One of the most common questions new moms ask is “Is there a list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding?” While it is true that the substances you are getting from the food you eat can pass into your breast milk, it is still important to know not all babies react to the same foods. It is also wise to be mindful of what you eat, to eat in moderation, and to observe your babies after breastfeeding when you eat some of the foods listed in the breastfeeding menu. Just the same, I’ve listed down below seven of the top foods known to cause allergies, discomfort, and other sensitivities to your baby or affect your milk production.
List of Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding and Why You Should Avoid Them
1. Fish High in Mercury
There are certain types of fish high in mercury that can harm the nervous system. When breastfeeding women consume a lot of it, it can transfer to the breast milk and harm the baby’s development. This is according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Shark, swordfish, and mackerel are some of the fish with the highest amount of mercury. On the other hand, tilapia, tuna, and salmon have lower levels of mercury and are safe to include in your breastfeeding diet meal plan.
2. Parsley, Peppermint, and Other Herbs
Some herbs are considered anti-galactagogues. These are known to decrease breast milk production when consumed in high doses. If you are a breastfeeding mom and have troubles producing enough milk for your little one, it is best to avoid these types of herbs.
Trivia: Galactagogue foods like moringa, fennel, and borage, among others, are known to increase breast milk.
Cow’s milk products and other dairy are the usual suspects of food sensitivities in breastfed babies. That’s why they’re included in the list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding a gassy baby! When you notice your baby is suffering from fussiness, gassiness, rash, eczema, or similar ailments, it may be best to cut down your dairy supply.
Other suspects include soy, corn, peanuts, and eggs.
Garlic is a special case as it has both positive and negative effects on breastfeeding. While garlic is safe to eat and is, in fact, a galactagogue, it still changes the taste and smell of your breast milk. Its strong and pungent odor may result in your baby rejecting your breast milk and getting fussy and irritated.
Reminder: When you are a fan of putting a generous amount of garlic in your food, it is best to be extra sensitive to its effect on breastfeeding and see whether it is something you can maintain or have to reduce.
As a breastfeeding mom, you’ll probably find yourself having sleepless nights more often than usual. This is where coffee comes in to save the day. While breastfeeding and coffee intake do not necessarily contradict, know that caffeine can actually make its way into your bloodstream and into your breast milk.
Unless you want your baby to be on edge, you might want to keep your caffeine in check, at least while you are still breastfeeding your little one.
Chocolate contains caffeine, which regrettably includes it in one of the foods to avoid while breastfeeding. The problem mainly is that babies take a longer time to digest caffeine in their systems as compared to adults.
Of course, the trick to eating anything during this period is to eat anything in moderation. Possible side effects of too much chocolate are gas formation, vomiting, and diarrhea, among others.
Alcohol ban does not end in labor and may continue on to the first few months of breastfeeding. This is because the alcohol you consume, whether it be wine, beer, or hard liquor, can make its way into your breast milk.
Alcohol in breast milk affects your babies’ eating, sleeping, and their overall development. So, as a breastfeeding mom, you might want to skip the happy hour for a little while longer.
Want to know what other foods to avoid while breastfeeding? Trendy Women shares 20 foods to add to the list:
This list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding may harm you in two ways: they are either harmful by nature to your breast milk and your baby, or they can be potentially harmful when consumed in high doses. For those that belong to the latter category, you do not have to necessarily drop them from your diet. You just have to watch your intake and make sure you consume them in moderation.
Which among the list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding do you find hardest to give up as a breastfeeding mom? Let us know in the comments section below!
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on April 4, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.