Hey Lady, Step Away From The Chocolate And The Booze: 10 Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
When I popped out my babies, I did breastfeed for awhile and while I was so happy to be able to have my children and go back to my regular habits of drinking coffee, scarfing down chocolate and having a few cocktails, I soon realized that if I was going to breastfeed I was going to have to go back to being careful with what I put into my body. What goes in, comes out and is given to the baby through the milk. Did I want my baby a little loopy due to a few glasses of wine? (Well, relaxed yes…loopy, no.)
When you drink any beverage with caffeine in it, some of the caffeine comes out in your breast milk. And well, because babies can’t excrete caffeine as quickly or as efficiently as us adults, you may notice that after you feed your baby that your little cherub is fussy. Yep, fussy, irritable, cranky, not so sleepy…yep, fun times!
So what should you do? Unfortunately you may have to just eliminate that cup of coffee.
Oh boy, chocolate is my weakness. And if you are a chocoholic like me, beware if you are a nursing mama. The good news is, there isn’t as much caffeine in chocolate as there is in a cup of coffee. However, if you are eating chocolate, then nursing, then later noticing your baby being fussy I would step back from the chocolate and then cry if you so choose.
Broccoli, cauliflower and other gassy vegetables lead to crabby babies is an old wives tale? I don’t care what any lactation consultant says. These veggies can cause misery in a breastfed infant. I know one of my kiddos was not a fan whenever I ate the little green trees. Again, back off on the broccoli a bit and add it back in with small amounts to see how your baby reacts.
4. Citrus Fruits
It really depends on the individual, however orange juice or any citrus type fruit can cause some issues for babies. It is the acid in these particular foods that can make a breastfed baby more prone to diaper rash or spit up situations. Either way, it can make for an uncomfortable time for little baby and mamasita!
If you have a glass of wine here and there with your din din, it’s not a huge deal. But if you are a booze hound, drinking moderate to heavy can cause a bit of a problem. No out of control boozing and breastfeeding! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, possible side effects of breastfeeding and habitual consumption of large amounts of alcohol include: drowsiness, deep sleep, weakness, and abnormal weight gain in the infant, and the possibility of decreased milk-ejection reflex in the mother. Instead of trying to relax with a glass of wine or two, try a chamomile tea, a nice bath or massage.
6. Spicy Foods
Another one of my faves…spicy food, especially jalepenos. Sometimes even just a dash of pepper will throw your baby off. Add in a few jalepenos and you could be doomed. Instead of adding so much heat to your food, try a splash of lime juice to your meats or some ginger to tone the heat down a bit. Ginger actually is a spice that may help your little babe’s tum tum.
In Italy, where garlic consumption is common, mothers are actually recommended to skip it for the first few months if they choose to breastfeed. On the other hand..in India, nursing moms are encouraged to eat all the garlic they want, based on the belief that helping babies get used to the flavor of “grown-up” foods can actually be beneficial. Again, listen to your baby! Baby knows best and is the boss. (For now!)
Sometimes it is true that babies have an intolerance to cow’s milk-based formula, so when you the breast-feeding mother tap into the dairy products, these same allergens can enter your breast milk. According to LLLI, symptoms of an allergy or sensitivity to dairy include colic and vomiting, sleeplessness, and eczema—dry, rough, red skin patches which can progress to open, weeping sores. Remember, dairy includes yogurt, cheese are all included in this. It isn’t just straight milk shots, dahlings! Again, to check the intolerance, eliminate dairy for two to three dairy free weeks to see if your baby is feeling better.
Mercury found in fish can find its way into breast milk. The same rules for fish consumption during pregnancy still apply when you are breastfeeding. According to the FDA, nursing women should eat up to 12 ounces a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Types of fish with low mercury levels include: shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
Well peppermint tea can be soothing to you, but unfortunately, there are certain compounds in the peppermint herb that may reduce your milk supply. In fact, peppermint tea is often used as a holistic remedy to help halt milk production once weaning is complete…something to think about and make note of when you are ready to wean!
Relax with chamomile tea instead!
What are some foods that you had to avoid while breastfeeding your baby?
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