11 Foods To Avoid Or Limit While Breastfeeding

Avoid Or Limit While Breastfeeding

After pregnancy and childbirth, every woman wants to quickly return to her usual way of life, favorite food, and her habits. However, if she is breastfeeding her baby, she needs to be cautious about several things. For example, which products should be carefully added to your menu, and which ones will you have to give up altogether? Let’s find out.

Which Foods Nursing Mothers Should Avoid?

Nursing mothers should be cautious about what they eat as it is going to have a direct impact on their baby’s health. This does not mean that you should completely abandon your favorite food, just give up some of them for a while. Here is the list of foods that nursing mothers should avoid.

1. Chocolate

Chocolate products are rich in theobromine. This substance has an effect on the human body similar to caffeine – it stimulates cardiac activity, central nervous system and dilates blood vessels. 

Therefore, if you feel that after eating chocolate, the child becomes moodier and sleep quality gets disturbed, it is better to stay away from dessert. Observations of doctors have shown that babies become restless and irritable if the mother uses about 750 mg of theobromine per day.

2. Alcohol

During breastfeeding, alcohol should be avoided altogether, as it passes into milk and can cause inconvenience to the baby. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, some drinks also change the taste of breast milk, which can be unpleasant for the baby.

Thus, nursing mothers should try to give up alcohol once and for all to maintain the well-being of their babies. If you are also breastfeeding your baby but have an addiction to alcohol, you should contact a nearby treatment center to get professional help. We are sure that through their help, you will be able to give up your habit.

3. Legumes

When breastfeeding; a mother should refrain from eating foods that cause an increase in gas formation. This applies to legumes – peas, beans, and lentils. Cruciferous vegetables are also considered heavy foods; thus, introduce these to your diet with caution.

4. Coffee

Quality coffee has a high concentration of caffeine, some of which pass into breast milk. If a woman consumes a drink and foods containing it in large quantities, this can lead to a decrease in the level of iron in breast milk. This, in turn, causes a decrease in the level of hemoglobin in the baby.

In addition, caffeine, just like theobromine, stimulates the baby’s nervous system and can provoke moods. Experts recommend that a nursing woman should limit her intake of coffee.

5. Bakery Products

Eating cereals such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats can negatively affect the health of gluten-sensitive children. If, after feeding the baby, colic, frequent regurgitation, intestinal upset, and other problems occur, this is a reason to consult a doctor to rule out food intolerance to the protein of cereal gluten (celiac disease).

6. Fish High In Mercury

Fish and seafood are excellent sources of quality protein, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. However, not all types of fish are suitable for nursing mothers. Mothers who have high levels of mercury can affect the neurological development of the baby, causing problems in the functioning of the central nervous system.

7. Spices And Condiments

Eating spicy foods during breastfeeding is undesirable. It can cause malfunctions in the gastrointestinal tract, affect the emotional state of the baby. Research shows that certain substances appear in breast milk after 1–2 hours of eating spicy food. Thus, if you notice that after spicy food, the child feels discomfort, give it up for a while.

8. Citruses

The affordable exotic fruit is famous for its high content of vitamins and antioxidants. In particular, it can enrich the mother’s body with vitamin C. However, at the same time, citruses are highly allergenic foods that can cause rashes and irritations on the baby’s delicate skin.

If negative reactions occur after eating grapefruit or orange, avoid eating them. Besides, you can get a sufficient portion of vitamins and antioxidants from apples, sea buckthorn, rose hips, mango, papaya, and strawberries.

9. Convenience Foods And Processed Foods

At first glance, they seem to be an excellent outlet for a mother who devotes herself to caring for a child around the clock. The choice of convenience foods in the store allows you to eat tasty and varied foods. But specialists alert people about the abundant content of preservatives, dyes, flavor enhancers, and other additives. Often they become the cause of allergic reactions, causing disturbances in the work of the body of the mother and child.

10. Eggs

If there are cases of egg allergy in the family history of the mother or father, it is better not to eat them while breastfeeding. Allergy to egg white is not such a rare occurrence; thus, you should be careful and be moderate in eating eggs.

11. Sushi

Sushi is safe exactly as long as quality products are used for their preparation and sanitary standards are observed. 

So, fish can be infected with helminths. Tests show that the risk of infection is lower with marine fish than with river fish. Deep freezing, salting, and heat treatment are effective methods for product disinfection.

Take Away

During breastfeeding, a woman needs an additional 25 g of protein per day, while the daily allowance should not be lower than 65 g. The USDA proposes to rely on the following products – beans and peas, nuts and seeds, lean beef, pork, oysters, crabs and mussels, salmon, herring, pollock, sardines, and trout.

By adhering to these recommendations, it is possible to adjust the nutrition of a woman during breastfeeding. Enjoy this wonderful moment of your life without drastically changing your eating habits and maintaining your fitness.