Foods that irritate baby when breastfeeding

Breastfeeding FAQs: Your Eating and Drinking Habits (for Parents)

Breastfeeding is a natural thing to do, but it still comes with its fair share of questions. Here's what you need to know about your eating and drinking habits — and how they may affect your baby — during breastfeeding.

What Should I Eat?

As you did when you were pregnant, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and calcium-rich foods. You’ll need about 450 to 500 extra calories per day while breastfeeding. Follow the recommendations in the MyPlate food guide and you'll be well on your way to giving both you and your baby a nutritious diet.

Breastfeeding can make you thirsty, so keep a water bottle nearby so it's there when you need it.

Do I Need to Take Vitamins?

Your doctor may ask you to continue taking a prenatal vitamin or women’s supplement. 

It’s important to get enough iodine, an important mineral, while breastfeeding. To get enough:

  • Take a supplement with 150 micrograms of iodine per day.
  • Use iodized salt in your cooking.
  • Eat foods that are high in iodine, like seafood and dairy products.

If you are vegan or don't eat fish or dairy, talk to your doctor about getting checked for iodine deficiency.

Can My Baby Have a Reaction to Something I Eat?

It’s possible for your breastfed baby to have an allergic reaction or sensitivity to something you eat or drink.

Foods like beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or some dairy products can cause fussiness, gassiness, or colicky behavior in some babies. Foods like cow's milk, soy, wheat, corn, oats, eggs, nuts and peanuts, and fish or shellfish are common allergy-causing foods.

If you think your baby had a reaction to a food, call your doctor and avoid eating or drinking anything your little one can't seem to tolerate. Keep a journal of exactly what you eat and drink, along with any reactions your baby had. This can help both you and your doctor pinpoint what the problem food, or foods, might be.

Although such a reaction is extremely rare, if your child has trouble breathing or has swelling of the face, call 911 right away.

Is Alcohol Still a "No-No"?

Drinking in moderation — one or two drinks within a 24-hour period — is fine, as long as you wait to feed your baby.

When you drink alcohol, a small amount gets into your breast milk. The amount of alcohol in breast milk depends on the amount of alcohol in the blood. It takes about 2 hours after having one drink for the alcohol to no longer be a concern for your baby. So do not give your baby fresh breast milk for at least 2 hours if you've had one drink, 4 hours if you've had two drinks, and so on.

If you plan to drink more than a few, do so after breastfeeding's been established for about a month and then "pump and dump." This is when you pump your milk and throw it away.

But drinking to excess when you're nursing is not a good idea. Even if you "pump and dump," there are other risks to your baby. Drinking too much changes your ability to be alert and think clearly. It affects how you care for your baby and may prevent you from responding to your baby's needs. It's also a risk factor for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Should I Still Avoid Some Types of Fish?

As during pregnancy, nursing moms should avoid or limit eating fish that is high in mercury. High mercury levels can damage a baby’s developing nervous system.

Can I Have Caffeine?

As with alcohol, it's best to limit caffeine while breastfeeding. One or two cups of coffee a day are fine, but more than one or two servings per day may affect your baby's mood and/or sleep.

Reviewed by: Jamila H. Richardson, BSN, RN, IBCLC

Date reviewed: January 2021

Foods to Eat or Avoid When Breastfeeding

Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on June 26, 2022

It’s a good source of protein. Some, like salmon and tuna, also give you omega-3s, which your body needs. But what about mercury and other contaminants? You can have cooked seafood twice per week. Each serving can be up to 6 ounces, which is the size of two decks of cards. Choose types that are lower in mercury, such as salmon, tilapia, and trout. Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, which have high levels of mercury.

Love hot sauce? Most babies can handle it and other fiery foods in your diet. But if your little one is gassy or colicky and gets diarrhea every time you sprinkle red pepper flakes over your pizza, cut back on the heat for a few weeks to see if that helps.  

They’re full of flavor. But some herbs may affect how much milk your body makes. For instance, eating a lot of  parsley could curb lactation. And too much sage and peppermint may cut your milk supply. For some nursing moms, even peppermint-flavored toothpaste and candies are a problem.

It’s rarely a problem. But see how your baby does. Tell your pediatrician if your tot gets skin problems, has trouble breathing after breastfeeding, or has other symptoms.

As refreshing as your cup of chai or Earl Grey may be, it has some downsides. It’s got caffeine, which can affect your sleep – and your baby’s. It may also make it harder for your body to absorb iron, which you need for energy. If you drink hot or iced tea, try not to sip it when you eat foods that are rich in iron, such as lean meat; dark, leafy greens; and fortified breakfast cereals.

What if you aren’t allergic, and you want to prevent your baby from developing an allergy? Sorry, but there’s no proof that you can do that by skipping specific foods. Cutting certain foods out of your diet may make the skin condition eczema less likely for your little one. Ask your doctor or pediatrician for advice.

Breastfeeding can make you thirstier than you usually are. If that’s the case, drink a glass of water every time you breastfeed. But no matter how parched you feel, don’t go for regular sodas or fruit drinks, which give you calories without nutrition.

It's best for your baby if you don't have any booze at all. But if you do choose to drink, don’t breastfeed until the alcohol has completely cleared your milk. For 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor, wait at least 3 hours. Pumping doesn’t speed that up.

Common culprits include beans, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Bloating, burping, and passing gas are normal. But if your baby is gassy or has colic, avoid these foods for a few weeks to see whether they relieve the symptoms.

Both have caffeine. You’ll also find it in energy drinks and cola. If you’re lost without your latte, limit yourself to 2-3 cups per day of the brewed kind. Or you could switch to decaf. 


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Mayo Clinic.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

La Leche League.

The American Academy of Pediatrics.

U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Nutrition rules for breastfeeding.

Table of contents

  • What should be kept in mind during breastfeeding?
  • What is contraindicated for women during breastfeeding?
  • What foods should be avoided during breastfeeding?
  • Featured Products


Please note that all information posted on the site Prowellness is provided for informational purposes only and is not a personal program, a direct recommendation for action, or medical advice. Do not use these materials for diagnosis, treatment, or any medical procedure. Consult your physician before using any technique or using any product. This site is not a specialized medical portal and does not replace the professional advice of a specialist. The Site Owner is not liable to any party who has suffered indirect or direct damage as a result of misuse of materials posted on this resource. nine0003

Rules for breastfeeding.

During breastfeeding, the mother is responsible not only for herself, but also for the child, because her diet significantly affects the quality of milk. Taking into account the condition of the mother, recommendations are made about her nutrition during the breastfeeding period.

What do you need to remember about breastfeeding?

Many young mothers forget about the obvious things:

  1. Pregnancy and childbirth is a very serious test for the body. After them, the body needs restoration and replenishment of the necessary substances. nine0015 You cannot diet while breastfeeding and limit yourself to food.
  2. Foods that a mother eats should ensure the health of her and her baby, so it is important to focus on their quality.
  3. After childbirth, many women suffer from gastrointestinal dysfunction, so the food that enters the mother's body should be easily digested.

For young mothers, we recommend the Siberian Wellness complex - MAMA Box . nine0003

What is contraindicated for women during breastfeeding?

First of all, a woman on breastfeeding is contraindicated for harmful food addictions and habits:

  1. Drinking alcoholic beverages. The decay products of alcoholic beverages enter the mother's milk, poisoning the child's body and loading his liver. They are slowly excreted from the body of the baby, can cause severe intoxication.
  2. Smoking. Nicotine almost immediately penetrates into mother's milk, has a toxic effect on the child. nine0006
  3. Poor hygiene. If a nursing mother neglects the basic rules of hygiene, then sweat creates a comfortable environment for the development of pathogenic bacteria. A breastfeeding baby may develop sores, stomatitis, and other disorders in the mouth. This will make it difficult for him to feed.
  4. Deodorants, perfumes, other strong-smelling substances. Their intense smell can provoke the baby to refuse the breast.
  5. Stress, anxiety, increased nervousness. Any nervous shocks lead a nursing woman to the fact that her lactation worsens. Being in a situation of constant nervous stress leads to the fact that the mother’s milk completely disappears. nine0006

What foods should be avoided during breastfeeding?

List of prohibited products for HB:

  1. Carbonated soft drinks. Sugar, sweeteners, dyes and a large amount of carbon dioxide will cause colic and diathesis in the baby.
  2. Fatty meat, any kind of fat. Such food is considered heavy due to the large amount of fatty acids. It will be very difficult for a child to digest it, stomach upsets are possible in the first months of life. nine0006
  3. Smoked meat, fish, sausage. For smoking, smoke and many harmful substances are used that will not benefit the baby.
  4. Fried foods. Under the influence of high temperatures during frying in oil, carcinogens are produced. Also in such products most of the nutrients are destroyed. It is worth giving preference to steaming or boiling.
  5. Fast food. It contains a lot of carbohydrates, fats, artificial additives and flavors. nine0006
  6. Mushrooms. This is a very heavy food, especially for a child. Doctors advise not to introduce mushrooms into the baby's diet until the age of 5.
  7. Citrus. They can provoke severe allergies in the crumbs.
  8. Seafood. Seafood is very useful, but causes allergies, so at first it is better to refuse them.
  9. Red vegetables and fruits. They can provoke dry skin, itching, peeling in the baby.
  10. Condiments, including onions and garlic. They can cause allergies. The baby will most likely refuse milk, as it will smell specific. nine0006

    Especially for the smallest Siberian Wellness has developed a line of care cosmetics Vitamama BABY. Gentle hypoallergenic baby soap-foam based on chamomile and pine water gently cleanses your baby's skin, keeping it soft and moisturized. Chamomile and lavender oils prevent dryness and irritation of the skin.

    And the Baby cream based on chamomile water with panthenol, developed in the same series, gently moisturizes your baby's skin. Essential oil of blue chamomile relieves irritation, alleviates the condition with urticaria, diathesis and insect bites, and arnica flower extract helps to resolve bruises and heal scratches nine0003

    Attention! Chocolate is an allergenic product, you will also have to forget about it for the period of breastfeeding.

    Mothers who feed their baby with breast milk need to be careful when choosing products, carefully monitor the condition of the child, and adjust the diet in time.


    Please note that all information posted on the site Prowellness is provided for informational purposes only and is not a personal program, a direct recommendation for action, or medical advice. Do not use these materials for diagnosis, treatment, or any medical procedure. Consult your physician before using any technique or using any product. This site is not a specialized medical portal and does not replace the professional advice of a specialist. The Site Owner is not liable to any party who has suffered indirect or direct damage as a result of misuse of materials posted on this resource. nine0003

    Expert: Ekaterina Podvalenchuk Expert in the field of proper nutrition and health

    Reviewer: Ekaterina Vorobieva Adept of a healthy and active lifestyle

    List of products for breastfeeding: products allowed for breastfeeding

    09/23/2019 nine0111 267247


    • Why breastfeeding is good
    • Why good nutrition is important when breastfeeding
    • What determines the quality of mother's milk
    • What not to eat during lactation
    • Products recommended for consumption
    • Breastfeeding Rules Webinar with Breastfeeding Specialist

    Every mother wants her baby to grow up healthy. This is why breastfeeding is so important from the moment the baby is born. Mother's milk contains all the useful substances, vitamins and trace elements necessary for a newborn. During breastfeeding, it is very important that the mother's diet is rational, varied and balanced.


    Why breastfeeding is good

    To begin with, it is worth noting all the benefits that breastfeeding gives a newborn. The matter is in the composition and other features of mother's milk:

    • It always has the optimum temperature.
    • It contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and trace elements.
    • It is able to adapt to the needs of the child, changing the composition and nutritional value over time, as E. Komarovsky writes about this in "The Beginning of Your Child's Life". nine0006

    As a result, the child receives a product that is right for him. Of course, it is worth talking about safety only when the mother adheres to the appropriate diet. It should be remembered that food molecules eaten by a woman with breast milk enter the baby's body.

    This is important!

    If we talk about the benefits of breastfeeding for the woman herself, then it is worth referring to the study of the joint group study on hormonal factors in the development of breast cancer, conducted in 2002. It showed that breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing cancer of the reproductive system. So this is an excellent prevention of cancer, which can be triggered by hormonal surges in the body of a woman who has given birth. nine0003

    Why good nutrition is important when breastfeeding

    As mentioned above, everything that a mother eats enters the body of a child with breast milk. This brings great benefits for the health, full growth and development of the baby and the prevention of allergic diseases in the future. However, it can also harm him, cause digestive problems and an allergic reaction, because the gastrointestinal tract of the newborn is still being formed. Proper nutrition is a guarantee that the child will receive only useful things from the mother, which will help him fully grow and develop to the delight of his parents. Dr. Komarovsky recommends excluding from the mother's diet what was not in the diet of her great-grandmother. nine0088

    What determines the quantity and quality of mother's milk

    For obvious reasons, a young mother cannot help being nervous, but it is in her power to build her own daily routine. It is recommended to devote more time to rest: the more time a woman allows herself to sleep and refuse to perform heavy household chores, the better she feels. And her good health is the key to the health of the baby, who will receive all the necessary substances from the breast milk of a calm and well-rested mother. So, you can safely connect your husband to household duties (yes, he works, but motherhood is also hard work, which, by the way, is still not paid), relatives, friends or hired nannies and cleaners. A woman cannot feed properly if she does not have the opportunity to get enough sleep and do other things (we are not talking about cleaning and cooking, but about hobbies and cultural activities). nine0088

    What not to eat during lactation

    Consider separately breastfeeding products that need to be limited or excluded. These include:
    • unheated products of animal origin - raw and undercooked meat (shish kebab, etc.), fish, sushi, unpasteurized milk, raw eggs
    • any alcoholic beverages
    • concentrated broths, preserves, pickles, marinades, sausages, hot spices and condiments
    • strong tea and coffee (safe amount of caffeine up to 200 mg per day, a cup of coffee can contain 60-150 mg of caffeine, and tea - 30-60 mg)

    Why are they dangerous? Everyone knows about the dangers of alcohol: it causes irreparable damage to health and destroys the organs of even an adult, and even more so a small child. Coffee and strong brewed tea contain caffeine, which, on the contrary, penetrates well into breast milk and has a stimulating effect on the nervous system of the baby. nine0088

    This is important!

    Semi-finished products and carbonated drinks are harmful due to the high content of dyes, preservatives, salt and sugar. These foods can cause bloating and colic in the baby.

    Products recommended for consumption

    Allowed breastfeeding foods are vegetables, fruits (with caution tropical), cereals, lean meat, low-fat soups, cheese, boiled and baked fish. What is their use? nine0003

    • Vegetables. In the first weeks, it is recommended to eat raw vegetables with caution, it is better if they are boiled or stewed. Even heat-treated, they are a source of vitamins and have a beneficial effect on the intestines.
    • Porridges are very satisfying and healthy, because a nursing mother needs a lot of energy! They contain slow carbohydrates, the necessary protein, vitamins and a whole range of minerals and trace elements. nine0006
    • Lean meat is boiled or baked beef, veal, rabbit. Meat as a source of protein helps the body cope with stress, provides energy. A mother who is breastfeeding must definitely consume 100 g of meat per day.
    • Low-fat soups. In the first months of a baby's life, it is recommended to cook vegetable soups with beef or lean pork broth. They must be present in the diet of a nursing mother due to the presence of proteins, iron, amino acids and trace elements in them. nine0006
    • Cheese. This product contains calcium which is essential for both mother and growing baby.
    • Boiled and baked fish. Its benefit is that it is rich in protein and omega-3, -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The fish also contains phosphorus and iodine, B vitamins, necessary for a nursing mother.
    • Milk, milk and dairy products - a source of protein, calcium, pre- and probiotics.

    Proper nutrition of a nursing mother is very important so that the baby receives as much of the necessary substances from mother's milk as possible.

    Learn more