Foods to avoid while breastfeeding

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Broccoli is healthy, but is off limits to some nursing mothers
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Knowing what foods to avoid while breastfeeding makes for a happier baby and mom

You likely know about the types of fare you should stay away from when you are pregnant, but did you also know there are a variety of foods to avoid while breastfeeding? Some items can negatively affect your child through your milk. In order to keep both you and your baby healthy and happy, you should limit or at least cut down on these types of foods.


After yet another sleepless night, the first thing on your mind in the morning is probably a steaming cup of delicious and strong coffee. Sometimes, just the signature smell is all you need to get those eyelids open. However, the caffeine in this comforting beverage isn't good for your baby.

Not only does coffee wake you up, but it wakes up the baby up, as well, as the caffeine is passed to him through your breast milk. This could result in a restless, unhappy baby who is unable to sleep. The solution is to cut back on the amount you drink. You don't have to completely exclude the beverage from your life, but reducing the amount you ingest could make a big difference.

Spicy Cuisine

A meal that includes a lot of pepper and spice may be exactly what you are craving right now, but it's a good idea to hold off on enjoying such a dish. The spicy ingredients are usually passed onto the baby during nursing sessions.

Many of the same effects this fare has on adults is what babies experience as well. Noshing on this type of cuisine could cause your little one to suffer with diarrhea, abdominal pain and heartburn. She may even vomit as a result of the spiciness.

Your best bet is to cut down on eating spices that bring the heat, such as curry, cinnamon, red pepper, onions and chili powder.


Chocolate is often a girl's best friend, but it doesn't do much good when you are nursing. It may calm your nerves, but it likely won't have the same effect on your newborn.

Chocolate often contains caffeine, which causes uneasiness in little ones. Fortunately, the amounts of caffeine found in the decadent treat are generally small. For instance, a 1-ounce serving of rich, tasty dark chocolate contains between 5 and 35 mg of caffeine. Contrarily, a cup of coffee usually has about 135 mg of caffeine.

If you notice that your newborn gets fussy after you eat chocolate, consider cutting back on the amount you ingest. You could also cut back on how much coffee you drink that day to balance out the amount of caffeine running through your body. This way, you can have your chocolate and eat it, too.


Vegetables are extremely healthy for you and your child; however, some may cause undesirable side effects. For instance, broccoli could cause the both of you to feel gassy.

Your infant may feel the broccoli's effects by drinking your milk. If he becomes fussy, bloated or plain miserable after you have eaten the fibrous veggie, you may want to consider cutting back on the amount you eat.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are certainly delicious and healthy, and contain vitamins and antioxidants that can keep you healthy and feeling good. Unfortunately, your baby may not experience the same positive benefits when you eat them.

The acidic juices from the fruit may irritate your little one's delicate digestive system, resulting in spitting up, fussiness and diaper rash. The acid in the milk may also hurt your infant's skin, which could cause a rash on her face.

You don't have to lose the benefits of these fruits; simply switch them for others that aren't so strong, such as papaya and mango. You'll still get the high amounts of vitamin C without the harmful side effects. 

By being aware of what foods to avoid while breastfeeding, you and your baby will likely feel good and enjoy one another's company even more.


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