In a nutshell, there are no foods that you need to cut out completely whilst breastfeeding. However, there are foods that need to be eaten in moderation.
Yes, back in the day, our mothers would tell us that we had to avoid fish whilst pregnant as well as when breastfeeding. The main concern was because of the salmonella risk, which is still a real concern.
But fish is, in fact, a very good source of protein and you should definitely include at least two portions per week of fish. A portion being in the region of 150 grams. The types of fish to rather eat are trout, tuna, mackerel and sardine.
Avoiding raw fish like Sushi or oysters is recommended and if you should eat shellfish, make sure it’s cooked thoroughly. With shellfish, there are risks of poisoning, which is not just pertinent to breastfeeding women but everyone. Some side effects of poisoning are nausea, headaches, numbness, memory loss and abdominal pain, to mention a few.
If you generally have an allergic reaction to shellfish or fish in general, it would be a good idea to avoid eating them whilst pregnant and whilst breastfeeding as well. And note that cooking shellfish does not necessarily devoid them of allergic reactions. There is seafood that you should avoid completely whilst pregnant and whilst breastfeeding. In fact, all adults should eat this list of seafood minimally. They are Marlin, Shark and Swordfish.
The reason to limit intake of these fish is that the mercury is very high. Mercury is particularly bad for unborn babies and babies that are breastfeeding, as they mess with the developing baby’s nervous system.
When it comes to cheeses, which are a good source of protein, you want to rather avoid the cheeses that are mould-ripened. These would be soft cheeses such as Camembert and Brie. Other cheeses to avoid would be soft blue cheeses like Roquefort and Gorgonzola, as well as Danish blue.
The reason is that due to the manner in which they are made there is greater risk of harmful bacteria affecting you. While these cheeses are more prevalent to avoid during pregnancy, to be safe do not eat them whilst breastfeeding either.
Another excellent source of protein and you should have at least 2-3 eggs a week during this time. But we suggest avoiding raw or partly cooked eggs. Salmonella is a real issue and best to not expose yourself or your breastfeeding baby to this.
In particular, vegetables that cause gas like broccoli and beans. There is proof that these can cause a build up of gas in your milk and in turn cause baby to have a influx of gas. Both can affect baby through burping and wind.
The caffeine in coffee, some teas and other gassy drinks will end up in your breast milk and of course could have an affect on baby in terms of keeping them awake as well as that they cannot digest caffeine as well as adults can. Rather cut down or completely. The difference between a settled, sleeping baby and a real handful.
The obvious one but for some not so much. Having that little sip of your favorite wine or bubbly, every other week is pretty harmless, but when you find you are drinking more heavily then you are treading on shaky grounds. Alcohol is not good for anyone and especially babies.
Peppermint and Parsley
Yip. These are to be reduced or avoided completely. Reason being is they have natural properties that reduce or stop milk flow. And while not harmful to baby or yourself, if you want to continue breastfeeding for a while still, rather do not consume these.
If you are allergic to peanuts normally or it runs in your family, its best to not take in too much or in fact any nut. You can do a tester and see how baby reacts though. Allow for a day after consumption.