Breastfeeding comes with its own challenges and happiness, especially during the initial few weeks of lactation. The health of the baby is directly dependent on the well being and health of the caregiver. Thus, adequate nutrition is crucial for both you and your baby. When the mothers are lactating or breastfeeding, it is very important that they maintain a regular meal pattern to obtain all the essential nutrients and also to increase the levels of breast milk. While not all the babies have similar reactions towards same foods, here is a list of foods to be avoided while nursing your baby.
It is not necessary to avoid fish entirely, but you need to be very careful and selective of the type of fish you choose to consume. As some fishes have high mercury content, which can lead its way to your milk supply and be harmful for the baby.
2. Parsley, Peppermint
Though parsley is considered as a great garnish and peppermint is known to make fabulous tea, the problem that accompany with these two herbs is that they both come with a great risk of decreasing the supply of mother's milk for the baby. Try to reduce or cut down on the consumption of these two herbs during breastfeeding.
This is a no brainer; alcohol definitely get absorbed into your breast milk and creates a negative impact on your baby. However, it is best to cut on all alcohol drinks, but in case you choose to have 1 or 2 drinks, make sure that you nurse your baby only after 3 hours of being sober as it takes around 1-2 hours for the alcohol to be metabolised by the body.
If you have a family history of peanut allergy, make sure that you avoid eating peanuts until your baby is weaned. The allergenic compound in peanuts, that causes allergic reactions can be easily transmitted through breast milk to the baby. Watch for the following symptoms to know if your baby might be suffering from peanut allergy - wheezing, rash or hives in your baby as these can be considered as signs of allergic reactions.
5. Citrus Foods
Baby's gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is very immature at the time of breastfeeding i.e. till six months, and some compounds that are present in citrus fruits and foods can irritate the baby's gut. If you are desperately craving for something citrus, try having some mango or pineapple instead.
While a little bit of everything is not bad, so is caffeine, some caffeine is OK to be consumed. But it is very important to know that caffeine does makes its way into your breast milk. As babies' bodies aren't ready for processing caffeine as quickly as an adult's body could do, so wait to have your hot cup of coffee until your baby is asleep.
Always listen to your baby and eat what feels right for both you and your little one.
About the Author: Dietitian Garima is a certified nutritionist and was a part of Monash University for IBS Dietitian Course. With a Master's degree in Food and Nutrition, she aspires to change people's perspectives towards the word 'disease' and impact as many people in a positive and healthy way as possible.
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