Some of the foods to eliminate from your diet while breastfeeding

Breastfeeding mom

If food allergies and sensitivities run in your family, you may consider eliminating a few foods from your diet while breastfeeding. Nuts and nut butter, dairy, and caffeine are thought to contribute to fussiness, stomach upset, and other symptoms when transmitted through breast milk to a baby. Some research disputes this, but if your baby seems upset for no reason, what have you got to lose by skipping your peanut butter sandwich for a week or two to see if that helps? As I found out, a whole host of symptoms can be caused by food sensitivity.

Below is a list of more foods to avoid in detail:

Excessive caffeine:

One or two cups of coffee, tea or soda a day won’t affect your baby (and during those early, sleep-deprived months, it might be just what you need to keep going). More than that, however, may lead to both of you feeling jittery, irritable and sleepless. Also, excessive caffeine has been linked to colic and acid reflux in some babies.

High-mercury fish:

The same EPA guidelines on fish safety that apply to pregnant women also apply to breastfeeding women: avoid high-mercury fish including shark, tilefish, and mackerel, and limit tuna to canned white, 6 ounces per week.

High-fat dairy and meat:

Pesticides and other chemicals you should consume sparingly are stored in animals’ fat, so generally, it’s best to stick to lower-fat varieties. Whenever you do opt for higher-fat dairy, poultry, and meat, consider choosing organic, since producers cannot use antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides or other chemicals.

Processed foods:

As a general rule, check labels and try to avoid processed foods that contain long lists of additives.

Foods to Watch Out For

There are a few additional foods you should consume with care when you’re nursing:

Some herbs.

Few studies have been done on the safety of herbs, so little is known how they affect a nursing baby. To stay safe, ask your doctor before taking any herbal remedy, and think twice before drinking herbal tea or breastfeeding brews. For now, stick to reliable brands in varieties that are considered safe during lactation. Read labels carefully to make sure other herbs haven’t been added to the brew.

Non-organic foods. 

Choose organic fruits, veggies, dairy, poultry, meat, eggs, and grain whenever you have the choice and can afford the usually steeper price and you’ll minimize the chemicals your baby is exposed to through your breast milk. But don’t drive yourself crazy — a small number of pesticides and other chemicals will end up in your diet despite your best efforts, and that’s OK.
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