Check out various foods to avoid while breastfeeding normally. Learn about the nutrition for a nursing mother to help with the growth of toddler and quality and quantity of breast milk.
First of all, I would like to understand why a woman who nurses a baby should pay special attention to her own food. Let’s start with the reasons for the obvious.
Reasons to Pay Attention on Nutrition While Breastfeeding
First, pregnancy and childbirth is a serious test for the body of a woman, so in the postpartum period, her body needs to be restored, replenishing those substances that were used for bearing and giving birth to the child.
Secondly, the child, although he is not directly connected with the mother’s body, continues to feed on what her body produces breast milk. The elements that make up the breast milk are produced by the cells of the breast. It uses nutrients that are found in the mother’s blood. In the blood, they come from the intestine.
Accordingly, we can say that all the products that make up the mother’s menu in one form or another are present in breast milk. So, these products must be in sufficient quantity and quality to ensure the normal growth and development of the baby.
Thirdly, in our time, mothers often suffer from allergies of various kinds, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, including those related to gestosis of pregnancy, and all these conditions result in the normal barrier function of the intestine changing, and some antigens (substances that cause an allergic reaction), which are normally removed from the body, are absorbed into the blood and, accordingly, enter the breast milk.
In view of all the above considerations, recommendations are also drawn upon the nutrition of nursing mothers. This includes numbers of foods to avoid while breastfeeding.
Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
All women who breastfeed, regardless of health status, the presence of allergies, etc., here are some foods to avoid while breastfeeding.
- Alcohol including beer and smoke. Alcohol and nicotine have a toxic effect on the child.
- There are products with “bad name” of allergens, and to those concern: chocolate, crabs, crawfish, mackerel are to be avoided as well.
- Never drink strong tea and coffee, excitingly acting on the nervous system of the child.
- Don’t use onions, garlic. A strong specific smell of these products may not like the child.
- In addition, healthy women should be restricted, and women suffering from allergic diseases, gastrointestinal tract diseases and having a late gestosis. It is better to exclude the following products from their diets for the time of breastfeeding.
Things like citrus fruits, strawberries, raspberries and tropical fruits like mango, avocado, papaya, etc. Also avoid milk, eggs, honey, nuts and sugar, delicatessen fish as if these foods consumed in large quantities can cause allergies in the child.
- Products containing a significant amount of artificial preservatives and dyes for example, non-alcoholic carbonated drinks, confectionery, etc. should be avoided as well.
- Smoked products, canned snacks, and mayonnaise are bad for nursing mothers as well.
- Black bread, legumes, and grapes can lead to increased gas formation in the intestines of the baby, especially in the first three months of his life.
- Fat and fat meats products contain a large number of so-called saturated fatty acids, harmful to health, and poorly digested in the gastrointestinal tract.
Foods for Nursing Mothers
We hasten to reassure those who were frightened by the “severe” restrictions listed above. Despite all these prohibitions, there remains a rather large selection of products that the nursing mother can and must include in her diet. Nursing mothers can eat the following.
Fermented milk products like kefir, yogurt and yogurt without fruit additives. Up to 600-800 ml per day can be added to our diet.
Milk no more than 200 ml per day. It is better to use it for preparing various dishes like porridges, mashed potatoes, etc.
Also, cottage cheese can be included in the diet for nursing mothers.
We want to draw attention to the fact that the recommended fat content of dairy products is 2.5%.
It is not very fatty, but the products of zero fat content are not suitable for the nursing mother.
The optimum fat content of cottage cheese is 5-9%.
- Meat and Fish
One should include low-fat beef, low-fat pork, bird like chicken, turkey in your diet.
Fish of any species of river and sea fish, other than those mentioned in the first list can be included in your diet.
- Fats to Include in Your Diet
Include butter and cream varieties of margarine in limited quantity in your diet.
Also, vegetable oils of all types can be included in your diet as well.
- Beverages to Consume When Breastfeeding
Tea not strong black and green can be included in your diet.
Herbal teas with oregano, mint, thyme as these herbs stimulate the formation of milk.
However one should avoid strong coffee when nursing.
Also compotes, fruit drinks and dining room with still mineral water can be included in your diet.
The total amount of liquid drunk should be 1.5-2 liters per day. The first three days after delivery – the period of lactation. It is recommended to limit the amount of liquid drunk to 1 liter per day.
- Other Food for Nursing Mothers
Any cereals and bread better with bran can be consumed by breastfeeding mother.
Confectionery products like dry biscuits, crackers, pastilles, marshmallows, marmalade can also be included in the diet of a nursing mother.
Vegetables and fruits, except for those mentioned in the first list are also helpful in diet.
Proper Diet for Nursing Mothers
There are specialized products for nursing mothers.
These include the following.
- Drinks and juices for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
- Teas for pregnant and lactating women.
- Instant porridges for pregnant and lactating women.
- Dry protein-vitamin-mineral complexes for nursing mothers.
- Vitamins for pregnant and lactating women.
All these products increase lactation, fill the deficiency of vitamins and minerals, and some – and protein.
Food for Growing Baby
Should the feeding of the nursing mother vary with the age of the child?
We have already mentioned that in the first three days after childbirth it is desirable to limit the amount of fluid consumed.
At the same time, a milk-vegetable diet is recommended.
Then, up to three months, while the child is especially prone to colic, refrain from foods that cause flatulence as mentioned above.
Quality and Quantity of Breast Milk
Often there is a question about the quality of breast milk. We must say that it is unequivocally to decide whether it is enough in the mother’s milk for the essential nutrients, vitamins and trace elements that the child needs, only by conducting a chemical analysis of the milk.
The protein content in breast milk is almost independent of the amount of protein eaten by the mother, but the content of fat, vitamins, and minerals can really fluctuate depending on the mother’s diet.
That’s why you should avoid fat-free and especially fatty foods and be sure to take multivitamin-mineral complexes.
The amount of breast milk is more determined by genetic predisposition than by diet. However, with a shortage of breast milk, you should pay attention primarily to the amount of fluid consumed (it may simply not be enough), and also include in your diet specialized products for nursing mothers that increase lactation.
They are quite effective and help to cope with hypogalactia (lack of milk). With excessive amounts of milk, it is recommended to limit fluid intake, and if this does not help and milk is very much – it is best to seek medical advice.
Ways to Avoid Trouble When Breastfeeding
During breastfeeding, especially if the mother suffers from allergies or diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, it is useful to keep a “food diary”, noting in it the appearance in the diet of new products.
New products should be introduced one at a time and in a small amount. If the child does not develop rashes on the skin for three days, there are no violations from the gastrointestinal tract, sleep and behavior do not change (that is, the baby does not have a stomachache), so the child normally tolerates the innovation in the mother’s diet.
And vice versa: if a child has a rash, a stool disorder, anxiety (associated, as a rule, with intestinal colic), one should think whether any of the foods that the nursing mother ate in the last three days could prove to be allergens.
Now many training courses for childbirth, “folk healers”, and even, alas, some “smart” books advise to completely abandon the use of meat during pregnancy and lactation.
We would like to emphasize that this can lead to the development of anemia in a child – that is, his organs and tissues begin to suffer from a lack of oxygen, which means that he grows worse and lags behind in development.
Refusal of meat – one of the main food products and the main sources of protein, iron and vitamin B 12- negatively affect the health of the nursing (and pregnant!) Women, and therefore – and the health of the child.
Therefore, blind adherence to such recommendations is unacceptable. If vegetarianism is for you a life principle that you do not wish to give up under any circumstances, then during the period of breastfeeding it is necessary to carefully monitor the intake of iron and vitamin B 12.
Be sure to consult a doctor – he will recommend a suitable diet and the necessary vitamin complexes.
In conclusion, I want to say: the constant nervousness, the increased suspiciousness of the breastfeeding mother may be a factor far more harmful than the “wrong” food.
If your baby does not have a month yet, the problems that arise during breastfeeding are most likely related not so much to the gastronomic “crimes” of the mother as to the objective difficulties of the adaptation period.
Up to three months of infants often suffer intestinal colic, which is also often the result of the immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract, and not the wrong menu. Listen to the advice of specialists and … to his “inner voice” – the mother’s flair rarely fails.