11 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Sometimes, people argue about which foods moms should avoid while breastfeeding because babies react differently. Some babies might not like certain foods their moms eat, while others are okay with it. Scientists haven’t completely agreed on specific foods to avoid. Some studies say one thing, and others say something different. This can make advice confusing.

Different cultures have different foods. Some foods that one culture states as foods to avoid while breastfeeding might be okay in another. Some advice about foods moms should avoid comes from old stories or things people believe, not always from science. This can make it hard to know what to do.

But I’ve tried to prepare a universal guide highlighting 11 foods that breastfeeding moms might consider moderating or avoiding because they might cause discomfort or irritate a baby.

1. Caffeine

When moms breastfeed and have caffeine, it can sometimes go into their breast milk. This might affect the baby. Some babies might not feel good or might not sleep well if there’s caffeine in the milk.

Caffeine might make babies more awake or alert than usual, making it hard for them to sleep. It can also make babies’ hearts beat faster or make them feel fussy.

Drinking a lot of caffeine can make both moms and babies need more water. This can sometimes make them feel dehydrated, which isn’t good.

Because of these things, it’s a good idea for breastfeeding moms to limit how much caffeine they have. It’s to make sure babies feel good and sleep well without any problems.

See 19 pregnancy-safe Starbucks drinks to enjoy while pregnant or breastfeeding.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol can pass from the mother’s bloodstream into breast milk, potentially affecting the baby. Babies might become fussy, sleepy, or have trouble feeding if there’s alcohol in the milk.

Alcohol can also affect how babies grow and learn. Having alcohol in breast milk often can make babies’ brains and development different than usual.

Drinking alcohol can sometimes make moms produce less breast milk. This might make it hard for babies to get enough food and nutrients.

3. Cabbage

Sometimes, when moms eat cabbage, it can make gas in their stomachs and in their babies’ tummies. This can make both mom and baby feel uncomfortable.

Eating cabbage might change the taste of breast milk. Some babies might not like this taste, which can make them fussy or not want to feed.

For a few babies, eating cabbage might make them feel upset or colicky. This can make them cry a lot and feel uncomfortable.

Having too much cabbage can sometimes make moms produce less breast milk. This might not give enough food for the baby.

Because of these reasons, some breastfeeding moms may want to be careful or avoid eating too much cabbage. This can help them and their babies feel better while breastfeeding.

4. beans

Moms who breastfeed can usually eat beans, but sometimes beans might make babies feel gassy or uncomfortable. This gas can make babies feel a bit upset or uncomfortable in their tummies.

Not all babies have a problem when moms eat beans. Some babies feel just fine, while others might feel gassy or fussy after their moms eat beans.

If a mom sees that her baby seems upset or gassy after she eats beans, she might want to eat less beans for a while and check if it helps her baby feel better. If there are worries about how foods affect the baby while breastfeeding, talking to a doctor for advice can be helpful.

5. Spicy foods

Sometimes when breastfeeding moms eat spicy foods like hot peppers or strong spices, it can make their babies feel uncomfortable. Spicy foods might upset their tummies or make them feel gassy.

Spicy foods can sometimes change the taste of breast milk as the composition of breast milk varies and is affected by, among others, the diet of a breastfeeding mother. Some babies might not like this taste, making them fussy or not wanting to feed.

Eating spicy foods might also cause babies to have tummy troubles, like diaper rash or upset stomachs, making them feel uncomfortable.

Not all babies react the same way to spicy foods. Some babies are okay, while others might feel upset or uncomfortable after their moms eat spicy foods.

If a mom sees that her baby doesn’t seem happy after she eats spicy foods, she might want to eat less spicy things for a while. It’s important to check how the baby feels after different spicy foods and talk to a doctor if there are any worries.

6. oranges

Most breastfeeding moms can eat oranges, but sometimes oranges might make some babies feel not so good. Oranges are sometimes too strong for babies’ tummies, making them feel uncomfortable or giving them a rash.

Not all babies react the same way to oranges. Some babies are okay, but others might feel upset or get a rash when their moms eat oranges.

If a mom sees that her baby seems upset or gets a rash after she eats oranges, she might want to eat fewer oranges for a while. It’s important for moms to see how their babies feel after eating oranges and talk to a doctor if they have any worries.

7. tomatoes

Tomatoes contain natural compounds like citric and malic acids, along with certain enzymes and substances such as solanine and histamine. These components might occasionally cause concerns for some breastfeeding moms and their babies.

The acidic nature of tomatoes might lead to gastrointestinal discomfort in babies, causing issues like acid reflux or upset stomachs. Additionally, some babies might have sensitivities or allergies to specific compounds in tomatoes, resulting in skin rashes, eczema, or digestive disturbances.

Moreover, tomatoes can sometimes change the taste or odor of breast milk, potentially causing fussiness or reluctance to feed in some babies.

8. Peanuts

Sometimes, breastfeeding moms avoid peanuts because they can cause allergies. Peanuts are a common allergy trigger and might lead to severe reactions in some people.

When moms eat peanuts, the proteins can sometimes pass into breast milk, and this might expose the baby to these allergens. Babies who are exposed to peanuts through breast milk might develop peanut allergies.

Eating peanuts might sometimes upset a baby’s tummy or make them feel uncomfortable. It can also sometimes change the way breast milk tastes, making some babies fussy or not want to feed.

Peanuts might cause diaper rash or stomach problems in some babies. It’s tough to spot allergic reactions in babies, so some moms avoid peanuts, especially if there’s a family history of allergies.

9. soy

Some breastfeeding moms avoid eating soy for different reasons. One reason is if there’s a family history of allergies to soy. They might worry that their baby could also have an allergy.

Sometimes, if a mom eats soy and her baby shows signs like a rash or a sore tummy, she might stop eating soy to see if it helps the baby feel better.

Eating soy might sometimes change how breast milk tastes. If the baby doesn’t like this taste change, they might be fussy or not want to feed.

If a baby gets a sore tummy or feels uncomfortable after the mom eats soy, she might decide not to eat soy products.

Some moms might avoid soy just to be safe, even if they’re not sure if it affects their baby.

10. shellfish

Eating shellfish like shrimp or crab can be good for breastfeeding moms because they’re full of important things like protein, vitamins, and healthy fats. These can help the mom and baby stay healthy and grow well.

But sometimes, shellfish can cause problems. Some people are allergic to shellfish, and if a mom or her baby is allergic, it’s best to avoid them completely. Allergic reactions might cause rashes, itching, or breathing problems.

Also, some types of shellfish, especially bigger ones, might have too much mercury, which isn’t good for the baby. It’s essential to be careful with these types to limit mercury exposure.

Sometimes, shellfish might have germs or toxins that can make the mom or baby sick if not cooked or handled properly. This can lead to stomach problems or food-related illnesses.

And some babies might not like the taste of breast milk if their mom eats shellfish. This might make them fussy or not want to feed.

11. cow’s milk

Sometimes, babies might not like it when their moms eat cow’s milk or dairy foods. You can tell if your baby doesn’t like it if they show certain signs after you eat these foods.

Watch out for tummy problems like gas, stomach pain, or if your baby seems upset after breastfeeding. Some babies might get rashes or itchy skin when their mom eats cow’s milk.

Breathing problems like wheezing or congestion might also happen in some babies if their mom has had cow’s milk.

See if your baby’s behavior changes after you eat dairy foods. They might seem fussy or not want to breastfeed.

Sometimes, babies might have trouble sleeping or not sleep well if their mom has eaten cow’s milk.

If you notice these things happening often after you eat dairy, it might mean your baby doesn’t like it.

Wrapping Up. Should You Know Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding?

Being mindful of what you eat while breastfeeding can significantly impact your baby’s well-being.

While certain foods might need to be avoided or limited, it’s essential to remember that every baby is unique. What affects one baby might not affect another.

If you’re uncertain about particular foods or notice any reactions in your baby after eating certain foods, you should definitely take this into account when planning your meals.

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