Three foods to cut down on during breastfeeding

Three foods to cut down on during breastfeeding


Having spent nine months diligently watching every single thing you eat, you probably hoped that once your baby had arrived, you could get right back to eating everything you loved pre-pregnancy. However, while some new mums are lucky enough to find this to be true, many of us have found that especially while we’re breastfeeding, some of our favourites are off the menu because they either upset baby, or our own bodies. So what are the top offenders?

1. Some fruits and vegetables

Yes, even your five a day might have to be adjusted. Fruits like cherries and prunes are known to be natural laxatives for both mummy and baby, which for some might be a good thing, but for others, the last thing you want to deal with! Some green vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onion and peppers contain elements which can be passed on through breast milk and can cause gas, which can be very uncomfortable for your baby. Citrus is also one to beware of, as the acidity levels are quite high for your baby’s digestive system, and can cause sickness and nappy rash. Pineapple and mango have low acid levels, if you’re craving that tangy taste.

2. Alcohol

Having abstained for nine months, the thought of a glass or two of wine gets more than one mum through the sleepless nights. You can get away with the occasional single glass, but it only takes a second glass for your blood’s alcohol level to increase, and then pass into your milk. If you’re having a drink, give it a couple of hours before feeding or nursing, or feed beforehand. There is a myth that beer increases the production of milk, but scientific studies have disproven it. In fact, beer actually reduces your milk production levels.

3. Fish

It’s important to state that we don’t mean you should avoid all fish, as they’re a great source of Omega 3 and Vitamin D. However, some fish can contain very high levels of mercury, which is definitely not something you should be consuming as the toxin creeps into breast milk. The main culprits in the UK are swordfish, tuna and Spanish mackerel. Cod, salmon and squid have safer levels. Eaten in moderation, you’re probably going to be fine, but if your diet is high in seafood, it’s worth doing your research.

Of course, before you make any changes to you or your baby’s diet, do consult your doctor or health professional. It’s important that both baby and mum get the right levels of nutrition, and a healthy, balanced diet is key to this.

Photo: mackerel by 46137 licensed under Creative commons 2