8 Foods To Avoid During Breastfeeding

5 min read
8 Foods To Avoid During Breastfeeding

Is your baby unsettled with reflux, wind or gas? Then it might have something to do with what you are eating.

While some babies simply take longer than others to sort out their digestion, pain and wind can be caused by a number of things. Science tells us you do not need to avoid any particular foods; the most recent research suggests that excluding allergenic foods from a mother’s diet during pregnancy or breastfeeding does not help prevent babies from developing allergies.

However, it is possible for the food you eat to disrupt your baby’s digestion, if breastfeeding. While avoiding all the food that could potentially cause your baby to be unsettled is not exactly convenient for you, you may want to consider using the trial and error method if you are on the hunt for why baby is so unsettled.

Food Allergens and Breastfeeding

There are a number of signs that your baby could be suffering from a food allergy.

If your baby seems extra fussy, gassy, windy or is vomiting, has diarrhoea or a rash, then it could be due to something that you are eating and is being passed onto your little one. Other signs of a food allergy can include runny nose, cough, congestions, bloody or mucous stools or hard stools. However, these symptoms can also mean a number of other problems and thus it is worth speaking to a doctor.

Here are some of the foods you might want to avoid while breastfeeding if your baby is feeling unsettled.

1. Coffee


Having coffee in the morning does not only come as a second nature to most people rather it has become an addiction. If you’re a caffeine robot and at the same time a breastfeeding mum, you have to give this some serious thought. When you drink coffee (or tea), some of the caffeine ends up in your breast milk. Because babies aren’t able to excrete caffeine as quickly or efficiently as adults, too much in their systems may lead to irritation, crankiness, and sleeplessness.

2. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruit

Certain compounds found in citrus fruits and juices may irritate a still-immature GI tract, leading to fussiness and even nappy rash in some babies. If cutting down on citrus seems like a good idea for baby’s sake, compensate by adding other vitamin C-rich foods to the menu, including mango.

3. Broccoli


Lactation consultants may tell you that it’s just an old wives’ tale that eating broccoli, cauliflower, and other “gassy vegetables” leads to irritable, gassy babies. But ask any nursing mum about broccoli’s ability to create misery in breastfed infants and you will probably hear a very different tale.

4. Alcohol


It’s not the occasional glass of wine with dinner that you need to worry about. One drink or less per day likely poses little risk for babies, experts say. But it’s when your consumption increases that your baby will suffer dramatically. Once there is an excessive alcohol content in the stream, infants may feel a bit drowsy, weak and could promote slow growth.

5. Dairy Products


It’s common knowledge that many babies are intolerant to cow’s milk-based formula. But when you drink milk or eat other dairy products (yoghurt, ice cream, and cheese), these same allergens enter your breast milk. Symptoms of an allergy or sensitivity to dairy include colic and vomiting.

6. Eggs


Egg allergies (usually in the form of a sensitivity to egg whites) are common in young children. But because eggs lurk in all sorts of foods, from bread and snack foods to ice cream, it may be a difficult allergy to pinpoint.

7. Vitamins


Pre-natal vitamins that contain iron can cause fussiness in infants.

8. Spices


Certain spices, such as garlic, curry, cumin and capsicum can be to blame for a fussy baby. You gotta eat a pinch of that yummy Jalapeños or else you’ll find your baby fuming up a tantrum (I guess you don’t want that) .

Keep in mind that your diet is only one of the reasons why baby could be unsettled. There are plenty of other reasons why your little one could be struggling with the wind and gas and a trip to the paediatrician may be in your best interest, especially if you have tried the over-the-counter medications to no avail.

Your baby could be overstimulated or he could be taking in too much air when he feeds. There is a possibility that you may have an oversupply of breast milk or an over active let down or it could simply because baby’s digestive system is not developed quite yet.

It can take up to four months for the baby’s gut to develop properly.  While some babies will sleep perfectly without a burp from day one, others will not. But, when you are living on only a couple of hours of sleep each night, you will try anything right, even if this means giving up chocolate for a little while! Remember, your baby is as healthy as you are, so watch your food intake.

 Knowing that these food can harm your little ones, as breastfeeding mum, how will you deal with your cravings?

8 Foods To Avoid During Breastfeeding

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About Author

Kate Davies

Senior Journalist & Features Editor. As the modern-day media hunter-gatherer, Journalist Kate Davies is harnessing 10 years in the media to write...Read More engaging and empowering articles for Stay At Home Mum. Her years of experience working in the media both locally and nationally have given her a unique viewpoint and understanding of this dynamic industry. Hailing from a small town in Tasmania and spending many years travelling the world, Kate now calls the Sunshine Coast home alongside her husband and one-year-old son. Read Less

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