Breast milk is the best milk for a new-born baby but what about the mother’s diet? Having recently gone through the process of delivering a baby, the mother’s body needs nutritious food to regain her strength and produce enough milk for her new-born baby.
There are no foods that a new mother must completely avoid while breastfeeding since every baby is unique – what bothers one baby may not bother another. There is a general recommendation to notice any obvious changes in your baby’s behaviour on the consumption of a particular food.
Found majorly in coffee, aerated colas/ soft drinks, energy drinks, it tops our list of foods to limit. Excess caffeine consumption while breastfeeding can lower the iron and calcium levels in breast milk. Though the baby will get only a small amount of caffeine in breast milk, it can still affect his / her sleeping pattern.
Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine which has a similar effect to that of caffeine. A mother can consume small amounts of chocolate but if she sees a change in her baby’s behaviour, if the baby becomes fussy and suffers from sleep issues, she must avoid eating chocolates.
If you notice your baby becoming fussy, spitting or developing diaper rash, it may be due to the citrus fruits (in the mother’s diet) irritating the baby’s immature digestive system. In such a case, a mother may limit intake of citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and lime and replace these fruits with other vitamin C containing fruits like pineapple, papaya or mango.
Fish like tuna (Chura, Surai), Shark (Mushi, Sura), Mackerel (Bangda, Vanjiram) and any large fish, contain a high amount of mercury, that can affect the baby’s central nervous system. Best to substitute it with other variety of fish like Salmon (Rawas) or Cod (Rohu).
Drinking alcohol when breastfeeding can pass it to your baby through breast milk and affect his / her neurological development. So, moderation is the key or it’s best to avoid alcohol completely. If you plan to have alcohol, wait for about 2 hours per drink before nursing your baby again.
Did you know that garlic smell can get into your milk too? While some babies may like it, some may not. So, if you observe that your baby is unwilling to take your breast milk, check if it has anything to do with garlic.
Vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli are known to create a lot of flatulence. For a lactating mother, flatulence or ‘gas’ can create discomfort.
The prolonged effect of artificial sweeteners like sucralose, ace-K, and saccharin on the health of the baby is yet to be understood. It is best to be cautious with regards to their consumption.
For a personalised post-pregnancy diet plan, get in touch with Health Total experts. Call toll-free 1800-266-0607 to Book an Appointment for a consultation at our centres.