Many newly breastfeeding moms believe they have to control diet with strict guidelines to prevent gas, fussiness and passing bad stuff on to their baby, but research suggests all these strict rules could be for naught. A recent study from researchers at Loyola University Health System claims moms need to follow a few general guidelines when it comes to altering her diet while breastfeeding.
Keep alcohol intake to a minimum. The alcohol level of your breast milk is similar to that of your blood so keep alcohol intake to a minimum. If you think you will be drinking and you want to protect baby, breastfeed before you have that drink. You can also pump alcohol-free breast milk. However, drinking regularly could have a negative impact on baby so keep it short and sweet – like one glass of wine or beer, at most.
Stay away from fish that contain high levels of mercury, but don’t skip fish all together. Practice the same dietary guidelines established for pregnant women, in regards to fish, and you will be safe. Fish contains healthy omega 3 fatty acids that promote heart health.
Caffeine rules are the same as fish rules – follow your pregnancy guidelines. Keep caffeine intake to a moderate level of no more than two to three cups of coffee or caffeinated beverages during each day. Remember, soda, chocolate and other foods and drinks contain caffeine so watch intake from all sources.
Diet in General
You don’t have to skip the cabbage and broccoli or leave the spicy foods on the menu. There is little chance your food intake is causing baby problems, but if you notice signs of a food allergy you need to write down exactly what you’ve eaten in the past 24 hours and consult your physician or pediatrician. An elimination diet may be suggested to find out the food causing the reaction.
Many women stop breastfeeding because they feel they have to stop living to breastfeed, but that’s simply not the case. You can live your life, eat the foods you love and even have a glass of wine once in a while and still successfully breastfeed.
Source: Loyola University Health System