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Q&A

Foods to Avoid During Breastfeeding

Question:

Are there any foods I should avoid eating while breastfeeding?


Most nursing mothers do not need to change their healthy diet. Unless you have reason to suspect a particular food is bothering your baby, it's not advisable to restrict your diet.

If your baby shows feed-related sensitivities, avoid the suspected food for one week. If there is no improvement, you can add this food back into your diet and try eliminating another food to see if it's the culprit. (Talk to your health care provider before you omit any foods from your diet, to be sure that all your nutritional needs are being met.)

It takes a bit of detective work to figure out exactly what's causing the sensitivity, but it's usually something you've eaten within two to six hours before feeding. The most common offenders are spices, dairy products, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts, chocolate, onion, cabbage, garlic, citrus fruits and juice.

Another point worth mentioning is caffeine. While it's okay to have a cup or two of your favorite coffee everyday, keep in mind that caffeine is also found in teas and sodas, and that too much caffeine can interfere with your baby's sleep.

Bottom line: It's best to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet of at least 1,800 calories a day. Opt for fresh produce instead of processed foods whenever you can, and include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.



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