for 2-3 hour per drink, but to be positive it’s gone you should pump and test your milk.
You can easily test your breastmilk for alcohol with these breastmilk test strips.
Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding For Better Sleep
Some foods you eat that make it into your breastmilk can make it hard for baby to sleep and should be avoided while breastfeeding.
Sources of caffeine like coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate end up in your breastmilk. Babies can’t tolerate caffeine as well as we can so if they are expose to large amounts then they will have trouble sleeping.
Nursing women should limit their caffeine intake to no more than 300mg a day. That’s about 2-3 cups of coffee.
Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding For Gas
If baby is crying, arching their back, squirming, and clenching their fist then they are probably gassy. If your baby has gas this can make them extremely uncomfortable and irritable.
If this is happening then you’re probably eating something that is passing through to your breastmilk and affecting baby. The same foods that can make you gassy can be responsible for baby’s gas as well.
- citrus fruits
- brussel sprouts
- dairy products
If your breastfed baby is gassy it can take some work doing process of elimination to find which of these foods are causing the problem.
Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding For Reflux
Baby reflux happens when food backs up from baby’s stomach making them spit up resulting in a feeling similar to when adults feel heartburn.
Baby reflux can be caused by certain foods that make their way into your breastmilk, including:
- orange juice
- citrus fruits
- hot sauce
- red pepper
- chili powder
- hot peppers
Foods To Avoid That Could Hurt Your Milk Supply
If you’re experiencing a low milk supply their are many ways to increase it. One of which is to eliminate these foods from your diet while breastfeeding.
Avoiding or limiting problematic foods from your diet while breastfeeding can help keep baby safe and healthy and protect your milk supply. If you found this post helpful please share it on Pinterest ♥️
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