Most soon-to-be moms are fully aware that there are just some foods which you have to avoid while pregnant and some which your body will outright refuse to let you eat.
Sushi and soft cheeses may be off the grocery list during pregnancy, but is there a certain food to avoid when breastfeeding?
The answer: It depends.
It depends on a variety of factors and – fun fact – those factors can change every week or two depending on your body and your brand new bundle of joy.
Table Of Contents
First And Foremost: Eat.
Screw those super skinny celebs on the covers of those magazines that we’re forced to stare at as we helplessly wait in the grocery store line-up. Most pregnant women don’t bother with that anyway.
Those bodies are almost always literally unreal (ask the photoshop guy) and those mothers are either:
a) Genetic freaks; or
b) Maniacal and unhappy dieters.
Don’t diet. Yeah, your body may take a half a year or more to “bounce back” and yeah, you may hold on to an extra five to ten pounds for six months or longer. But who cares?
You made life.
Sustain yourself and sustain your baby by focusing on eating healthy and nutritious meals consisting of whole foods (we’re talking whole grain pasta, brown rice, lean protein, loads of veggies and, okay, some chocolate = a well-balanced diet).
Have a brownie.
You’re about to become a calorie burning machine (breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day!). A great weight loss machine.
Now is not the time to limit your caloric intake. Now is the time to walk more and maybe do some light weights if you want to start burning some extra calories
Only do so upon the approval of your physician.
Second-most: Abstain From The Following
What we put in our mouths will end up in our breastmilk in some way.
This is why we have to avoid certain foods because, well, they may contain some bad “ish” that can negatively affect our mini breast milk guzzling machines.
Some foods to avoid:
#1. High Mercury Fish. If you like a shark, tilefish, king mackerel, and swordfish, give it up for now.
Health experts agree that 12 ounces of canned light tuna, salmon, shrimp, catfish and Pollock are okay.
#2. Booze. Seriously, after 40 weeks of no wine, you still have to abstain?
Well, not completely.
You can have that glass of wine or beer, but make it just that – a glass. If you want to enjoy a few more, pump before the binge and make sure you have at least 6 ounces waiting in the fridge for your baby in case he gets hungry.
After you drink, do the pump and dump (pump and toss the booze-laden milk. It’s the breastfeeding mom’s version of the “walk of shame”).
#3. Caffeinated Beverages. After pulling a 24/7 with your baby, the last thing you need to hear is that your saving grace (a.k.a. caffeine) is a “no-no”.A moderate amount of caffeine is fine while breastfeeding, so go ahead.
Drink that morning coffee. Have a “cuppa” in the afternoon and even a tea in the evening if need be.
Pacing is really key here, but you should have no more than two or three cups of caffeinated drinks each day (this includes soda)
#4. Peppermint. If you are like most moms on this diet, your face likely went from neutral to frown and you must utter, “WTF?”.
In case you love chewing on leaves of peppermint, this herb is no good while breastfeeding (yeah, who knew?).
Peppermint can inhibit milk production. Peppermint tea is cool if you only have one cup a day.
#5. Sage. Here’s another one which probably isn’t going to be a problem for you.
Sage has the same effect as peppermint. It can decrease your milk supply, but only if ingested in large doses.
So only unless you have some bizarre addiction to sage, chances are you are absolutely fine.
image source: Nourish
Other Breastfeeding-Wary Foods
The foods on this particular list boil down to how your baby reacts to your breastmilk after he has taken a swig or two.
Just as you may not be a fan of garlic your infant may not be cool with citrus fruits.
Some foods to try but may have to limit while breastfeeding include:
- Chocolate. I know. It’s delicious and it is a lifesaver. But a lot of babies get gas because of it (possibly due to the dairy).
- Spicy Stuff. Limit the garlic, the curry, the cinnamon, and chili peppers. Pump before you go out for some Indian and have spice-free milk on deck.
- Citrus Fruits. The citric acid in these fruits is STRONG and it can significantly tamper with your milk.
- Strawberries/Kiwifruit/Pineapple. Surprising, right? But these berries and fruits can be just as disruptive to your milk as citrus fruits. (Another fun fact: Kiwifruit is technically a berry. Am I the only one who didn’t know this?).
- Foods that give you gas. This may be because your baby won’t want to be laying in your lap enjoying a delicious meal while immersed in one of your fart clouds. But it is more likely because these foods (cabbage, garlic, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and cucumber) add an unfamiliar flavor to their milk
- Laxative fruits. We’re doing you a favor here. Stay away from the cherries and prunes.
Video by: Lisa Wible
The female body has some pretty fantastic filters in place which ensure that the bad sh*t you may have just ingested will not affect your baby and that the good sh*t you just ingested will make its way to him.
- Loosely follow these guidelines.
- If your baby seems gassy or uncomfortable, keep a food journal. Look for trends.
- Treat yourself once a day with something delicious. You’ve earned it, dang it!
Have an interesting story about what foods you couldn’t eat while breastfeeding? We want to know! Make a comment and post it below.