What Foods Should I Avoid While Breastfeeding?

Women in our culture are sometimes advised to avoid spicy or "gassy" foods when nursing. Or they are told that chocolate, citrus, carbonated beverages or dairy causes problems in all nursing babies.

As a breastfeeding educator, I often see women warning other Moms that they need to avoid certain foods while breastfeeding. There are also websites that give unproven breastfeeding advice that claim that women must eat a certain kind of diet in order to make quality milk for her baby. So what is the truth?

Does a nursing Mom need to restrict her diet? Are there foods that a Mom should avoid while breastfeeding?

Generally speaking, a nursing Mom does NOT need to restrict her diet.

Obviously, drinking heavily or excessive caffeine consumption (meaning several cups of coffee a day) is a no-no, but other than that, there is no reason for a breastfeeding Mother to assume that she needs to avoid any foods.

So called "gassy" foods do not affect the nursing infant because the undigested carbs that cause gas in Mom do not pass into breastmilk. It is literally impossible for "gassy" foods to cause gas in babies except in the rare case of an infant being allergic to one of these foods.

Interestingly, according to the La Leche League (considered the world's foremost authority on breastfeeding) website, "In Italy, mothers are often told not to eat garlic, cauliflower, lentils, and red peppers. In India most mothers eat all these things and breastfeed very happily. Actually, in parts of India they believe that garlic helps a mother to breastfeed successfully!"

There are even a couple of studies that showed that babies nursed longer and with more vigor when their Moms ate garlic.

The advice given to a nursing Mom varies according to local culture and the popular "old wive's tales". Women all over the world eating a wide variety of foods produce good quality milk and have thriving babies. There is not a shred of evidence that supports the idea that eating a special diet helps make breastmilk "richer".

Consequently, there is no one food that all breastfeeding Moms should avoid. Breastfeeding women should eat a variety of healthy foods, just as they did while they were pregnant.

The only exception would be if your baby has food allergies/sensitivies, which is rare but not unheard of. If your family has a strong history of allergy to a specific food (such as peanuts), you might consider avoiding that food while nursing and during pregnancy.

Enjoy nursing your baby!

Carrie Lauth publishes a free newsletter for Moms who do things the natural way. Get your copy plus free subscriber goodies at http://www.natural-moms.com

In The News:

Should Babies and Toddlers Wear Face Masks in Public?  What To Expect When You're Expecting
Your 15-Month-Old  The New York Times
Your 18-Month-Old  The New York Times
When Kids Injure Parents  The New York Times
The Truth About Food Pouches  The New York Times
COVID-19: What Parents Need to Know  Stanford Children's Health

Etiquette for Baby Shower

Etiquette for baby shower used to be quite rigid, but... Read More

Baby Cold Symptoms and How to Treat Them

Remember how miserable you felt when you last had a... Read More

Child Safety in the Home

In the 15-year period from 1982 to 1996, the leading... Read More

What Does that New Baby Really Need?

What your baby needs and may not need.There are so... Read More

Baby Bedding

When you choose a baby bedding, choose the one which... Read More

Baby Crib Safety - Frequently Asked Questions

The crib is where your baby will spend a lot... Read More

Stem Cells Taken From A Babys Cord

Stem Cells..An increasing number of parents are storing stem cells... Read More

Babies Born With A Cleft Palate Or Lip

As many as one in 700 babies are born with... Read More

How to Protect Your Baby from SIDS

What do These Things Have in Common: An Epidemic of... Read More

How to Buy Baby Carrier as Baby Shower Gift

Every year, people may have couple baby shower invitations. Buying... Read More

Is It Colic, Infant Reflux, Or GERD? Learn How To Tell The Difference

It can sometimes be difficult for a parent to understand... Read More

How to Clean Those Lovable Plush Toys

Are YOUR Stuffed Animals DIRTY?Stuffed animals and dollies can lead... Read More

Baby Bedding Wants Vs. Bedding Baby Needs

If you walk into any baby store or online baby... Read More

Naming Your Baby - How to Get the Most out of Your Babynaming Ceremony

You've engaged a celebrant and you've picked the day. So... Read More

Baby Car Seats Safety - Frequently Asked Questions

In this article you will be provided with information about... Read More

Childrens Bedroom Furniture - Three Mothers Share Their Buying Habits

Just two months ago, a group of mothers from three... Read More

Planning a Baby Shower

This article has information for the novice as well as... Read More

The Colic Baby

When a baby has colic, the family environment is stressful... Read More

Baby Poems for Saying Whats On Your Heart

Baby poems and baby shower poems can express any sentiment.... Read More

Baby Cribs - Safety Is Key

You have just learned that you are expecting a baby.... Read More

How To Deal With Toddler Temper Tantrums

It's one of the few things your child can do... Read More

Choose Baby Bedding Wisely

Every adorable baby deserves equally adorable baby bedding to complete... Read More

Tips for Discreet Breastfeeding in Public

If you're a new Mom who is nursing your baby... Read More

Baby Room Themes: Fun Ideas Your Baby Will Love

Decorating a nursery for your new baby can be a... Read More

The Baby Crib: Your Child?s First Bed

It is up to you as parents whether you want... Read More