As a nursing mum, extra care should be taken as far as your food choices are concerned as baby gets a taste of whatever you eat through your breast milk. While consuming certain foods while breastfeeding may give baby allergies or digestive troubles, others like garlic may change the taste of breast milk, making baby reject the breast.
Here are 5 foods you should eat with caution while breastfeeding…
Foods and drinks that contain caffeine such as soft drinks, energy drinks, tea, coffee, chocolate as well as some medications should be avoided or restricted to the barest minimum while breastfeeding. This stimulant can be transferred to baby through your breast milk and may keep baby awake or restless.
Decaffeinated tea and coffee, and 100% fruit juice are better alternatives, though moderation is still key.
Intake of more than one or two units per week may be harmful. Alcohol is passed in little quantities to baby via breast milk and may affect baby’s neurologic development.
While an occasional cup of peppermint tea, for instance, may not hurt, frequent intake may reduce breast milk production, make baby hungrier and trigger allergic reactions. On your part, it may trigger heartburn.
Note that if you use peppermint oil to prevent cracks on your nipples and areola, it must be applied after nursing or thoroughly wiped off before baby’s next feed.
4. Citrus fruits
Some babies react to the acidic content of citrus fruits as it may irritate their gastrointestinal tract. So, if you notice baby becomes irritated, fussy, experiences gastrointestinal reflux or a diaper rash after eating citrus foods such as grapes, lemons, and oranges, it would be best to subsequently opt for other fruits like watermelons, mango and paw-paw which also have good doses of vitamin C.
Eating raw garlic or foods containing it may change your breast milk’s usual flavor, making baby fussy or refuse to feed.
Overall, avoid common foods that may trigger allergies in babies, including peanuts, corn, and some dairy foods. The key is to watch your baby closely to spot cues promptly as they usually react when you are eating something that does not agree with their system.