Although there are many foods that you need to avoid in pregnancy, breastfeeding does not carry so many restrictions.
However, there are some foods that might affect the taste of your milk and put your baby off his feed.
- Eating for your health, too. The quality of your milk will depend on how healthy you are. Look after yourself by eating a well balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg, starchy foods for energy, protein and fibre, and make sure you keep up your calcium-rich intake of things like milk-based drinks, dairy products and perhaps even the occasional cream cake. And make sure you’re well rested, tiredness and stress can have an effect on the amount of milk you can make.
- Don’t starve yourself. You will burn more calories now you are breastfeeding so don’t diet to get back to a pre-baby figure just yet. Eat a good mix of healthy foods and snacks, then if you really need it, that afternoon Chunky Kit-Kat won’t feel so wicked…
- Drink plenty of fluid. Carry water around with you as you will get more thirsty.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. Try to opt for tea rather than coffee as much as possible when breastfeeding and try to limit your intake to two servings of caffeinated drinks a day. Don’t forget that includes some fizzy drinks.
- Avoid mercury-high fish like shark, swordfish or marlin and limit your intake of oily fish (fresh tuna, trout, sardines, mackerel) to about two portions a week.
- Nuts. Nuts can be a great snack, but if you or your partner have immediate family with allergy issues or problems like asthma or eczema, it might be safest to avoid nuts while you are feeding.
- Onions, garlic, spices or leafy greens can all have an affect on your baby and make him more windy. However there is no reason to cut these out. See if they do affect your child, and if so, just limit your intake for now.
- Strong flavours – blue cheeses or curries, for example – might put your baby off the taste of your milk, or make his poo a little more runny or green, but they will not affect your baby’s health. Unlike in pregnancy, you do not need to steer clear of unpasteurised foods for the sake of your baby any more.
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