During pregnancy, it’s important for you to be conscious of what you’re eating and drinking, as the nutrients or lack there of, could effect the development of your child. Between caffeine, sushi and chocolate withdrawals, you couldn’t wait for your baby to arrive, so you could once again consume all the foods that make you the happiest. Unfortunately, if you are choosing to breastfeed, you need to maintain a similar diet as you did when you were pregnant. Here is guide of foods and beverages you will want to eliminate or decrease your exposure to while you’re breastfeeding.
I know you’re irritable and you probably haven’t slept for days, however, if you drink that cup of coffee before feeding time, the likelihood the caffeine will make its way into your milk is very high. This could cause a number of outcomes. Your baby could become fussy right before breastfeeding or it may be difficult to get your child to lie down for a nap. Another effect of caffeine is your baby’s stomach may also get upset, because babies aren’t able to digest caffeine as quickly as adults can. If you can wait to drink your cup of coffee until your baby has gone down for a nap, you will be thankful that you did.
Not being able to consume dairy products when you’re breastfeeding is kind of ironic. In any case, you want to avoid it for many reasons. If your baby has eczema, other skin irritation or they tend to have a hard time latching right before it’s time to breastfeed, your baby may be experiencing an allergy to dairy. To ensure the allergy doesn’t develop further, cut out dairy from your diet for multiple weeks. If your babies skin irritations clear up or you notice your baby is much more relaxed during feeding time, the dairy may have been the issue. If you are craving dairy products, try consuming other types such as almond milk or goat cheese.
Spice and Citrus
This one really depends on your baby’s sensitivities, as many babies appreciate variation in the flavors of the breast milk they consume, and if you’re eating spicy or citrusy foods, you can serve your baby a plethora of flavors. However, for some babies, your obsession with spicy food could be disruptive to their feeding time, sleeping habits and digestive system. The signs that will illustrate your baby’s sensitivity to these foods include fussiness after feeding time, uncontrollable screaming, sleeping and waking abruptly, skin irritation, wheezing or green stools. Symptoms can be immediate or even 24 hours after you last breastfed.
Good news, you can have a glass of wine every now and then, even if you choose to breastfeed. Keep your alcohol intake to one glass a day, and if you’re breastfeeding, wait two hours per drink before breastfeeding, to ensure the alcohol doesn’t get into your milk.
This is a grey area, as there are some fish that you can consume and some you can’t while your breastfeeding. Just like when you were pregnant, you want to make sure you aren’t eating fish that have high mercury levels, because you don’t want your baby ingesting those toxins. This would include shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. If you are craving fish, reach for low mercury level fish such as salmon, canned light tuna or catfish.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up chocolate entirely when you’re breastfeeding, however, be aware that chocolate does have a lot of caffeine in it, and you don’t want that caffeine being transferred into your milk and eventually to your baby. Chocolate also has a laxative effect on your baby. Not only will their runny poops upset your baby, but you will also become frustrated. If you notice your child is having diarrhea after you consume chocolate, you may have to part ways with your love of chocolate for a little while.
Hope you learned some fun facts about what not to consume while you’re breastfeeding. If you stick to these six suggestions, you may find breastfeeding to be a relaxing and stress-free time for you and your baby.