Breastfeeding baby

Foods and Drinks To Avoid When Breastfeeding

Foods with strong flavors may change the taste of your milk and in general babies enjoy a variety of flavors when it comes to breast milk. When you’re pregnant your baby tastes the dominant flavors in your diet and when you’re nursing they may be accustomed to those flavors already.

However, in some cases babies may become gassy or fussy when ingesting certain flavors through breastfeeding.

Foods And Drinks To Avoid When Breastfeeding

Foods and Drinks To Avoid When Breastfeeding

Many moms have reported that babies will often object to the following foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Spices like garlic, cinnamon, curry and chili pepper
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Citrus fruits and their juices i.e. oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit
  • Kiwifruit
  • Gassy vegetables like onions, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, pepper and cucumbers
  • Fruits with a laxative effect such as prunes and cherries
  • Too much coffee (a daily cup should be fine but too much can interfere with baby’s sleep patterns and make them fussy)
  • Sodas, teas and over-the-counter medicines with a caffeine content
  • Alcohol (one drink should be fine but too much alcohol gets into your milk).

In addition to the risk of alcohol having dire effects on a baby’s health, studies have shown that alcohol can reduce your milk production.

When a baby is struggling with allergy symptoms such as fussiness, congestion, diarrhea and eczema it may be due to exposure to certain chemicals in soap or detergent, mildew or something that he ingested through breast milk. It may become tricky to find out exactly what is causing the sensitivity.

If you’re in doubt about a certain food, it’s best to avoid it entirely. If you suspect that you’ve eaten something which is causing the problem, it’s usually something that was eaten two to six hours before baby’s feed. The general culprits are predominantly soy, egg, cow’s milk, wheat, nuts, corn or corn syrup.

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  1. Oh yes, what a mother eats may affect the taste as well as the composition of her breast milk and in turn the health of the baby. I remember that having any rice dish would give my son a lot of digestive problems. It took me a while to figure that. Thanks for some memories and an informative post, Lynne.

    • You are so right Shilpa – everything is passed through! I remember one time when my hubby and I ate Kentucky Fried Chicken takeaways one weekend when I was breastfeeding my daughter and the next day her poop stank of the food we ate. It put me off Kentucky Fried Chicken for a very long time!

  2. These are valid tips, Lynne. In our family we usually go in a strictly monitored diet after the delivery, keeping in mind the breast feeding. Nothing overly spicy or strong flavors. Even among the veggies, some are completely avoided for at least six months. Portion control is diligently followed, too. It’s amazing, isn’t it!

  3. It’s so funny because with my first I craved broccoli like ALL THE TIME LOL. But when I breast fed she didn’t like that broccoli anymore haha 🤣 Thankfully she likes it so I have no complaints lol

    • Oh don’t even get me started on cravings! With my first it was chocolate milk, plus I could eat cheese and pickles like there was no tomorrow. With my second I craved Melrose toast all the time. But those cravings don’t necessarily mean that it is good for baby!

  4. My child was colic and gassy when I was breastfeeding and nobody told me about the foods to avoid when breastfeeding. This is such a useful post. I eat a lot of indian food which is full of spices, garlic, onions and many such things that should be avoided. Now I can understand the issues faced by my baby. I am going to share this post with my sis who has a little baby.

    • It is not easy to figure out all these things as a new mother, very often we learn through our mistakes. I also had no idea with my first baby that so many foods can affect my baby through the breast milk.

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