10 Foods to Eat and Avoid While Breastfeeding

Congratulations! You have become a mother. A new phase has started now, and becoming a mother is a whole new responsibility. Getting to understand your little one, adjusting your life according to the baby’s schedule it all takes time but is also very exciting. With all these mixed new feelings, comes a great responsibility to take care of the baby. While you might have learned everything about breastfeeding, many new things keep coming. Like what position is best, what foods to avoid while breastfeeding, how much to breastfeed the child etc. All these questions get an answer as we proceed in life.

Breastfeeding is very important, as your milk is the child’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It helps in developing a baby’s immunity and also has a great hand in baby’s growth. There are some foods that a mother needs to avoid while she is breastfeeding, so as to keep the breast milk and baby healthy. 

Let’s learn a little more about these foods-

What to eat while Breastfeeding

Foods to Eat and Avoid While Breastfeeding
Foods to Eat and Avoid While Breastfeeding

Following are the food which you can consume easily while breastfeeding your baby.

1. Fruits-

Fruits are rich in nutrients and also water content. They help to relieve constipation and helps to maintain the health of our body by providing sufficient nutrients. Fruits which are rich in potassium and vitamin A are-

  • Honeydew melon
  • Oranges
  • Red and Pink Grapefruit
  • Mangoes
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe

2. Vegetables-

Vegetables are very much needed for the wellbeing of the body. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and help to provide the nutrients to the body needed to make milk. Some of the vegetables which one should consume are-

  • Tomatoes
  • Red Sweet Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin

3. Grains-

Whole grains like brown rice and whole-wheat bread are very much needed for the breastfed mother. They help in the healthy development of the milk. Grains like Quinoa, are high in protein, which is very much needed during breastfeeding.

4. Dairy products-

Calcium is needed during both pregnancy and breastfeeding. There are chances of having osteoporosis if the mother gets a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D. Some of the good sources of calcium and vitamin D are-

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Natural Cheese 

How much Nutrients to consume and how much water to drink?

To cut it short on what you can eat, let’s understand the daily requirement of nutrients while breastfeeding-

  • Proteins- 3 servings
  • Iron-rich food- 1 or more servings
  • Green Leafy vegetables- 3-4 servings
  • Fruits and veggies- 1 or more servings
  • Prenatal vitamins- Daily
  • Water quantity: Try to consume at least 8 cups of water. This can be in the form of fruits, vegetables, and other sources.

What foods to avoid while Breastfeeding?

While breastfeeding your baby, you need to be cautious. There are many food products which you should avoid, as they are harmful to the baby. Some of the foods, which mother should avoid or take in moderation are-

1. Fish-

Fishes are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, but they are high in the mercury level. Mercury has the tendency to get accumulated in the body. It can reach your breast milk and can harm your precious.

But if eating fish is necessary for you, or is one of your main foods. Choose the one which has low mercury levels such as trout, salmon, and tilapia. Also, limit the quantity to six ounces of fish twice a week. When you are pregnant, you must have avoided sushi completely, because of parasites and bacteria. But during breastfeeding, you can think of eating it in a limited quantity.

2. Coffee and Tea-

It is not needed to completely avoid coffee and tea. But drinking them in moderation is preferable. Moreover, after you have just started your motherhood chapter, coffee or tea will be needed to get you some energy. The reason behind the limited consumption is, due to caffeine both you and your little one may have trouble sleeping. 

3. Alcohol-

Alcohol should be totally skipped in pregnancy and also while you are breastfeeding. As whatever you eat, your baby gets a taste of it in the breast milk. If still you wish to drink alcohol, remember alcohol takes two hours to metabolize. So, make sure before you breastfeed your child, the alcohol has left your bloodstream.

4. Chocolate-

You might crave chocolate, but chocolate should be eaten in moderation. Not only chocolate is rich in caffeine, but it also has a laxative effect on your baby. Also chocolate disturbs your little ones’ sleep.

5. Garlic-

Garlic is an ingredient you will enjoy in food, but drinking garlic milk? Yeah, no one likes it. So, when you eat more of garlic food, your breast milk gets a flavor of garlic, which babies hate. If you see, your baby turning away its face from breast milk, you better watch out your food.

6. Foods creating Gas-

There are some of the foods which are known for creating gas. They are hard to digest and cause gas in the stomach. Foods like beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli can make your precious little uncomfortable. If after you eat these foods, you find your little one suffering from burping, passing gas, and bloating. It is better to avoid these foods.

7. Medicines to avoid-

In pregnancy, we are very cautious as to what to eat and what not to eat. Even before taking up medicine, we think twice. The same goes when you are breastfeeding the baby. Whatever medicine you take, it gets dissolved in your body giving your baby a taste of it. Some of the medications to avoid-

  • Narcotics
  • Doxepin
  • Acebutolol
  • Thiazide diuretics.

How to understand if food is bothering your baby?

Whatever a mother eats has a direct impact on the baby’s health. Many times you eat something and do not know its reaction to baby’s health. There are some ways in which we can look for possible reactions of food-

  • Eczema
  • Congestion
  • Abnormal fussiness
  • Excessive gas
  • Diarrhea

If you see your baby, suffering from the above symptoms suddenly, that means he is been allergic to something which you are eating. These problems cannot be seen instantly, it will take around 2-6 hours after you have breastfed the baby.

Some of the common foods which may cause allergy to the baby while breastfeeding is-

  • Dairy products
  • Strawberries
  • Prunes
  • Cherries
  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple

So, above are some of the foods which you should avoid while you are breastfeeding your baby. But if you feel eating that food is important and you think your baby is getting allergic to it, it is good to consult doctor, so that he can prescribe you some alternative to the food.

Just take precautions which you can, don’t be obsessed and have a quality time with you and your baby.

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