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7 Antilactogenic Foods That You Should Limit Or Avoid While Breastfeeding

Contributed by: Rachana Arya

Introduction

It’s tempting to eat whatever you can get your hands on after your pregnancy, but you need to exercise caution.

This is because certain foods contain toxins that are detrimental to your milk supply as well as your baby’s development.

Whatever you eat, every nutrient in your diet is converted into breast milk. It’s important to keep track of all anti lactogenic foods—plants, herbs, and drugs that might reduce milk production.  

Here are some foods and foods to avoid while breastfeeding – or at least think twice about – if you want a happier, more comfortable, sleep-happier baby!

Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol should be completely avoided during breastfeeding. It can pass through the mother’s milk into the baby’s body and cause permanent neurological damage, to your baby.

There’s no safe level of alcohol in breast milk for a baby. If you drink, refrain from breastfeeding until the alcohol has completely cleared your breast milk.

Research shows that even after waiting for 2 to 3 hours after the consumption of a drink, your baby can be exposed to it through breast milk.

This could be potentially detrimental to your infant’s development, growth, and sleep patterns. Also, high levels of alcohol have been shown to reduce your breast milk output by 20%.

Gassy foods

Avoid typically gas-forming foods, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts onion, and garlic.

Excessive gas can disturb the baby and these foods affect milk production as well. 

Bloating, burping, and passing gas is normal. But if your baby is gassy or has colic, avoid these foods for a few weeks to see whether they relieve the symptoms.

Caffeine

As refreshing as your cup of tea or coffee maybe, it has some downsides. It’s got caffeine, which can be problematic for your baby, as it might agitate your baby. 

Your little one may have a hard time breaking down and getting rid of caffeine. Additionally, caffeine can also affect your sleep – and your baby’s.

Large amounts of caffeine could accumulate over time in your baby’s system, causing irritability and trouble sleeping.

It’s important that during breastfeeding, you should limit caffeine intake to 300 mg per day or less to prevent irritability and disrupted sleep patterns in your infant.

Spicy foods

Love to sprinkle red pepper flakes over your pizza? 

If you consume too many heavily spiced foods, such as asparagus, garlic, as well as peppers, they could cause colic, gas, and diaper rashes in the breastfeeding infants. Also, your baby may not be able to handle fiery foods in your diet.

Fish

The majority of seafood contains many metals, such as mercury and other pollutants.

Excessive mercury exposure through breast milk can negatively impact your baby’s growing nervous system, later leading to issues with speech, coordination, attention, memory, and learning.

Avoid high-mercury seafood, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, to decrease your baby’s exposure.

Chocolates & pastries

Candy, candies, and pastries may taste delicious, but they are nothing more than empty calories.

They aren’t the kind of nutritious calories you require during nursing.

You can occasionally indulge in chips, cookies, and ice cream, but moderation is crucial.

The high content of theobromine, which is a stimulant, can cause your breastfed infant to be restless and fussy.

Processed foods

Processed foods are not recommended for breastfeeding mothers, as they contain a lot of preservatives and artificial colours, which are toxic for your little one.

All processed foods are typically high in calories, unhealthy fats, and added sugars, and it’s recommended to limit their intake as much as possible.

Final thoughts

Research tells us that a mother’s diet has a direct influence on the quality and quantity of her milk.

Proper nutrition is critical as it meets the baby’s nutritional and nurturing needs. To meet the increased nutrient demands of breastfeeding, it is incredibly important that you avoid foods and beverages that may put your baby’s health at risk.

Otherwise, you could inadvertently cause your milk supply to diminish.

Remember, it is recommended that you should always seek advice from a healthcare professional before completely eliminating a food group, as you need to make sure you’re getting the nutrients it provides from other sources.

Also, it’s a wise move to opt for regular health checkups to keep an eye on your overall health.

These health checks enable you to keep an eye out on triggers that can take your health for a toss and take preventive measures if anything off pops up.

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