How Your Foods Affect Your Breastfeeding Baby?

How Your Foods Affect Your Breastfeeding Baby?
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Food & Nutrition

The best food for nursing mothers should be high in nutritional value. It is not just to keep you healthy but to keep your little one healthy too. If you find that your baby is cranky and fussy during breastfeeding, it could mean that there is something wrong with your diet. You need to follow a strict diet since the food you eat can pass to your baby through breastmilk and will affect your breastfeeding baby.

What foods affect your breastfeeding baby?

The most likely culprit for your baby is the list of foods mentioned below which can affect your breastfeeding baby. You need to keep in mind to avoid these foods listed below for your baby’s comfort and good health. 

Diary products 

Milk, yogurt, pudding, ice cream, milk products, casein, whey or sodium caseinate in it, can cause problems to your baby.

Other foods

Fish, whey, corn, eggs, peanut, herbs like peppermint and parsley should be avoided as it affects your breastfeeding baby.

Beware of cabbage

Vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli can make your baby gassy and it may also result in your baby experiencing colic pain.

Avoid spicy foods

Stay away from strongly spiced foods like hot curries or dishes prepared with chillies as these can give your baby colic. When you are breastfeeding it is very important to keep your energy levels up and enjoy a healthy balanced diet. This will ensure your baby experiences a variation of flavours through your breastmilk.

Drink alcohol with dinner 

The affect of alcohol on your baby depends on the amount you drink, so try to keep it in moderation and have a couple of nights off while your baby is still feeding. Make sure you have enough expressed breastmilk to last for 2-3 hours, while your body deals with alcohol in your system. The best suggestion is to avoid alcohol entirely till you start feeding your baby with formula milk. Always remember prevention is better than cure. 

Limit your caffeine intake 

1 or 2 cups of tea or coffee are fine, but caffeine makes its way into your breastmilk so it should be avoided. Your baby’s body is not equipped to deal with caffeine the way an adult’s body does. So you need to avoid tea or coffee, if it is near to impossible, try to reduce the intake. Make sure you just have 1 cup instead of 2 daily. 

No smoking

Cut down on smoking completely as it negatively affects the flavour of your breastmilk. It will harm your baby, so you need to avoid the same.

These foods can make your baby allergic, irritable, gassy and colicky. If you suspect that a particular food is giving your baby trouble, remove it from your diet for a week or so to see what happens but don’t severely limit your diet on the false impression that your baby might have food sensitivity. If there is no change then you can reintroduce that food in your diet however if you see an improvement during the time you eliminated the food, try again with that food and see if your baby’s symptoms return. If they do, you have a solution: Stop eating the offender. 

Also read: What not to have while breastfeeding your baby

Foods that affect your breastfeeding baby: What constitutes a healthy diet?

• A healthy diet includes at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day, including fresh, frozen, dried fruits and vegetables.

• You should have starchy foods like pasta, wholemeal bread, rice and potatoes.

• Plenty of fibre from breakfast cereals, rice, pulses such as beans and lentils. Fibre helps and provides relief from bowel problems and constipation.

• Protein such as lean meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, soya foods is recommended including some oily fish. Oily fish includes fresh mackerel, trout and tuna, but not canned tuna. 

• Drink plenty of fluids. Have a drink besides you when you settle down to breastfeed: Water, coconut water and skimmed or semi-skimmed milk are all good choices.

Read: Fruits to avoid while you breastfeed your baby

Foods that affect your breastfeeding baby: Here are a few things you need to keep in mind while breastfeeding your baby

• If you are trying to limit your food intake to shed a few kilos you’ve gained during your pregnancy, don’t go for the calorie-counting method. Eat every time you are hungry just make sure that whatever you eat is on the healthy side.

• Drink a lot of fluids: Water, juices, shakes, etc. All of them work towards providing ample milk supply for your baby to enjoy.

• If you have a history of allergens in your family, don’t risk it by consuming them while you are breastfeeding.

Breastmilk is the best food for your baby. A breastfeeding mother should maintain a balanced postnatal diet that is high in nutritional value. Make healthier choices. It is okay to treat yourself every once in a while.

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