Diet and Breastfeeding


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Recent studies seem to confirm what mothers have known all along when it comes to breastfeeding: what you eat affects your baby. Of course, we should all eat healthy while breastfeeding, both for ourselves and our babies, but figuring out which foods agree with your baby is sometimes a bit more like trial and error than anything else.

Every baby is different. Some babies will handle different things in their diet better than others. In that sense, they’re not so different than adults. Of course, whatever we eat and drink eventually finds it’s way into the breast milk in one sense or another, so it is important to watch your diet. But, even following all of the best dietary advice doesn’t completely eliminate problems your baby may have with certain foods.

The smell and taste of your breast milk is affected by what you eat. The neat thing about that is that, even at his young age, your baby is being exposed to differing flavors. Unfortunately, some flavors that you enjoy may not agree with her, and can affect her temperament and digestion. If you suspect that something you are eating is affecting your baby negatively, cut it out of your diet (making sure to replace it with something that meets the same nutritional needs, of course). It may take a bit of experimenting before you find what works for you and your baby.

Although babies can be sensitive to any food, here are some common ones that give many babies difficulty:

  • Wheat.
  • Cow’s milk. This is a tough one, because you do need lots of calcium. Fortunately, there are other milk and calcium options.
  • Fish. Again, moms and babies need some of the nutrients in fish, but be careful to limit fish that may be high in mercury, like tuna. And if baby is having a difficult time digesting, or seems turned off, fish is a likely culprit.
  • Citrus fruit. Try cutting out the orange juice and grapefruits. Of course, you still need vitamin C, so look into a supplement or other source if you find that citrus upsets baby’s tummy.
  • Eggs. They’re great for protein. They also disagree with lots of babies.
  • Nuts. Another case of the same thing. You might especially consider avoiding nuts if anyone in your family is allergic to them.


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