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Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding: What Is Best Not To Eat?

Breastfeeding is one of the most delicate phases for new mothers. Let’s find out which foods to prefer and which ones it is better not to eat. One of the most difficult times for a pregnant woman is giving up many key foods, such as cured meats or seafood. Childbirth marks the birth of a new splendid life and the return to previous eating habits.  Therefore, many new mothers believe that they can go back to eating whatever they prefer after the baby’s birth, underestimating the importance of feeding during breastfeeding. 

The mother’s diet affects the newborn’s nourishment, well-being, and the onset of disorders such as reflux and colic. Consequently, it is important to continue to pay attention to what you eat in this delicate phase. Some foods are still considered ‘prohibited’. So let’s see what kind of diet it is advisable to follow while breastfeeding and which foods are best avoided.

Breastfeeding: Foods To Avoid

Breast milk absorbs everything that the mother ingests during the day and is how the newborn takes the nourishment necessary for its growth. For this reason, it is of fundamental importance that the mother follows a correct diet. Although there are no specific diets for breastfeeding, it would be advisable to limit the consumption of some foods and avoid those that are most risky for both the mother and the baby.

The main prohibition concerns alcoholic beverages, especially spirits, which must be banned during breastfeeding. However, there are exceptions; for example, a glass of wine or beer can be tolerated, but care must be taken to take it at least 3 hours before feeding. It is also strongly recommended to avoid or limit the intake of nerve-rich foods such as coffee, tea, cocoa, ginseng and various energizers. These products act on the nervous system, influencing the baby’s sleep due to the high quantity of exciting organic substances.

Some foods may be unwelcome to the child due to the too strong flavor. These certainly include spices such as turmeric, ginger, chili, nutmeg and paprika, condiments such as soy sauce and fresh plant products such as garlic and onion. In this case, it may be advisable to drastically limit their consumption or eliminate them if adverse reactions to the newborn occur. Finally, we must not forget that more acidic foods can cause discomfort and disturbances to the newborn. 

This is the case with citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis and pineapples, and cherries and plums mainly due to their laxative effect. As for the vegetables, we must pay attention to those that generate intestinal swelling and lead the child to suffer from colic. These are mainly cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, asparagus and artichokes. Finally, it would help if you were patient a little longer before regularly consuming cold cuts, raw meat and fish and seafood.

Eat Well While Breastfeeding

Like pregnancy, the period of breastfeeding is one of the most delicate in the life of a mother and her baby. Therefore, in both phases, it is advisable to adopt a correct diet, which is varied and balanced. This is essential to provide the baby with all the nutrients to grow strong and healthy and get him used to experimenting with different flavors and introducing him to the transition from milk to solid foods with greater predisposition and curiosity. Diet during pregnancy includes the same good rules as indicated for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. 

Therefore, it is recommended to eat five meals a day (three main and two snacks), consume plenty of seasonal fruit and vegetables (well washed), pay attention to how food is cooked, moderate sugars and fats, and hydrate abundantly. During breastfeeding, the mother must add about 500 kcal and 17 grams of extra protein per day to the normal diet for the first six months of the baby’s life. Taking an adequate amount of fiber is also important to prevent a mother’s constipation, which is very common during breastfeeding.

In addition to these particular precautions, a suggestion to always keep in mind while breastfeeding is related to physical activity, to be carried out especially in the open air. Considering greater fatigue due to the particular period, it may be sufficient to take long walks, perhaps in the company of the newborn. This, together with the adoption of a balanced and controlled diet, will allow the baby to be properly nourished, ensure the well-being of mother and child, and help the mother avoid accumulating excess weight.

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