Foods – for Mothers

ARE THERE ANY FOODS I SHOULD AVOID WHILE BREASTFEEDING?

One of the concepts La Leche League is founded on is “Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.”

You don’t need to eat anything special while you’re breastfeeding. But it’s a good idea for you, just like everyone else, to eat a varied and healthy diet. The food any family chooses will depend on personal preference, climate, culture and finances.

There are no foods you need to avoid while breastfeeding (unless you’re allergic to them of course!).Some strongly flavored foods may change the taste of your milk, and many babies seem to enjoy a variety of breast milk flavors! Often the dominant flavors of your diet – whether soy sauce, chili, garlic or something else – were in your amniotic fluid during pregnancy. Before birth babies swallow amniotic fluid and are accustomed to these flavors before tasting them in your milk.

Many mothers find they can eat whatever they like, and occasionally a baby will be fussy at the breast, or may be gassy, after you eat a particular food. If you notice that your baby reacts badly after you have eaten something, it may be best to leave that food out of your diet for a while. To test whether that food really was the cause, reintroduce it once and see if your baby reacts in the same way again.

If you are thinking of eliminating a whole food group (e.g. dairy) you can look at options with your health care provider, and check you are not at risk of any nutritional deficiency.

ALLERGIES

If you have a family medical history of allergy, it is worth being careful about your diet and avoiding known allergens during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

PEANUTS

If you’d like to eat peanuts or foods containing peanuts, such as peanut butter, while breastfeeding, you can do so as part of a healthy, balanced diet (unless, of course, you are allergic to them). There’s no clear evidence that eating peanuts while breastfeeding affects your baby’s chances of developing a peanut allergy. If you have any questions or concerns, you can talk to your healthcare provider about this.

CULTURAL IDEAS

Every culture has lists of foods that are “good” and “bad” for breastfeeding mothers. It happens very often that foods believed to be beneficial in one culture are considered to upset babies in others! In Italy, mothers are often told not to eat garlic, cauliflower, lentils and red peppers. In India most mothers eat all these things and breastfeed very happily. Actually, in parts of India they believe that garlic helps a mother to breastfeed successfully!

Food Allergies

Peanut Allergy

Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy

LLL Greece Article

You can print to paper or to a PDF file.

For best printing results, open the llli.org site in Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Although you can view the site well in any browser, printing from other browsers might not operate correctly.

1. Browse to the web document that you want to print.

2. Click the Print button that is displayed on the web page (not the Print command on the browser menu or toolbar).
This opens the browser print window. The window displays a preview of the document that will be printed. The preview might take a minute to display, depending on the document size.

3. In the Printer box, select the desired printer.
For example, if you are working on a Windows computer, and you want to print to a PDF file, select Save as PDF.

4. As required, configure the other options such as the pages to print.

5. Click the Print button.
If you are generating a PDF, click Save. You are prompted for the name and folder location to save the file.