After you’ve carried a baby for nine months, your body should be yours again, right? Eh, unfortunately—not. Now you’re breastfeeding, which means that just about everything you put into your mouth, winds up in your milk ducts, and in your baby’s mouth. That can be a great thing if you follow a good diet, but it also means a lot of responsibility on your end. While I know you were so excited to get back to eating high-mercury fish and guzzling margaritas with your friends, you do, still, need to watch what you consume, so long as your little one is latching onto your teet. You can, of course, go with formula—which can be a lifesaver sometimes—but, it’s good if your baby can have a lot of mama’s milk. It’s just loaded with immunity-boosting nutrients. Here are foods to avoid while breastfeeding.
Even though nobody needs a good cup of joe like an exhausted mommy, you’ll need to limit coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. Your baby’s body cannot metabolize caffeine the way yours can, and it can even cause low iron levels. One or two small cups is okay, but definitely avoid energy drinks and double espressos.
Think about fish now as you did when you were breastfeeding—avoid the high mercury stuff. It finds its way into your breast milk. Avoid king mackerel, swordfish, shark, yellowfin tuna, and skipjack tuna.
It’s pretty common for babies to be sensitive to corn. They will probably outgrow that sensitivity later but, for now, stay off the corn on the cob and popcorn as your little one may develop rashes in response.
Oranges, grapefruit, etc.
Citrus fruits are certainly loaded with vitamin C, but they’re also highly acidic and can bother a sensitive little one’s tummy. You should get plenty of vitamin C right now, but it’s best to take a supplement rather than to down orange juice every morning.
This is a bit of an unexpected one but, if peanut allergies run in your family, you should skip these nuts until you’re done breastfeeding. It’s possible that your baby has the allergy, too. And a tiny bit of this food, in a baby’s sensitive system, can be a big problem if he’s allergic.
Shellfish is another common allergen and, while your baby is still growing and you can’t quite run allergy tests, it’s best to avoid it altogether. If your baby is allergic to the stuff, he would have an even more severe reaction than an allergic adult would.
Alright; you don’t need to avoid it entirely, but you should limit it, and definitely don’t breastfeed after drinking alcohol. If you know you plan on drinking at night, then pump some bottles before heading out for cocktails. Even the tiniest amount of alcohol, in your breast milk, can have bad consequences for baby.
When you eat a lot of spicy food, a little bit of that gets into your baby’s system. And you know how spicy food upsets your stomach, so you can only imagine what it can do to a developing infant.
You may love a zesty loaf of garlic bread, but that aromatic food can wind up making your breast milk taste funky. Then, your baby may refuse to drink.
It’s too soon to know if your child has a dairy intolerance, but accidentally feeding a lactose-intolerant baby tons of dairy (via that passed through your breast milk) can make that allergy worse later. You can have a tiny bit of dairy, but if you see your child developing eczema, or suffering from colic, cut it right away.
Oh no…this comforting treat that you probably want to binge eat should also be limited right now. Chocolate has caffeine, and we all remember that talk we had earlier about caffeine.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower aren’t necessarily bad to consume but, if you eat these, and nurse, your baby could be very gassy. I mean, so gassy that you need to wear a gas mask to go near him.
Some moms who are done breastfeeding and want their bodies to stop producing milk actually drink peppermint tea, and eat peppermint products, to shut down the milk factory. This herb can reduce your milk output, so it’s not great for nursing moms.
Parsley is another herb that’s been found to reduce breast milk output. So you may need to find another way to garnish your food for now.
The world is only just beginning to realize how sensitive the human system can be to gluten. This is another allergen that, like dairy, can be very problematic if introduced to an allergic baby. In fact, it could make the allergy worse later in life.