What to eat when breastfeeding? What are some foods to avoid when breastfeeding? Every mother wants to know the answer to these questions.
I used to question myself about why should be the diet for lactating mother and why lactating mothers have to be particular about what they eat. When I understood every little concept behind it (thanks to these pre and post natal classes of course), I was only amazed to know that yes, there are certain food items that breastfeeding moms should and shouldn’t avoid. So depending upon my experience and knowledge, here are some foods to avoid when breastfeeding and pregnant.
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Caffeine in any form – whether coffee or tea (even colas have caffeine in them), is one among the foods to avoid when breastfeeding and you must avoid when you’re breastfeeding. When I say avoid, it does not mean completely ban it from your life. No harm is done when it is consumed in moderation.
If you’re someone like me who loves their coffee or tea, instead of having 3-4 cups a day, limit it to only once a day. Caffeine does more harm to your baby than you think it would. Babies tend to become irritable, fussy and don’t sleep easily when their mothers take more caffeine than they should.
Alcohol is pretty much a no-brainer when it comes to what breastfeeding women should avoid consuming. Although there are people who say some alcohol does no harm, but yes, in pregnancy you must completely exclude it from your breastfeeding diet plan.
As for breastfeeding, the rules say that if you’ve had to drink alcohol in whatever form, then once the alcohol is out of your blood stream, you should be able to breastfeed again. That means, the moment you stop feeling tipsy and light headed, you should be able to breastfeed your baby.
There’s a pretty good reason why breastfeeding women are advised to keep their meals as low on spices as anything. The thing is, and I’ve experienced this myself, your baby would feel a burning sensation when he poops. Not only that, the entire area would become red.
The day I stopped eating spicy food, I realized the mistake I was making. If you like your food to be extra spicy, a little change in your diet will do your baby more good than yourself.
4. Veggies that cause gas
If you’ve ever had a cranky, colicy baby, you know gas is never a good thing. It was only after I was properly educated in the breastfeeding and food for breastfeeding mothers’ area that I realized that anything that cause even the tiny bit of gas is not going to be good for my baby.
Veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, green pepper, carrots, peas, beans, cucumbers cabbage… are all the vegetables that cause gas.
And needless to say if you have gas, it is likely that you will pass it on to your baby as well who will have more discomfort than you would yourself.
This is one food item that I completely avoided both in my pregnancy and while I’m breastfeeding. The reason behind it is that fish contains mercury which is known to lead to harm to your baby’s still developing brain and nervous system.
And studies also have shown that even very little exposure to mercury and its elements have impaired baby’s brains and nervous system.
Considering this, there is absolutely no way you should have fish in your diet at least when you’re pregnant and breastfeeding.
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Most of the dietary restrictions are to be followed during pregnancy when there are more chances of your baby being affected. But you have to be careful when you’re (exclusively) breastfeeding at least for the first six months of your baby’s life.
How about you? Do you have any list of the foods you avoided during breastfeeding yourself? If you have any questions to ask us, please let us know.