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Just as you made sure to eat the right food during your pregnancy, you should also have a proper diet for your breastfeeding journey. Based on a study conducted on breastfeeding mothers, it was proven that maternal dietary intake can affect the quality of milk.
If you’re a milk-producing mum, make sure to avoid these 10 foods that compromise breast milk quality.
It’s understandable for any mum to prepare a cup of coffee to de-stress. After all, caffeine is recognized as one of the most powerful energy boosters to date.
However, before you start brewing, note that it can have negative effects on your baby.
Mothers rapidly metabolize caffeine after consumption, meaning it’ll be available in your breast milk just several minutes after you drink. This has the greatest effects on newborns as well as premature babies.
When you breastfeed your baby after drinking coffee, expect her to become jittery and fussy. Moreover, babies who consume caffeine through their mum’s breast milk develop very poor sleeping patterns.
If you want your baby to sleep through the night, avoid drinks that contain caffeine.
Dairy is a common ingredient used in many foods. But although milk is one of the healthiest sources of calcium and vitamins, it can negatively affect your breast milk.
Mothers who drink dairy products are more likely to produce milk that causes fussiness, rashes, and breathing problems in babies. Some infants have dairy allergies that are not obvious at first.
Because there is no telling whether your baby is allergic to dairy, avoid this food until your baby is a year old to be sure.
Oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits are a great way to beat thirst. Many lactating mothers believe that these juices are ideal for producing top quality breast milk that’s packed with vitamins and nutrients.
However, citrus may be bad for breast milk, especially because your baby’s digestive system is still just developing. By introducing citrus into their system, you could risk digestive irritation that can cause loose stool, frequent vomiting, and fussiness.
Avoid citrus drinks and stick to water to quench your thirst.
If you’re a social mum who wants to enjoy the occasional drink to take a load off, you might think a glass or two of alcohol isn’t something you should worry about. To some extent, this is true.
Alcohol in moderation rarely has any effects on breast milk. However, increasing the frequency and the amount of alcohol you take can significantly and negatively affect your breastfeeding baby.
According to a recent study, alcohol in copious amounts can mix in with breast milk and cause drowsiness, weakness, decreased growth, and deep sleep in babies. This can become a major health threat if the mother continues her drinking habits.
This bitter herb is usually included in soups, salads, and flavouring for different meal preparations. However, sage has been proven to reduce the amount of milk that mothers produce.
If you’re struggling with a low milk supply and having a hard time producing enough milk, avoid sage at all costs.
Peppers and Chilis
If you’re into spicy food, take a break from it while you’re lactating.
Eating spicy food can affect milk supply, alter its taste, and cause fussiness and gassiness in babies. This can make it difficult for your baby to fall asleep at night, causing interruptions in their sleeping pattern. It can also lead to the development of gastrointestinal discomfort which may cause your baby to cry uncontrollably.
Moreover, a chemical called capsaicin causes perennial rashes in babies, which are red itchy spots that require many treatments.
Avoid spicy food while breastfeeding so that your baby falls asleep easily at night, and to prevent any rashes from developing.
Garlic is considered a miracle food because of its powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. But despite these benefits, garlic changes the taste of breast milk.
Indulging in garlic when lactating could lead to the development of an undesirable taste in your breast milk. This potent taste and pungent scent could cause babies to reject milk. Avoid taking in garlic that could cause them to decline when you offer your milk.
When babies are born, they already have specific food sensitivities that become allergies when they’re older. Among the most common food allergies they can have are peanuts.
If peanut allergies run in your family, avoid eating any form of nuts when you’re lactating. Babies’ sensitive systems may not be able to regulate the allergen, and thus cause the development of adverse reactions.
Allergic reactions in babies can be life threatening, causing their airways to close and multiple itchy wheals to develop all over their skin. Be sure to have your baby checked for allergies for their safety.
This potent source of protein is much healthier than any other meat you’ll find on the market. But because some fish have high concentrations of mercury, they can be bad for your baby.
Mercury stunts growth and contributes to the development of different medical conditions in young babies. While it’s ideal that you eat at least 355ml of fish a week, it’s important to choose your seafood wisely.
When you’re in the market, choose fish with bright pink or red meat, such as salmon and tuna. These are the best options for lactating mums who want the benefits of fish without risking mercury poisoning.
Green, leafy vegetables should be part of your diet for a healthier lifestyle. However this may not always be the best.
Green vegetables, such as broccoli, can produce milk that causes flatulence in babies. This can cause your little one to feel uncomfortable and gassy, leading to uncontrollable crying and fussiness.
While broccoli is considered one of the main contributors for gas-inducing milk, other green leafy veggies like cabbage, lettuce, and spinach have also been said to produce poor milk quality.
To avoid giving your baby an episode of painful flatulence, steer clear of green leaves and opt for other fruits and vegetables instead.
In A Nutshell…
When you’re pregnant, it should be one of your biggest priorities to take care of yourself so that the little one in your womb is kept healthy and safe. But this process of self-care doesn’t end when that baby enters the world.
As a breastfeeding mum, you and your child will always be connected, and whatever you do will have a direct effect on your little one.
Make sure your child receives nothing but the best and give your baby top-notch nutrition for a bright and healthy future by avoiding these foods when breastfeeding.