What Foods Should You Avoid While Breastfeeding – Medically reviewed by Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C – Written by Zawn Villines on August 22, 2018
A healthy diet while breastfeeding is the same as a healthy diet when not breastfeeding. The main difference is that breastfeeding people need more calories.
What Foods Should You Avoid While Breastfeeding
Every day. People who want to lose weight after pregnancy do not need to increase their calories while breastfeeding, but they should discuss this with their doctor.
Breastfeeding Foods To Increase Breast Milk
Certain nutrients, such as iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and D, are especially beneficial when breastfeeding. Eating a variety of foods is also essential, as this will expose the baby to different tastes and may lead to the acceptance of solid foods later on.
In this article, we will look at foods that experts advise people to eat or avoid while breastfeeding. We also provide information on supplements and strategies for preparing nutritious meals.
There is no single diet that is ideal for all breastfeeding mothers. The goal is to eat a healthy, varied diet. When breastfeeding, aim to include the following foods in your daily diet:
Fruits are a rich source of many nutrients. They also help relieve constipation, which some people experience after giving birth. Aim for about 2 cups of fruit per day, which should include a wide variety of fruits.
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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the following fruits, as they are all excellent sources of potassium, and some also contain vitamin A:
People who are exclusively breastfeeding should aim to eat 3 cups of vegetables per day. Those who combine breastfeeding and formula feeding should eat 2.5 cups of vegetables per day.
Vegetables are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Consuming adequate amounts helps the body replenish the nutrients it needs to make milk.
Grains offer important nutrients, especially whole grains, such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. People should aim to eat 8 ounces (oz) a day if they are exclusively breastfeeding, or 6 oz if they are also formula feeding.
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Some grains, such as quinoa, are also high in protein, which is an essential nutrient to eat when breastfeeding.
Fortified grains provide additional nutrients and are also a good choice. It is best to stick to whole grains without added sugar.
Seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can support healthy brain development in children. Salmon, sardines and trout are excellent choices because they are high in omega-3s but low in mercury.
Breastfeeding people should avoid other fish, such as albacore tuna, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel, which are high in mercury. Some types of tuna are safe to eat.
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Pregnancy and breastfeeding can leach calcium from the bones. This puts people at risk of osteoporosis if they don’t get enough calcium and vitamin D. Dairy products, such as cheese and milk, are excellent sources of calcium, and many have added vitamin D.
Breastfeeding people should aim for a minimum of 3 cups of dairy products per day. The following are good sources of vitamin D and calcium:
People who don’t eat dairy can also get calcium from dark leafy greens, beans and fortified orange juice. The National Academy of Sciences recommends that people who are breastfeeding should consume 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day.
The sun is the main source of vitamin D, but consumption of mushrooms and oily fish can supplement the diet. Supplements can also be beneficial.
Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding — And Ones Not To Worry About
In most cases, a balanced diet should provide all the nutrients a breastfeeding person needs.
It is important to remember that supplements cannot replace a healthy diet. People who are breastfeeding should talk to their doctor before taking any herbal or dietary supplements.
People with dietary restrictions or following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle should also be aware of certain vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in their diet. Anyone concerned about meeting all of their nutritional needs should talk to a dietitian.
Many people worry that they have to measure food portions, or that missing certain nutrients will affect their ability to produce enough milk. However, people around the world are able to produce milk with different foods. The goal should be a well-balanced diet, not a perfect one.
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It’s important to drink plenty of water, especially in the first few weeks after giving birth when some people get so stressed and distracted that they forget to drink. The need for fluid also increases when breastfeeding.
People who are breastfeeding can remind themselves to drink by keeping a bottle of water in every room of the house. They should also have a cup of water within easy reach of the area where they breastfeed.
The USDA’s “My Plate Plan for Moms” provides information on the best types and amounts of food for people who are breastfeeding. It is possible to personalize the plan according to age, height, weight, activity level and breastfeeding status.
The list of foods that a person should avoid during pregnancy is long. This may be the reason why some people believe that they should also eat a strict diet when breastfeeding.
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In fact, there is no list of foods that breastfeeding people should avoid. Instead, they should eat healthy food and pay attention to the signs of their body.
Breast milk comes from nutrients that travel through the blood. Many of the potentially dangerous substances that can cross the placenta during pregnancy do not reach the nursing baby.
Some experts warn against so-called gassy foods, such as cruciferous vegetables, but most children are not affected by these foods. Likewise, there is no reason to avoid spicy or strongly flavored foods unless the baby reacts negatively to them.
Alcohol is dangerous during pregnancy because it crosses the placenta, but the nursing baby only receives the amount of alcohol that enters the mother’s bloodstream. In other words, the blood alcohol content of a breastfeeding person is the amount of alcohol that reaches the breastfeeding baby.
Moms Ultimate Guide: Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
It is recommended not to exceed one drink per day. They also suggest reducing the risk by waiting at least 2 hours to breastfeed after drinking alcohol.
The first few weeks of breastfeeding can be difficult. People have to contend with recovery from childbirth, lack of sleep and the emotional demands of caring for a newborn. For many, the most challenging part of eating a healthy diet is finding the time and energy to prepare the food.
Asking a partner for help is a great way to share the load. One partner can pump or breastfeed while the other prepares food.
In the absence of a supportive partner, some easy-to-prepare meals can ensure adequate nutrition. The following eating strategies can help:
Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be a challenge, especially in the early weeks. Many new parents and caregivers feel so overwhelmed that they forget to eat. Some may worry that taking time for themselves means taking time away from the baby.
A child’s health often depends on the well-being of its caregivers. Self-care is a way for caregivers to ensure they have enough energy and emotional resources to care for the child.
Proper nutrition is important for children and people who are breastfeeding. Listen to your body, and eat what feels right.
Medical News Today has strict search guidelines and only retrieves peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. We link to primary sources – including studies, scientific references and statistics – in each article and also list them in the resources section below our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy. Colic is a bit of a mystery in the medical world. Because babies are unable to talk about their symptoms when they feel uncomfortable, parents and doctors can only diagnose their conditions based on the symptoms they see and medical tests. With colic, the main symptom that appears is crying…a lot of crying. The term colic is used to refer to a healthy, well-fed baby who cries for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week and more than three weeks.
Breastfeeding Diet: Nutrition And Foods To Avoid
There are many suggested causes of colic, from a cranky baby, an ear infection or even an injury to bones, muscles or fingers. But many of the proposed causes deal with the stomach and gastrointestinal tract: gas, reflux, spasms in the growing GI tract or hormones that cause stomach pain.
Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for colic. However, breastfeeding mothers can try to adjust their diet and evaluate how it affects their baby. Your diet is very complex with many factors working together. Below is a list of foods to avoid if your baby is colicky. Instead of cutting everything down, try cutting a group and evaluate if you see a change in your child’s condition.
Recent research studies have examined the effect of probiotics for infantile colic. The researchers found that probiotic supplementation significantly and gradually shortened the crying time to seven days before reaching a plateau.
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