What Foods To Avoid When Breastfeeding
Many mothers who breastfeed often will often wonder what foods to avoid when breastfeeding to ensure that the breast milk they give to their child is the most nutritious that it can be.
What Not To Eat While Breastfeed
Unfortunately, in our society, many mothers are often criticised by the public when it comes to what they put into their bodies. A lot of mothers are judged or feel judged, by people around them based on what they eat and drink, so while it is important to know what foods to avoid when breastfeeding, it is also equally important to understand that mothers are free to make their own decisions about their bodies.
Caffeine – Caffeine can be passed to the child through breast milk. Children are more affected by caffeine than adults so large amounts of caffeine should be avoided. However small amounts of caffeine might be fine.
Alcohol – Alcohol is also able to pass through breast milk and is best to be avoided when breastfeeding. While technically, it is possible for alcohol to pass through your system if you only drink very small amounts, the safest option is to avoid alcohol completely.
Junk food – Junk food that is high in saturated fats, sugars, salts, and low in nutrients does not offer any real nutritional value for a mother or their child. This food is best kept to a minimum, but the occasional treat should be fine.
Smoking - Smoking is not advised while breastfeeding. However, if you are a smoker, be mindful to never smoke near your child, and try to protect your hair and clothes from smoke, since the smoke can linger and may affect your child when breastfeeding.
What To Eat When Breastfeeding
Since we have discussed what foods to avoid when breastfeeding, we would also discuss what to eat when breastfeeding, according to the Better Health Channel and Raising Children. According to these groups you need to be eating food that ensures you will be receiving an appropriate amount of the following.
Calcium – Calcium is crucial to support strong bone growth for a child. Eating foods with high calcium will ensure that both you and your child are receiving enough to keep both of you healthy.
Iodine – Iodine is needed to support the healthy development of your child’s brain and nervous system. If a breastfeeding mother is Iodine deficient, it may risk the development of the baby.
Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is another important nutrient that is needed to support the nervous system of your child.
If you think you may be deficient in any of these or would like to ensure your diet is providing you with enough of these you should consult practising and registered dietitian.
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