How do you learn which foods to avoid when breastfeeding? How do you know if your diet is affecting your infant?
The most important way to know is to pay attention to your baby. It may sound simple, but it is true. Your baby will let you know which foods to avoid when breastfeeding and which are ok.
Nursing mothers normally eat a variety of foods while breast-feeding. These foods will result in different flavors that change the taste of your breast milk. Your baby probably enjoys the variety.
However, if your baby is particularly cranky and seems fussy about the milk one day, try to remember what you may have eaten. If she reacts the same way every time you take that particular food, it could be one of the foods to avoid when breastfeeding.
Most of the time, unless a mother has many food allergies, the foods that she eats won’t cause problems for her baby. However, some foods that a mother eats while breastfeeding do tend to affect the baby in negative ways. In many cases, this will be noticed by the mother whose infant seems to be suffering from colic, having sharp intestinal pains, abdominal bloating, and gas.
(Just remember…real colic is not caused by your milk. Some babies…like one of my own…just develop colic…and breastfeeding is still the absolutely best food…especially for these babies…no matter what anyone tells you!)
Common Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
While eating certain foods does not CAUSE colic, it can make it worse or product colic-like symptoms in some babies. For the most part, my munchkins let me eat what I wanted while I nursed. There are, however, some common foods that many nursing moms choose to avoid because they upset their little one’s tummies. They are things like:
**spices such as garlic, chili, cinnamon, and pepper
** vegetables such as cabbage, onion, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumber
** fruits such as prunes, cherries, orange, lemon, strawberry, grapefruit, pineapple, and kiwi.
My littlest would scream all night if I ate a little popcorn! So just pay attention…the seemingly most harmless thing could make his little tummy hurt!
Other Foods to Watch
Some doctors will suggest avoiding cow’s milk when there is a history of milk allergies in the family or the infant is high risk. Ifyou have a family history. This is worth discussing with your baby’s doctor.
Drinking or eating things with caffeine is fine (under 750 ml per day), but in moderation. Caffeine can affect your baby’s sleep and make him cranky. (Which is the last thing that a sleep-deprived mom needs.)
Although large amounts of alcohol should be avoided as much as possible while you are nursing, an occasional alcoholic drink is acceptable…just not much beyond that. High blood alcohol content is not good for your baby.
Want an Occasional Splurge?
What do you do if your baby hates one of your favorite foods and you have determined that this is one of the foods to avoid when breastfeeding? Maybe you want to have a dinner of it before you are done nursing?
There is a answer for the occasional splurge…
My girlfriends call this “pump and dump.” For example, once your supply is established, you decide that you and the hubby want to have champagne to celebrate New Year’s Eve, but you don’t want the little one to have any. Simply pump your breasts for the next feeding or two and dump the milk. Use stored milk to feed your infant. That way you get the treat and the baby doesn’t!