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18 Foods, Drinks, And Meds You Should Avoid While Breastfeeding

DECEMBER 24, 2016  —  By Hannah Austin

Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your newborn baby, but knowing what foods, drinks, and medicines to avoid can be hard for moms to keep track of.

When breastfeeding, anything a mother consumes passes on to her baby. On one hand, this is great news, as all nutrients and vitamins are streamlined to the infant. On the other, ingesting the wrong things can be harmful, and even make some children sick enough to be hospitalized.

Here we have 18 foods, drinks, and medicines to steer clear of while breastfeeding. It may take some getting used it, but it won't be long until avoiding these items is second nature.

1. Wheat

If you notice that your baby is extra fussy or has bloody stools after you eat bagels, bread, pasta, and other wheat products, they could have a gluten allergy. Try going wheat-free for a few days to see if it makes a difference. This can be especially hard for bread-lovers like me, but luckily, there are more tasty, gluten-free versions of your favorite foods available than ever before.

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2. Eggs

Egg allergies can also crop up in newborns, but since eggs are found in variety of breads, sweets, and other foods, this one can be particularly hard to identify. To learn more about substituting tofu, bananas, and other items when baking with eggs, click here.

3. Chocolate

Most breastfeeding moms know to avoid chocolate, but we still had to include it. In addition to the caffeine found in the sweet treat, it's also known to make babies gassy.

4. Broccoli

Speaking of gas, even adults sometimes suffer from a little extra flatulence when consuming broccoli. A toot here or there is one thing, but if your baby is fussy and uncomfortable after you chow down on the vegetable, you may want to cut it out of your diet altogether.

5. Citrus Fruits

You might as well say goodbye to citrus fruits while breastfeeding. The acidity found in these fruits can cause diaper rashes, fussiness, and spitting up, as well as irritate an infant's sensitive stomach and digestive tract. If you're worried about not getting enough vitamin C, take a supplement or add mango and papaya to your diet.

6. Corn

Wait a minute, we have to give up corn, too?! Sorry, ladies, but corn allergies are common in young children. Unfortunately, this includes corn chips, corn tortillas, corn oil, and some salad dressings.

7. Spicy Foods

Even if loading your tacos with hot sauce or sriracha doesn't bother your stomach, it will likely lead to discomfort in your baby. Signs to watch for include diarrhea, restlessness, and inconsolable crying.

8. Shellfish

Allergies are often genetic, so if no one in your family has a shellfish allergy, it may be fine to consume lobster, crab, and shrimp to your heart's content. However, if Dad or other close family members are allergic, it raises the chance that your baby will be, too.

9. Fish

Just about everyone knows that the mercury levels found in fish can be dangerous while pregnant, but the same is true when you are breastfeeding. Salmon and other fish with low mercury levels can be consumed on occasion, but chowing down on sushi or tuna is probably a bad idea.

10. Peppermint

Peppermint tea is soothing, but too much of it may decrease your milk supply. In fact, various forms of peppermint are often prescribed to women who want to dry up their milk supply.

11. Parsley

And the same goes for parsley! A garnish here or there is okay, but parsley soup or parsley herbal remedies aren't a great idea while nursing.

12. Dairy

Dairy is a common allergy among children, with symptoms that may include colic, vomiting, and diarrhea. Sadly, this includes cheese, milk, yogurt, and ice cream.

13. Soy

Before you consider replacing dairy with soy products, keep in mind the prevalence of soy allergies. Many kids who have a dairy allergy have a soy allergy to go right along with it.

14. Caffeine

Any mom who doesn't need a caffeine boost now and then must be a superhero, but that said, too much caffeine can cause restlessness and irritation in your baby. Soda, tea, coffee, and chocolate are all items to avoid.

15. Alcohol

An occasional glass of wine or two is one thing, but there is absolutely no excuse for chugging alcohol while breastfeeding. If you'd like to have a night out with the girls, wait until you're sober to resume nursing. Contrary to popular belief, pumping and dumping does nothing to eliminate alcohol from your milk supply.

16. Cough Medicine

If your cough syrup contains decongestants, beware before taking a dose. Often, they contain pseudoephedrine and/or phenylephrine, both of which can greatly deplete your milk supply.

17. Painkillers

If you have to take a painkiller while breastfeeding, make sure you reach for ibuprofen. Aspirin, codeine, and heavier drugs can negatively affect your baby and milk supply.

18. Antibiotics

Some antibiotics are safe to take while breastfeeding, but you'll want to check with your healthcare professional prior to taking one. Ingesting the wrong types of antibiotics can lead to irritability, thrush, and underdeveloped gut flora.

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Be sure to pass this vital information on to the new and expecting mothers that you know!

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