You’ve heard of food for thought right?
Well, how much thought have you put into food for breastfeeding and the affects it may be having on you, your milk supply and your baby’s digestive health?
Keeping an eye on the food you eat while breastfeeding is a good idea and learning what foods are best to consume during this time is crucial.
Likewise, there are also foods you should avoid while breastfeeding and we’ll go over those as well.
Enough said, let’s begin!
A quick look at what’s in this post (from top to bottom):
- What foods to avoid and how.
- Free eBook with all of my top milk boosting tips.
- Free dairy-free breastfeeding meal plan and food list.
- How to know if your baby has a dairy intolerance or allergy.
- Caffeine and Breastfeeding
- Foods and supplements that will increase your milk supply.
Why Food for Breastfeeding Matters
Why does the food a breastfeeding mom eats matter so much?
Does her breastfeeding diet really have that great of an impact on her milk supply and baby’s digestion?
I was a little naive myself when I began breastfeeding my first baby. After all, before you become a mom, breastfeeding isn’t really in the fore front of your mind.
It’s not until you are introduced to something new that you start to realize just how much you don’t know.
Food That Can Affect Your Breast Milk and Baby
Let’s first identify some types of foods and how they can affect your breast milk. I chose from a small list of common foods and food groups that tend to have the most impact on a breastfed baby.
As you read through, you will get a better understanding of how the food a breastfeeding mom eats can affect her baby and what can be done about it.
- Trans Fats
Breastfeeding Food: Trans Fats
Mother’s who consume high amounts of trans fats may be passing those fats along to their babies through breast milk.
A study found that mother’s who consumed a large amount of these fats doubled the chance of their infant having high levels on body fat. (source)
How do I avoid trans fats in my diet?
It’s easiest to identify trans fats by assuming most processed foods contain them.
Like chips, crackers cookies, frozen pizza and everything else that is “bad” for us and tasted amazing.
Probably everything you are craving right now with that ferocious breastfeeding appetite.
If you are worried about how to go about choosing the best foods to eat while breastfeeding, you can always sign up for a healthy meal delivery service like Hello Fresh.
How Dairy Affects Breastfeeding
Dairy products are usually the culprit when it comes to the reason for a baby’s digestive upsets, such as colic and allergies.
Most pediatricians will recommend for a dairy free breastfeeding diet as the first line of action to determine the cause of an irritable baby.
However, be aware that even after removing dairy from your diet, cow’s milk proteins can persist in a mom’s body for up two weeks after they have been eliminated.
Therefore, make sure you give your diet change at least 2-3 weeks before making the call.
A baby with a dairy sensitivity most likely is not lactose intolerant, but is instead disagreeing with the proteins found in cow’s milk. Therefore, switching to a lactose-free dairy milk may not solve a dairy sensitivity.
Dairy Free Food for Breastfeeding
The whole time I was breastfeeding I was dairy free. It was a hard transition at first, but it quickly became the norm and I actually felt a lot better too!
If you’r ready to give up dairy for your baby, here are some helpful breastfeeding and dairy free resources:
- Dairy free breastfeeding meal plans and food swaps
- Meal plan printable, diary-free food list
- Dairy-free food shopping list (printable)
- How to cook dairy-free and healthy meals
What symptoms will my baby display if they have a dairy sensitivity or allergy?
- Stuffy, Itchy or Runny Nose
If you are interested in supplementing with non-dairy formula, you can find everything you need to know about doing so here!
An Abundant Milk Supply is Within Your Reach
Would you and your baby benefit from a stress-free breastfeeding relationship and an abundant milk supply?
Do you know how many women come to me everyday looking for solutions to their breastfeeding and milk supply struggles?
Honestly, it’s ALOT and I want to help every single one of you!
Which is why I recommend the best breastfeeding and breast pumping resources, like The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class.
P.S. If you enroll in this course through my link today, get my pumping and milk supply course for free!
Just send me an email I’ll send you the second course to your inbox for free!
Caffeine and Breastfeeding
New moms need their caffeine – this is a fact.
However, caffeine can have a negative affect on a breastfed baby.
Even though a very small amount of the caffeine a mom consumes is actually transferred to baby through her breast milk, a baby cannot easily process even tiny amounts of caffeine. (source)
Which is why it is best to avoid large amounts of caffeine while breastfeeding. Try and limit yourself to one cup of a coffee per day.
Remember, there is also caffeine in some not so obvious sources, like chocolate, tea and soda.
How will caffeine affect my milk supply?
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it will cause you to urinate more frequently.
There is some scientific research that has determined caffeine may not, like once thought, be dehydrating.
However, I am going to lean on the side of caution and suggest that if you are working hard to increase your milk supply, avoid caffeine and breastfeeding just incase.
I myself, and many other breastfeeding moms have noticed that their breast milk supply does seem to decrease in conjunction with caffeine consumption.
I say go with your intuition and drink lots of water instead!
Herbs and Spices
It is not a known fact that herbs and spices directly cause adverse side effects to breast milk.
The more likely affect they will have on your breast milk is the addition of added flavor. Whether this breast milk flavoring is favored by your baby will be fun to explore!
Please note that herbal supplements are not in question here as they are in a much more concentrated form.
Always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements or medications while breastfeeding.
Are there any herbs I can take that will increase my milk supply?
There are some herbs that do claim to help increase milk supply, and here is a list of the top herbs and plants recommended most.
7 beneficial herbs and plants that may help increase milk supply:
- Milk Thistle
- Red Raspberry Leaf
- Goats Rue
Herbs to avoid while breastfeeding, that may hurt your milk supply
Above, we looked at some herbs that could be beneficial in helping to induce a more abundant milk supply.
Now lets point out some herbs you should avoid as they may have the opposite affect and actually decrease your milk supply.
Breastfeeding Food to Increase Milk Supply
Along with eating the right foods to promote a healthy and abundant milk supply. First, I want to touch on these other tips I have on how to increase milk supply.
4 Quick Tips to increase milk supply:
- Use a powerful pump that is designed to pull out the most milk possible – The pump I recommend.
- Frequently check the condition of your pumping parts and change when needed – How often to change pump parts.
- Use proper size breastshields to ensure maximum suction – Best fitting breastshields for all stages of pumping.
- Pump more often throughout the day – Here’s a system that allows you to pump anywhere at anytime!
11 Foods for Breastfeeding that Increase Milk Supply
- Bone Broth
- Brewer’s Yeast
These 11 foods always worked for me when I needed a milk producing pick-me-up. See how I recommend using them in your every day breastfeeding diet.
Breastfeeding Food That Causes Gas
Ah, citrus, my favorite scent and taste of all time! Just give me some sweet smelling citrus fruit and I am content.
But wait, is eating citrus allowed while you are breastfeeding?
Some say it’s ok and others – not so much.
Citrus foods are high in acidity which can cause some problems for an immature digestive system that most babies have the first few months of their life.
Your baby me be having some issues with the citrus you are eating if these symptoms start making an appearance.
Digestive upsets caused by citrus
- An upset stomach with gas and spitting up.
- A diaper rash can erupt from the acidic nature of her urine and bowel movements.
If you feel like your baby may be having a negative reaction to the glorious cup of freshly-squeezed o.j. you’ve been enjoying every morning, (because what new mom doesn’t have time make that, right?) then, try avoiding all citrus for a couple of weeks and note any changes.
There was a lot of information laid out in this post about what affect food for breastfeeding can positively and negatively have on your baby and milk supply.
I hope you found it all helpful and well-guided.
I like to end a long read like this with a final recap of highlighted topics to really cement the information into your mind.
However, if you have mom brain like me, you can always save this as a pin on Pinterest and refer back to it later.
Breastfeeding Food That May Affect Your Baby:
- Trans Fats
- Herbs Citrus
Herbs that may increase your milk supply:
- Milk Thistle
- Red Raspberry Leaf
- Goats Rue
Foods to avoid that may hurt your milk supply:
How to Have Milk Supply Success
Need help with your milk supply and breast pumping confidence?
Having a back-up breastfeeding plan is always a smart move!
Pumping Breast milk is not an innate skill – it must be learned.
Get a huge head start and allow this online course to painlessly guide you toward a better breast pumping experience!
You will be much more likely to succeed and without all of the pain and frustration too many moms before this resource was available had to endure!
P.S. Don’t forget to let me know if you enroll in a course via my link so I can send you my pumping and milk supply course for free!
Pin for later and share!