You may have read that it is necessary to restrict your diet in order to breastfeed. Or that spicy foods will upset your baby’s tummy. Perhaps you have heard that eating certain foods will make “better” milk. Thankfully, nature has ensured that we will make high quality milk for our babies no matter what we eat! In fact, when you eat a varied diet with a wide variety of tastes and aromas, your baby gets to experience a variety of tastes in your milk. This prepares her to enjoy the foods you love when she’s old enough to sit at the dinner table.
So where does this list of “bad foods” come from? It comes from well-meaning professionals and mothers like you who have seen a baby react negatively to a particular food or class of foods. When you see a list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding, use some common sense and consider the following:
If you have food allergies in your family, it may be a good idea to avoid those foods while breastfeeding.
Vary your diet. Don’t eat a lot of one food in the course of a day. I knew a baby who was quite fussy until his mom stopped drinking 8 glasses of orange juice a day! He handled one glass a day just fine.
Go ahead and eat that spicy Thai food. Thai mothers do!
Written by Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC. Renee is a lactation consultant in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is available for home/hospital visits and phone consultations. Renee can be reached at www.second9months.com