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Should You Avoid Certain Foods While Breastfeeding?

When it comes to nursing, moms should focus on eating a balanced diet, not on swearing off specific foods.

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Hi. My name is Kimberly Durdin. I'm a board-certified lactation consultant, and I've been helping moms breastfeed for over 20 years. So, moms have heard that there may be foods that they should avoid when they're breastfeeding, or that they might need to go on a special diet. Well, guess what? You don't have to do anything differently in terms of your eating habits when you're breastfeeding. Even if you have a horrible diet, you'll still make great milk for your baby. The concern is that your body will not get the nutrients it needs if you're not careful about your nutrition. Most moms do not need to change their diet in order to breastfeed. You may have heard that there are certain foods that are gonna make your baby gassy or fussy, and some moms are told to avoid, spicy foods, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, and things like that. And basically, that really doesn't make a difference. Moms can eat whatever they would normally eat while breastfeeding. So, there are no real food restrictions. Some moms have been told that they have to have a super healthy diet as well. We're concerned when moms don't have a healthy diet just because we're concerned that mom might not get the nutrients she needs within her body. However, even if mom has a poor diet, she'll still make excellent milk for her baby. So, a perfect diet is not required. There are some babies, however, that can be sensitive to certain substances or certain foods that mom is ingesting. Typically, if a mom or the father of the child has any food allergies or sensitivities themselves, then we're a little bit more concerned that the baby might have a food sensitivity. Sometimes, it's the exact same food that mom or dad has an issue with. And out of those foods, the most common offenders are milk, peanuts-- some people have also problems with eggs, wheat, or corn. If you have food sensitivities in your family, it's not necessary to eliminate those foods when you start breastfeeding. We encourage moms to just eat their normal diet, breastfeed their baby, and look out for signs of fussiness. If you notice that your baby is fussy after you've eaten certain foods, talk to your pediatrician or lactation consultant, and they can help you determine if you need to eliminate some foods from your diet. So, I hope that this helps you realize that you can have a wide and varied diet while you're breast--