Breastfeeding a Baby

Foods to Avoid When Breastfeeding a Baby

Being a mother is not just a beautiful feeling but a daunting task as well. If you are new to mommy duties then you must be having thousands of questions. One such common question that women have is what are the foods that they should avoid during the breastfeeding period? 

Breast milk is full of nutrition and provides all the necessary nutrition that the baby needs in the first few months of life. It is tightly regulated by the body and there are certain food items that affect the content of breast milk. 

Here are some food items that should be strictly avoided.

Food items to avoid while you breastfeed a baby

  • Fish Rich In Mercury 

Fish is a great source of protein and other important nutrients like docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. These two are the type of omega 3 fatty acids that infants need during their brain development years. Besides that, fish is rich in Mercury as well.

 This could be toxic and can lead to mercury poisoning as well. It also has the power to damage your baby’s central nervous system too. It is important to avoid having fish like bigeye tuna, king mackerel, marlin, and others that are too high in mercury.

  • Herbs and Herbal Supplements 

There are certain types of herbs and spices that should be avoided when a mother is in her breastfeeding days. These herbal supplements could be contaminated with dangerous metals that can harm the breast milk causing different effects on the infant feeding on it. 

Besides that, there are herbs like parsley, sage, and peppermint that should be avoided as they are known to decrease the production of breast milk. They are known as anti-galactagogues. 

  • Caffeine 

Caffeine takes longer to digest especially in infants. When a mother consumes caffeine, it ends up in breast milk. The babies can have a hard time breaking it down and getting rid of it. As a result, this can cause irritability in your baby and disturb his sleep pattern as well.

 It has been medically suggested that women who are in their breastfeeding days, should choose to consume about 300 mg of caffeine per day. Other than that, it is better to avoid caffeine and food items like coffee, soda, tea, chocolate, and others that are rich in it 

  • Alcohol 

The safest thing that a mother can do during her breastfeeding days is avoiding alcohol completely. It has been proved that the baby can get the alcohol from the breast milk depending upon how much the mother has consumed. 

About one glass of alcohol remains in the system for about two hours approximately.  The more drink you take, the longer it will take to clear up. So it is suggested to wait for two hours after drinking to breastfeed your baby. Women can choose to drink it occasionally.

  • Citrus

It is recommended to avoid Citrus during your breastfeeding days. This is because the gastrointestinal tract of your baby is still immature and consuming food items that are rich in citrus can cause irritability, spitting up fussiness, or diaper rash. 

Other than that, women can consume pineapple and mango if they want to add some vitamin C to their diet.


Breastfeeding is one of the most important stages of the infant’s development and nurturing years. It consists of all the essential nutrients. When a mother consumes certain food items during her breastfeeding days, then she unintentionally leaves a negative effect on the baby.  If you have been consuming any of these items and noticing any change in your child’s health then consult with the doctor. Women should always consult with their pediatrician before making any dietary changes.

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