Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
August 16, 2016
Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mothers and babies. Colostrum, the first secretion of the mammary glands, is thick, yellow and packed with nutrients and antibodies that are important for babies in the first days of life. As babies grow, their mothers’ breast milk changes. By the third to fifth day after delivery, breast milk has thinned and has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein needed to help babies grow.1
The cells, hormones and antibodies in breast milk reduce the risk of numerous diseases, including lower respiratory infections, asthma and diabetes.1
In addition to helping fight diseases, breast milk is easy for babies to digest. The foods that mothers consume are passed to their babies through breast milk. While most babies are able to digest breast milk easily, there are some foods that moms should avoid or limit while breastfeeding:
There is no level of alcohol that is considered safe for babies who are breastfed. While breastfeeding mothers can consume an occasional alcoholic drink, moderate to heavy drinking is not recommended. More than one drink at a time increases the chance that alcohol will get in the breast milk supply. Mothers should avoid breast-feeding until alcohol has completely cleared out from their breast milk. This typically takes two to three hours for 12 ounces of 5 percent beer, 5 ounces of 11 percent wine, or 1.5 ounces of 40 percent liquor, depending on a woman’s body weight.2 “Pumping and dumping” doesn’t speed the elimination of alcohol from the body.
Too much caffeine can interfere with babies’ sleep or make them fussy. Babies are not able to process caffeine as easily as adults. So too much caffeine can end up making babies irritated or cranky.
Fish High in Mercury
Breastfeeding moms do not need to avoid eating fish altogether. In fact, many types of fish contain DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for mothers and babies. But mothers should be mindful of the mercury content in the fish they do eat. Essentially the same rules about mercury consumption during pregnancy apply while breastfeeding – one to two portions (6 ounces) per week of fish with a low mercury content.
Some spices like peppermint and sage may reduce milk production. In addition, hot spices like cayenne or curries that can cause gastrointestinal irritation in adults can have similar effects on babies.
Vitamin Supplement for Mom & Baby While Breastfeeding
Clearly it is important to maintain a healthy diet while breastfeeding. But it’s often hard to obtain all there recommend nutrients from diet alone. Prenate® Restore is a once-daily, lactose- free and gluten-free soft gel vitamin that supports expecting mothers during pregnancy and postpartum, especially while they are breastfeeding.
To help provide nutritional support for mothers and babies, the Prenate® Vitamin Family offers prenatal vitamin coupons for Prenate® Restore. Click here to get your coupon now! Talk to your doctor to see if Prenate® Restore may be right for you to help fill nutritional gaps.