Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
Updated: Mar 27
Next week, we are going to be doing a series on foods to stay away from during pregnancy.
While breastfeeding, there are fewer restrictions-- read below!
Alcohol is one of those items that while not fully restricted should be watched, as we have previously discussed. We have debunked pumping and dumping, since now we know that it doesn't contaminate breastmilk it merely passes through. Because of that, you can time your consumption with breastfeeding or pumping sessions to make sure your baby is not exposed. To find out more, check out our full post here.
Caffeine is another thing that was somewhat restricted during pregnancy and should still be monitored during breastfeeding. Caffeine can interrupt sleeping patterns for both you and your baby. Make sure to note that it takes 4-6 hours for what you eat to show up in your breastmilk. That means that cup of coffee you drink at 4 pm might show up in your milk anywhere between 8-10 pm, right when your baby needs to go to sleep... Zzz.
The next foods are those that may or may not affect your baby at all. First, we wanted to talk about foods categorized as 'gassy' foods. Many, but not all infants can have a reaction to these foods through digestion. This presents in either colic or digestive distress and gas. These are spicy foods, cruciferous veggies such as broccoli or cabbage, milk or other dairy products, and legumes or beans.
For some, herbs and spices have been seen to curb lactation or decrease supply. To name a few; parsley, sage, and peppermint. This isn't to say that you should avoid them altogether, but be aware of the possible effects and how much you are consuming.
We don't recommend avoiding foods with strong flavors. Strong flavors will help your baby prepare for a variety of foods and flavors when starting solid foods.
Some people recommend avoiding soy, eggs, nuts, and other high allergen foods because they don't want your baby to have a reaction. That being said, research has shown that consuming these foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding may actually help reduce the risks of allergies.
If your baby does begin to show signs of intolerance to certain foods, you may try taking items out of your diet or keep a food log and track what you ate/your baby's reaction. If you ate a meal that had a lot of dairy and 4-6 hours after, your baby is gassy, it may be a good sign that you should cut down on your dairy intake. You can try the same tactic if your baby is colicky, spits up a lot, is EXTRA fussy, congested, rashy, spitting up/vomiting, etc. All of these signs could be in relation to foods you are consuming and it is good to be aware of your intakes and how they affect your little one!
PLEASE be aware of nutrient intake when cutting out foods. Work with a dietitian to make sure you are still eating a balanced diet and leading a healthy lifestyle!
Your health today is a LIFETIME of health for you AND your baby.
Until next time!
Coaches Cassie and Mikayla