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4 Food Items To Avoid When Breastfeeding

Updated: May 29, 2023

food items to avoid during breastfeeding

A breastfeeding diet is somewhat similar to a healthy nutrition plan that is essential for you to follow while breastfeeding. Well, you get some liberty in comparison to the pregnancy diet but you must look out for the food items that may still cause problems for your baby.

Every pregnancy is different but eating well is important. Breastfeeding is readily considered the ideal nutrition for your child and you must follow a similar diet that supports the intake of such nutrition. Your baby could be allergic to a few food items, in that case, it’s crucial to consult your baby’s doctor.

As per the research, a woman requires 400-500 extra calories daily. What you eat in a day has a slight impact on the composition of breast milk, yet, there’s no direct relation between the two conceptions. So in this blog, you’ll learn about the daily calorie intake of a breastfeeding mother & what food items to avoid to maintain a healthy regular diet.

Moreover, If you're someone, who's willing to get rid of postpartum problems as a mother & wish to bond with your little one during this time, go for post-natal & baby massages!

Table of Content

Food Items To Avoid While Breastfeeding

Given below is the list of food items to avoid while nursing your child. Give it a read to understand in detail the consequence of every item. But, but, but the good news is now is the time to add the dishes you love, back into your routine.

High - Mercury Fish

You must avoid fish & seafood rich in high mercury. The most obvious reason is mercury being a metal is harmful to kids. It can also hamper your child’s nervous system. In general, fish is a great source of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid.

However, fishes high in mercury, for instance -

  • Shark

  • Orange roughy

  • Marlin

  • Swordfish

  • Big eye tuna

  • Tilefish

Must be avoided. You can consume canned tuna in limit and make sure to eliminate others from your diet.

Lots of Caffeine

food items to avoid when breastfeeding

Excessive intake of caffeine can cause irritation and crankiness in your child. Your child would not be able to sleep soundly. It is important to limit the intake to 300 mg or less on daily basis.

Some other sources of caffeine are - tea & chocolate. Caffeine is capable of lowering iron levels in the milk, thereby lowering the level of hemoglobin. However, if consumed in a controlled manner, it’s safe & fine.

Consumption of Alcohol

food items to avoid when breastfeeding

As per Centres for Diseased Control & Prevention, not consuming alcohol is the safest option for breastfeeding mothers. Having mentioned that it is beneficial to completely avoid alcohol during the entire nursing period. As it is alcohol can remain in your body for 2-3 hours and shall reflect in the breast milk.

If you want your little one to sleep well, excessive alcohol consumption can take that away from your child. In case, you’re willing to consume alcohol, you must limit the intake to 0.5 g per kg body weight. In short, it is advisable to at least wait for 2-2.5 hours before nursing your baby.

Use of Herbal Supplements

food items to avoid when breastfeeding

It is important to take suggestions from your doctor before opting for herbal supplements. But why is that so? As these supplements are not regulated by Food & Drug Administration (FDA), they are considered potentially dangerous for a mother. You must carefully read the product label.

These supplements constitute some heavy metals in their formulation that are regarded as dangerous for babies. Hence, you must be careful about such products and trust reliable brands only.

Daily Calorie Intake For Breastfeeding Mother

A breastfeeding mother requires additional 400 - 500 calories daily to nutrify the daily diet. While you’re nursing your baby, your body burns approximately 300 - 500 extra calories per day. Therefore, your eventual goal should not be to count calories & eat accordingly, rather the focus should be on fulfilling the extra nutritional needs.

The extra calories intake is also dependent on various other factors. These include age, level of activity, the extent of breastfeeding, and others. Well, if you’re generally concerned about the intake of calories, the simple and easy solution is to fulfill your appetite. Whereas, if you’re concerned about your body weight, you can measure & analyze your calories intake for maintaining a healthy weight.

Food Items That Can Make Your Breastfed Babies Get Gas

If your baby passes gas, it’s something normal & natural. The passing of gas is a regular activity of the digestive system and is not something to be worried about. In case, you observe that it’s extreme or uncomfortable for your child, so now’s the time to review your regular diet.

Following is the list of food items that can make your breastfed baby gassy -

  • Milk

  • Yogurt

  • Ice-cream

  • Milk products

  • Cheese

  • Fish

  • Peanuts

  • Spicy food

  • Grassy food items

There’s no evidence to suggest that the above food items can make your baby gassy. It can be different for different babies and you can reach an outcome by simply observing what food items in your diet is making your baby gassy. You must eliminate those items and stick to the recommended diet. Mostly, the overall gassiness fades away as the digestive system matures and functions more developmentally.

You’re always free to consult a lactation consultant if nothing seems to work out for your little one.

food items to avoid while breastfeeding

Can your Diet Trigger an Allergic Reaction in your Baby?

Following a healthy diet during breastfeeding is simply making healthy decisions. Specific food items can trigger an allergic reaction or make your child comfortable. Potential signs of a food allergy include diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, & unsteady growth. Commonly, your baby may come in contact with allergies from the food items that you consume.

However, the elimination of these food items from your diet may improve your little one’s health. There’s no exact list of food items that can cause an allergy because any food can. However, this is the list of most common food items that can trigger allergic reactions or make your baby uneasy.

  • Peanuts

  • Fish

  • Wheat

  • Milk & buttermilk

  • Ghee

  • Butter

  • Cream

  • Ice-cream & pudding

  • Yogurt

  • Other dairy products

It would be beneficial to maintain a dairy-free diet and discover food elements that may irritate your young infant.


1. What foods can upset a breastfed baby?

One of the major trouble-makers in your diet is dairy products. For instance - milk, ice cream, yogurt, butter, and other dairy products. However, other food items such as peanuts, fish, wheat, corn, and others are also of concern. The main purpose must be to assess the food elements that might trouble your baby & eliminate it for a week or so to suspect better results.

2. What are the best foods to eat when breastfeeding?

As mentioned above, a breastfeeding mother requires extra calories. So, it is important to add a source of protein to your diet along with other fruits & vegetables. If you're vegetarian, add a source of iron & zinc to your diet. In addition to this, if you add healthy nutrients to your diet post-pregnancy, you're making the best choice at the moment.

3. What fruits help produce breastmilk?

For a fact, it is important to consume a diet rich in nutrients during breastfeeding. You must include the following fruits in your diet for improving the production of oxytocin, and hence, milk production.

  • Strawberries

  • Bananas

  • Blueberries

  • Mango

  • Sapodilla

  • Avocado

4. What food makes a baby gassy?

Common food items that can make your baby gassy are - beans, spicy food, grassy food items, dairy products, etc. There's no concrete evidence to support that these food items can make your baby gassy but it's important to stay cautious & reflect on your food choices.

5. What fruits to avoid when breastfeeding?

There is no need for you to avoid any fruits during the nursing period. As fruits are a great source of nutrients & fibers, it is one of the healthy choices you must make for the betterment of your future. In case, you observe any negative reaction after the consumption of any of the fruit items, eliminate it from your diet, rest assured.

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