Experts maintain that there are no foods that must be avoided while breastfeeding. La Leche League International suggests mothers keep a close eye on baby and avoid foods they feel have caused adverse reactions in the child. What are the most common foods to look out for? Here are 8 foods to avoid while breastfeeding.
Limit your alcohol intake to one drink. Alcohol passes to the baby through breast milk so if you will be consuming more than one drink, pump some milk to bottle feed baby. Two hours per drink is needed to clear alcohol from breast milk.
Moderate intake (a cup or two a day) of caffeine is OK but in excess, caffeine will cause baby to be crabby and wide awake.
Chocolate is a double whammy-caffeine and sugar, neither of which should be consumed in excess by mommy to avoid passing on to baby in her milk.
Don’t overdo it on sweets. Too much sugar in breast milk can result in an imbalance in your baby’s blood sugar. High sugar levels can be problematic to your child’s health later in life.
Allergies in babies are most commonly caused by lactose from cow’s milk. Mom drinks cow’s milk and the lactose passes through her milk to baby. Unless your physician tells you your baby is lactose intolerant, it is important for nursing mothers to drink cow’s milk or consume dairy products for the calcium content.
Second only to lactose in causing allergic reactions in nursing babies is peanuts. If you eat peanuts and your baby has a reaction to your breast milk, avoid peanuts. Many women choose to avoid peanuts while nursing rather than risk an allergic reaction.
Spicy foods are notorious for causing gassy tummies in nursing babies. Hot sauces, chili, onions etc. can cause baby all sorts of gastrointestinal distress.
Carbonated water contains high levels of sodium which can be detrimental to your baby’s digestive system. Drink plenty of pure water to keep hydrated and to produce ample milk.
BONUS: There is one thing that everyone agrees should be avoided completely by mothers — smoking. It is important for pregnant women to quit smoking so the unborn baby will not be oxygen deprived and suffer hypoxia. After the child is born mothers should not smoke either. Nicotine from the nursing mother easily transfers to the baby in her milk. Nicotine lowers milk production, endangers the child’s health and makes babies irritable. Smoking is not considered a food but it is certainly worthy of inclusion on any list of things to avoid while nursing.
The best way to learn which foods to avoid while nursing is to pay close attention to your diet; if your baby has an allergic reaction or tummy distress, remove foods from your diet one by one until you can identify which food is causing problems. Which foods caused the most problems for your nursing baby?
Top Photo Credit: Ben Hill
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