Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
Foods to avoid while breastfeeding often times vary for every individual and it may be helpful to keep a food journal in case you need to do some investigative work! Some foods may promote gas, restless nights, allergic reactions or taste changes to the mother’s milk. To keep this simple, I have broken down foods groups and possible contradictions for the baby below.
- Alcohol: No shame in starting with alcohol, I know you are curious. The most consistent recommendation with alcohol is an occasional drink is fine, try to adhere to one drink at a time. More than one drink can raise your blood alcohol level and this is when the alcohol enters the breast milk. If you want a couple drinks, a good guideline is to wait two hours per drink prior to feeding. Avoid heavy drinking while breastfeeding… ha, I know like you have the energy to be hung over the next day!
- Caffeine: try to limit your caffeine to around 1-2 cups per day (~250mg/day). Excessive caffeine may cause the baby to feel restless and have difficulty sleeping, believe me, you want that baby to sleep!
- Allergies: Common foods that cause allergies include: cow’s milk, wheat, soy, eggs, honey, shellfish, fish, & treenuts. The best advice I have for you is to completely avoid these foods IF you have a family history of allergies.
- Dislikes and Gas Promoting Foods: certain foods to pay attention to would include: chocolate, spices, citrus fruits, citrus juices, onions, cabbage, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, & peppers. The best way to test food intolerances is reintroducing the food separately and watch for signs of dislike or gas… this is where your food journal could come in handy to help narrow the choices that could be the issue.
If you find any foods to avoid while breastfeeding or you are planning on omitting any food groups from your diet, make sure you discuss this with your OB/GYN or Dietitian to assure you are not missing important nutrients. There may be a need to supplement if you end up limiting dairy products, certain proteins, etc. Please feel free to Just Ask if you have any concerns or questions that have not been addressed.
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