When you breastfeed the food and drink that you consume will be passed on to your child through the breast milk, meaning that your baby receives essentially the same nutrients as you do. It is therefore important that you get a healthy, balanced diet when you are breastfeeding that is plentiful of calories, because after all, you are feeding two!
There are several foods that you should avoid when breastfeeding, which may have an adverse effect on your baby’s health.
Too many vegetables
While it is advisable to eat a small amount of vegetables to ensure you are receiving plenty of vitamins and nutrients, eating too many vegetables when breastfeeding has been associated with causing a baby to be gassy. Vegetables to avoid in particular are sprouts, cauliflower, onions, turnips, broccoli, beans and cabbage.
Oranges, pineapple, lemons and grapefruit are believed to cause nappy rash in infants and should therefore be avoided when breastfeeding.
Curries and other spicy foods
It is extremely difficult for a baby to digest spicy foods and can result in infants having an upset stomach, diarrhoea, and even being sick. Avoid eating foods which contain spices such as cinnamon, red pepper and chili.
Your baby may have an allergy to nuts, particularly if there is a history of nut allergies in the family. As you are unsure at this stage whether or not your baby is allergic to nuts it is a wise precaution to avoid eating them whilst breastfeeding.
As you know yourself drinking too much coffee can affect your sleep. Well this would be passed on to your baby if you consume too much caffeine whilst you are breastfeeding. Experts advise that breastfeeding mothers should consume no more than 700ml of caffeine drinks per day.
Alcohol and tobacco
Both smoking and drinking alcohol whilst breastfeeding can be harmful to your baby’s health and should be avoided during this time. It is also sensible to give up smoking and only drink in moderation when you have a baby to look after.