WHAT NOT TO EAT WHILE BREASTFEEDING
We know you’ve just spent nine months avoiding all your favourite things… runny cheese, Prosecco and cured meats, but it is essential for new mums to continue paying attention to their diet even after delivery, especially if you’re planning to breastfeed. There are lots of wonderful postpartum foods that will give you and bub a healthy boost, but what about the postpartum foods to avoid? If you’ve been wondering about this, read this article and we’ll show you what not to eat while you’re breastfeeding .
1) What not to eat while breastfeeding: Garlic
You know that garlic shrimp pasta you’ve been craving? Or that garlic and thyme baked Camembert you promised yourself once bub arrived? Well, we’re here to tell you that you need to wait a teensy bit longer to chow down on your favourite garlicky feast, because when it comes to what not to eat while breastfeeding, garlic is waaay up there. The smell and taste of garlic may get transferred to breast milk and some babies don’t like how it smells and tastes, which may lead to breast refusal. If you’re not breastfeeding it’s not an issue, but if you’re hoping to offer baby the breast buffet, it might be best to avoid those garlic flavours.
2) Excessive Alcohol
We are firmly in the ‘one or two drinks’ camp when it comes to what to eat and what not to eat while breastfeeding. While we don’t think it’s necessary to completely avoid alcohol postpartum (the amount of alcohol that passes through your breast milk into your baby is minute) it’s incredibly important to not drink to excess. The main reason for this is that over-drinking after a solid nine month hiatus poses many scary dangers. The first is that if you do drink too much you might fall asleep and not be able to hear your baby. This gets more worrisome if you’re also co-sleeping. Added to this, if you’re taking any medications postpartum (even pain killers) the alcohol could react and make you sick or incapacitated.
3) Fried fatty foods
In the days and weeks after giving birth you will likely experience some discomfort down below. For this we recommend a gentle sitz bath, but if you’re still feeling tender, the last thing you want to be doing is rushing to the toilet with diarrhea and having to wipe down below multiple times a day. Fried and fatty foods are not absorbed normally, they go to the colon, where they are broken down to fatty acids. This in turn causes the colon to secrete fluid and trigger diarrhea. While it might not be directly related to what not to eat while breastfeeding, we think it’s worth mentioning as one to avoid.
If you had to put together a list of your top treats, coffee, tea and chocolate would likely make the cut. Unfortunately, they are also common sources of caffeine in our diets and as you don’t want to muck about with your sleep, they really are ones to avoid in the early days, as they can also aggravate bub through breastfeeding. Yes, we get it, it’s hard to hear ‘no coffee’ or ‘no chocolate’, especially as you’re likely exhausted and a double espresso seems like the perfect tipple to perk you up, but try to give it a few days until you’ve at least seen how your baby sleeps. As an alternative, we recommend Hottea Mama Milks Up Lactation Tea. It’s a caffeine-free herbal blend of fennel, nettle and Feugreek Seeds.
5) Super High Vitamin C Foods
This one certainly doesn’t apply to everyone. However, some babies do seem to get nappy rash when exposed to lots of fruit with high vitamin C content. If you’re into fruit in a big way, then the best way to proceed is to eat something high in vitamin C (such as a mango, an orange or a pineapple) and then assess the situation. If your baby suddenly gets a very unexpected rash you might need to cut back and find an alternative. Bananas, for example are an excellent source of potassium but are much less acidic than most fruits.
6) Peanuts (or other common allergy foods)
In general (and according to NHS guidelines) there’s no evidence to suggest you should avoid peanuts (or any peanut based foods like peanut butter) during postpartum. However, if you’re breastfeeding, allergen foods can pass through breast milk, so if someone in your immediate family is severely allergic, it might be worth speaking to your doctor or health visitor beforehand.
7) Fizzy drinks
Drinking fizzy drinks during postpartum recovery isn’t a massive ‘NO-NO’ but the problem is that carbonated drinks may make you feel bloated and this may cause you to drink less water throughout the day. During the postpartum period it is very important to stay hydrated. The first reason for this is that staying hydrated (preferably with water) helps to rehabilitate and heal your body. The second reason is that if you’re breastfeeding you lose about 25 ounces of water in breast milk every day, and you need to find a way to replenish that. So, it’s our advice to stay away from fizzy drinks after delivery. For tips on how to increase your milk supply, click here.
8) Dairy Products
This is much debated and contested, but we feel (from our own personal experience) that it is best to limit the amount of dairy products you consume in a day during your postpartum recovery. The reason for this is that it affects the breast milk, and can result in your baby developing a lactose intolerance, because their digestive systems are not yet completely developed to digest milk. The symptoms but may experience include diarrhea, vomiting, tummy pain and wind.
9) Junk Food
When you’ve just come home from hospital with a teeny-tiny human, it can feel like everything is in flux. From the grueling two-hourly feeds, to nights spent trying to rock a fussy newborn to sleep, it’s easy to forget about prepping healthy homemade meals. However, don’t fall into the trap of eating junk food, even if it is super convenient. Junk food, for so many reasons will hamper your recovery and diminish your energy levels (when you need them to be higher than ever). This is because it contains a lot of sugar and fat, which can trigger digestive problems and blood sugar spikes. If you haven’t got time to cook at home and you’ve yet to rope in a family member to batch cook some hearty and healthy meals, look at alternatives like Mindful Chef, which delivery fresh and nutritious recipe boxes to your door.
10) Mercury-High Fish
Swordfish, blue-fin tuna and mackerel are all ones to avoid in the early days postpartum. These fish have high levels of a toxin called mercury. Mercury is harmful to your growing baby’s brain. If you eat tuna, it is okay to eat up to 6 ounces of canned tuna a week but make sure to choose light tuna.
Tips To Lose the Baby Weight
If you’re struggling to lose the baby weight during postpartum, try these effective tips.
- Keep goals realistic
In one 2015 study, 75 percent of women were heavier one year after giving birth than they had been before pregnancy. Of these women, 47 percent were at least 10 pounds heavier at the one-year mark, and 25 percent had kept on 20 more pounds. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your goals realistic. ‘Bounce-back’ culture is fast becoming a thing of the past, with many believe it to be toxic and in some cases dangerous for new mums. Instead, the main thing is to concentrate on being healthy and happy.
- Don’t crash diet
Crash diets are very low calorie diets that aim to make you lose a large amount of weight in the shortest amount of time possible. After giving birth, both you and your bubkin need good nutrition in order to heal, recover and grow, so avoid any diet that suggest slashing your calories down to the minimum.
- Breastfeed if you can
Among its many benefits for mothers and babies, breastfeeding can help you lose weight after giving birth. Research shows that exclusively breastfeeding mothers tend to burn on average 500 additional calories daily — the equivalent of cutting out a small meal, large snack, or performing 45–60 minutes of medium-intensity physical exercise