It can be extremely difficult to know what food to avoid when breastfeeding. Some foods that you eat can cause your baby to be fussy, while others may upset their stomach. Some foods may even cause them to have an allergic reaction. If you've noticed that your baby is fussy or if you're worried about what food to avoid when breastfeeding, here's a list of 7 foods that may cause adverse effects in breastfed babies.
1. Caffeinated Drinks
One food to avoid when breastfeeding is caffeinated drinks. Many of us have several beverages with caffeine in them each day, like coffee, tea, and soda. Caffeinated drinks can affect babies similar to how they do adults. It may cause them to be fussy and have a difficult time falling asleep. If you decide to have caffeine while breastfeeding, try drinking it is smaller amounts throughout the day, rather than in a large amount at one time.
2. Alcoholic Beverages
If you can, it's best to avoid all alcoholic beverages while breast feeding. If you decide to have a drink with your meal or a social drink with friends, be sure to have it right after a feeding. It's also best to limit yourself to one drink. Excessive drinking while breast feeding can cause adverse effects. You may notice that your baby is groggy most of the time and sleeps more than normal. It can even cause them to gain a great deal of weight.
For some nursing mommies garlic can cause some unpleasant side effects. It's been know to alter both the taste and smell of breast milk. If you decide to have a food that has a lot of garlic in it, have it at least two to three hours before a feeding. Some babies don't respond well if their mommies have recently eaten garlic and will become fussy. Some babies will even refuse to drink breast milk because they remember the smell and taste of the garlic.
One of the most common foods that babies can be allergic to is nuts. Breastfeeding for the first four months of a baby's life is known to help reduce their chances of developing a food allergy. If you can, you should avoid nuts as much as possible while breastfeeding. If there are times when you do eat foods which contain nuts, watch for symptoms of an allergic reaction in your baby. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction to nuts is a rash, tummy pain, and wheezing. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your pediatrician right away.
5. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits that are high in Vitamin C are wonderful food choices for most people, but some nursing moms find that they're not a great choice for them. Citrus fruits are often highly acidic and can easily irritate a baby's tummy. Some babies may experience vomiting or get a diaper rash when citrus is passed to them through breast milk. While breastfeeding, it's best to limit your consumption of foods like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. Instead, opt for other great sources of vitamin C by eating foods like mango and strawberries.
6. Gassy Veggies
Salads are a lunchtime favorite of tons of people, but if you're a nursing mom, you may want to leave the "gassy veggies" out. Foods like broccoli and peppers are high in fiber and cause your baby to be fussy and have an upset stomach. If you're breastfeeding, it's important to remember that even if a food doesn't upset your stomach, it can still cause your baby to be gassy. Other high fiber foods such as kidney and black beans may also cause your baby to have a tummy ache. These foods should only be eaten on occasion, as well.
It is important to avoid eating fish that contains a large amount of mercury when you're pregnant or breastfeeding. If you consume foods that have a large amount of mercury in them it's possible for the mercury to spread to the breast milk. This could cause your baby to have developmental delays. Fish with some of the highest levels of mercury include marlin, swordfish, and albacore tuna. If you're a seafood lover like me, consider eating options with lower mercury levels such as shrimp, catfish, and salmon.
Some mommies find that it's helpful to keep a food journal while breastfeeding. This is a great way to see how your baby reacts to certain foods, so you can decide which foods are best for you to avoid. You should always speak to your doctor before you decide to add or eliminate a food from your diet. If your currently breastfeeding or have breastfed in the past, what were some foods you had to eliminate from your diet?