10 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
What is Breast Feeding – Its Importance
PBreast-feeding also known as nursing is the activity of feeding of babies and young infants with the milk from a woman (lactating mothers) breast as this milk contains the necessary nutrients that are needed for the healthy growth and development of the baby or infant. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of developing acute and chronic diseases in babies thereby enhancing the cognitive development of the infant.
Virtually all mothers can breastfeed their babies (except in certain conditions due to infectious diseases such as HIV). Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age of the baby with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to 2 years of age or beyond.
Ten foods to avoid by lactating mothers – An overview
Breast feeding mothers have dual responsibility regarding the health of their own as well as their baby. It is very important for lactating mothers to maintain regular meals when breastfeeding to gain essential nutrients and to increase their breast milk levels. Mothers who breastfeed their baby should always watch their baby for any reactions or infections when they eat something that could be questionable.
Therefore, it is always advisable to consult a pediatrician for choosing the right food to eat that is healthy for both the mother and her baby. The following ten foods are not safe for the lactating mother and her baby. These include-
- • Caffeine Citrus fruits even though are a rich source of Vitamin C need to be avoided by the breastfeeding mothers. The immature gastrointestinal tract of the baby is not capable of digesting the compounds in citrus fruits resulting in causing fussiness, spitting up and even diaper rash in babies.
- • Citrus Fruits Before diapering the baby, new moms must ensure that they have all supplies within the reach such as cloth or disposable diapers. It is important to change baby’s diaper more often and as soon as possible after bowel movements. Sometimes, it is good to leave the baby without diapers for part of the day to give the baby’s skin a chance to air out.
- • Peanuts Breastfeeding mothers having medical history of peanut allergy should ensure avoiding eating peanuts until after the baby is weaned. The allergenic compounds in peanuts can be transmitted through breast milk leading to rash, wheezing in your baby.
- • Chocolates Chocolates is rich in substance called theobromine that is akin to caffeine and it is better to avoid chocolates in case the baby is having crankiness due to chocolate consumption.
- • Alcohol Consumption of alcohol is to be avoided by lactating mothers as alcohol is known to pass from mom to baby through breast milk affecting the neurological development of the baby.
- • Dairy Products Some dairy products such as cow’s milk contains allergens that might enter breast milk thereby irritating the baby. Babies with dairy intolerance may show signs of soy allergy.
- • Wheat Gluten intolerance is common in some babies resulting in bloody stools, sensitive tummy. Therefore, it is better to eliminated wheat from the diet.
- • Chocolates Fish high in mercury can find its way into breast milk thereby inhibiting the baby’s neurological development. As such, avoid fish high in mercury.
- • Spicy Foods Consumption of spicy foods by breastfeeding mothers can irritate some babies and therefore lessening the spices in the food is recommended for the health of your baby.
- • Corn Allergy to corn and corn products is common in babies and infants. Symptoms of corn allergy include rashes in babies. Eliminating corn from the diet is the best way for avoiding discomfort for the baby.
These five tips if adhered to by new mom will go a long way in a healthy growth of her new born baby.