By choosing to breastfeed you are providing your child with the best possible nutrition.  Your breast milk is packed full of disease fighting nutrients that are vital to your baby's well being, however, what you may not realize is your breast milk can be affected by the foods you eat.  Believe it or not, there are foods you should avoid during breastfeeding and some of them may be surprising.

Foods to avoid during breastfeeding:

  • Coffee – The caffeine from your coffee (or even soda or tea) can find its way to your breast milk. Unlike adults, babies are unable to excrete caffeine quickly and efficiently so too much can lead to irritation, crankiness, and sleeplessness.
  • Chocolate – Just like coffee, chocolate contains caffeine. Although not as much as a cup of coffee, a 1 ounce serving of dark chocolate can contain up to 35mg of caffeine.  If your baby is experiencing irritation, crankiness, or sleeplessness and you’ve been consuming this sweet treat, try cutting it out of your diet and see if these symptoms clear up.
  • Citrus Fruits – Because your baby’s GI tract is still maturing, certain compounds found in citrus fruits have been shown to lead to fussiness, spitting up, and even diaper rash. Don’t worry, you can get your daily dose of Vitamin-C from other foods such as papaya and mango.
  • Broccoli – What some say is a long standing wives’ tale, many nursing moms will disagree. Broccoli is known to lead to irritable, gassy babies so if you suspect your broccoli intake is causing your baby’s nighttime fussiness and colic try taking a break from this gassy vegetable.
  • Alcohol – The occasional alcoholic beverage will not pose as a threat to breastfeeding, although you should always wait until the alcohol has cleared your system before you feed. However, if you regularly consume alcohol you could be putting your baby at risk for impaired motor development and changes in their sleeping patterns, not to mention the possibility of getting drunk from consumption.
  • Spicy Foods – Your baby’s irritability and fussiness can stem from your love of spicy foods, even if it is just a dash of pepper. Try adding different herbs and spices such as rosemary, dill, or even ground mustard to add flavor to your favorite dishes.
  • Wheat – Many adults have wheat allergies and believe it or not your baby could as well. If your diet is rich in wheat and your baby is experiencing inconsolable crying, obvious pain, or even bloody stools, wheat is more than likely the culprit.  By cutting wheat out of your diet, your baby’s symptoms will improve if not completely disappear.

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These are just a few of the foods you should avoid while breastfeeding.  Other foods to avoid while breastfeeding include dairy products, peanuts, garlic, corn, shellfish, soy, peppermint, and others.  Keep in mind that your baby may not react adversely to all of these foods listed so just because you are breastfeeding does not necessarily mean you will have a restrictive diet.  It is important to note that even when using a breastpump you should watch for these signs.  Give us a call today at 844-867-8990 or visit us online to qualify for your free breastpump through insurance.  We look forward to helping you and your growing family!