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Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

What should and shouldn't I eat when I'm nursing?

Re: What should and shouldn't I eat when I'm nursing?

The Bump Expert

Your breastfeeding diet should be very similar to your pregnancy diet... Well, besides all the french fries and ice cream. Go for lean protein, whole grains, and fruits and veggies, and be sure to get enough calcium and iron. Keep popping those prenatal vitamins every day to make up for any nutrients you might be missing. Keep your fish intake low -- many varieties contain high levels of mercury, which can be bad for baby's brain development. The EPA recommends nursing moms limit their consumption to 12 ounces a week, and no more than 6 of canned white tuna. Steer completely clear of swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel.

As for specific foods that will upset baby's stomach, it depends entirely on who you ask. Some doctors recommend avoiding high-fiber foods (beans and cruciferous veggies), acidic foods (tomato sauce and citrus), and spicy and pungent foods (garlic and onions). Others say that what you eat has absolutely no effect on baby's digestion or level of fussiness... after all, Indian mothers don't avoid spices, and Latin American women don't forgo beans. Every baby is different, so the best way to find out what foods upset yours is by eating just one of these foods at a time and observing whether baby seems especially fussy, gets a rash or has diarrhea.

One of the most common culprits is dairy -- some babies have trouble digesting the protein in cow's milk, which can cause lots of gas and tears. If baby seems miserable, especially after a feeding, try cutting out dairy from your diet. You'll quickly find that a few months without cheese is a small price to pay for a few less minutes of listing to your little guy cry.

The Bump Editors

re: Q: Nursing Diet?

Can you drink Lactaid instead of regular milk? Do babies get especially gassy because of the lactose in the milk, or just milk in general?

arkitecta84 |

re: Q: Nursing Diet?

Is it healthy for the mom to completely cut out dairy??

celticbride03 |

re: Q: Nursing diet?

how bad is coffee for a nursing baby? is there a limit? i remember my mom drinking coffee in the 80's with my sisters and they were not affected??!?!

hayley.sean |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

i drink a cup or two of coffee almost every day and i'm breastfeeding. my 3 mo. old sleeps just fine.

mmathewson |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

No, it's the protein in milk that bothers babies (the babies who are bothered my milk--not all are). Lactaid is lactose-free milk, it still contains the protein. http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/food-sensitivity.html

agdjenn |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

I drink soymilk and my daughter seems to do ok. Anyone know about the protein in yogurt because I can't seem to do that or any cheese?

mrkolta |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

For these first weeks, you should remember to nourish your healing body as well as support milk production for Baby! Excellent choices include those foods mentioned above in the main article, but try to stay away from raw veggies (salads) and eat more cooked, "warmer" food. Warm fruit...roasted veggies. Eggs (cage free and pasture fed if you can get them) are a good choice, as well as bone broths (home-made if possible -- watch out for boxed or canned varieties as most of them contain added MSG or are too high in sodium!) Also a good potasium broth, just to drink down, is great. Greek yogurt (plain flavor) is an excellent source of both dairy and protein. Look for a high-protein brand, as they do differ. And the flavored yogurts tend to have more sugars in them than you need at the moment! Do try to keep the "white" foods at a minimum -- mashed potato, fried/breaded things, white flour, white sugar. These don't help you much at all! Most importantly is Drink a Ton of Water! You cannot imagine how much you need. Keep gulping it down and happy suckling to both of you!

SarahTheMothling |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

Chocolate seems to make my son more "urpy" than ususal (dark chocolate is all I can really attest to though, since I don't care much for milk chocolate or white chocolate). The La Leche League mentioned that this might be a problem, and I'm totally bummed that I have to try and stay away from it; however, it's worth it to have him not spit up so often. I haven't noticed that spices (marinara sauce, citrus, etc.) bother him at all, and he's fine with dairy. I also haven't noticed a difference (at least not an obvious one) from eating veggies or beans. I really think that it depends on your own child. I've been trying to stay away from caffine as much as possible, too, since it stays in a baby's system longer than an adults; however, there are no studies that can positively show that caffine has any detrimental effects on breastfed babies other than the possibility of keeping them awake a little bit longer.

sbrowning |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

The only things I have to cut out with my 11 week old are Garlic and anything with caffeine. I made the mistake of drinking 4 diet pepsis at a restaurant and he was up all night screaming.

KailaF10 |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

My doctor has be on a probiotic supplement and a digestive enzyme suppliment and my son takes a baby probiotic and now I can eat whatever I want. He used to get fussy/gassy with dairy, caffeine, spicy foods, you name it. But now he is A-OK. :)

tharper0830 |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

I agree I think it all depends on the baby. I have two cups of coffee in the morning and my 3 month old also sleeps fine. I was having an evening glass of coffee too during those first few weeks to help stay awake and I never noticed an issue with my baby. I do marinara, raw fruits and vegs, beans, spices etc w/o issue.

FarmMommy |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

My baby is two months old and we have been stuggling with the dairy issue! No dairy for me at all. I have been checking all the labels on everything and when you read that it can take up to three months to leave your system it's true! The doctor still found traces of blood in his stool at his two month check up!


Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

This is my second child and I have found that she is extremely fussy after eating a salad, so none of that roughage for me! Also in answer to the "no dairy" question, dairy as in cheese and milk (not yogurt) is not healthy for you. The claim isn you need the calcium in it, but it takes more calcium from your body to break down the proteins in dairy to absorb it and you actually lose more than you gain. I consulted a Children's Hospital nutritionist on this. Although I love cheese and chocolate and milk in my coffee, so if your child seems intolerant of it, try Probiotic (found at supplement stores) to help baby digest it. It comes in capsules so I just pour a little into baby's mouth once a day, and it takes about 2 weeks to start taking effect. I have found it VERY helpful with both of my daughters, along with cutting down on my intake of dairy. It has no negative side effects, the only downside is it can prove ineffective if your child's intolerance is too strong. Another helpful supplement is GI Comfort, which comes in a powder, which heals the lining of the gut, which can prevent the direct intake into the bloodstream of acids, glutens, and dairy. If your child seems reflux prone, or cries when lying down, this will help! It also helps sensitivity to other foods that could otherwise turn into allergens, like eggs or citric acid, which are a direct result from a damaged gut that allows those things to be absorbed in high quantities into the bloodstream. Other signs that milk is the culprit when you're trying to figure out what is causing the tears is to look at how severe the cradle cap is (that the dandruff looking stuff on your baby's head) or any patches of excema. Good luck!!

JCTycoon |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

While pregnant, my wife used a mixture that had whey protein in its composition. Have you ever considered this option? It might help you with the daily intake of minerals and vitamins. My wife had a very easy pregnancy and she didn't complain too much.

SamuelDD |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

I think you should eat as much yogurt as you can. It is very healthy and helps your body to produce more milk for your baby. When my wife was pregnant I even bought her a frozen yogurt machine.

deanjohnson |

Q&A: What to eat while breastfeeding?

Well, that depends on how much weight you want to gain, as well. You could always go to a chocolate club, for example, but if you sit there all day, you're going to gain a lot of extra pounds. Try to eat something that doesn't add up too many kilos.

GaleChandler |