Key Points

17 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a crucial stage in a mother's journey, as it provides essential nutrients to her newborn, promoting their growth and development.

However, it is important for breastfeeding moms to be mindful of what they consume, as certain foods can have an impact on their baby's digestive system and overall well-being.

In this article, we will explore the top 17 foods that nursing mothers should avoid, ensuring a healthy and comfortable breastfeeding experience for both mother and child.

17 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
17 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding


📘 Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. 17 foods to avoid while breastfeeding
  3. Tips for maintaining a balanced diet while breastfeeding
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQs


17 foods to avoid while breastfeeding

  1. Spicy foods: Spicy foods can change the taste of breast milk and may cause fussiness or digestive issues in some babies.
  2. Caffeine: High amounts of caffeine can be passed to the baby through breast milk and may cause irritability and sleep disturbances.
  3. Alcohol: It is recommended to avoid alcohol while breastfeeding as it can pass into breast milk and affect the baby's development.
  4. Fish high in mercury: Fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish contain high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to the baby's nervous system.
  5. Raw or undercooked meat and eggs: These foods may contain harmful bacteria like salmonella or listeria, which can cause foodborne illnesses.
  6. Peanuts and tree nuts: If there is a family history of nut allergies, it is recommended to avoid nuts while breastfeeding to reduce the risk of allergies in the baby.
  7. Dairy products: Some babies may have an intolerance or allergy to cow's milk protein, so avoiding dairy products may help alleviate any symptoms in the baby.
  8. Citrus fruits: Some babies may be sensitive to acidic fruits like oranges, lemons, or grapefruits, which can cause diaper rash or fussiness.
  9. Chocolate: It contains small amounts of caffeine and may cause irritability or sleep disturbances in some babies.
  10. Garlic and onions: These foods can sometimes change the taste of breast milk and may cause fussiness or digestive issues in some babies.
  11. Gas-inducing vegetables: Certain vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and onions can cause gas in some babies, leading to discomfort.
  12. Highly allergenic foods: Some healthcare professionals recommend avoiding highly allergenic foods like soy, wheat, eggs, and shellfish while breastfeeding, especially if there is a family history of allergies.
  13. Artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, or sucralose may pass into breast milk and their effects on infants are not fully understood.
  14. Excessive amounts of caffeine beverages: Consuming too much coffee, tea, or energy drinks can lead to high levels of caffeine in breast milk, potentially affecting the baby's sleep and behavior.
  15. Processed foods: These types of foods often contain preservatives, additives, and excessive amounts of sodium, which may not be optimal for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
  16. Certain medications: Some medications may be passed through breast milk and could be harmful to the baby. Always consult a healthcare provider before taking any medication while breastfeeding.
  17. Allergenic foods for the mother: If the mother has specific food allergies or intolerances, it may be necessary to avoid those foods while breastfeeding to prevent any adverse reactions in the baby.

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Tips for maintaining a balanced diet while breastfeeding

Maintaining a balanced diet while breastfeeding is important to ensure optimal health and provide essential nutrients for both you and your baby.

Here are 7 tips that can help you achieve and maintain a balanced diet:

  1. Increase calorie Intake: While breastfeeding, you may need to consume an additional 300-500 calories per day to support breastfeeding. Make sure these extra calories come from nutrient-dense sources.
  2. Focus on nutrient-dense foods: Choose foods that are rich in essential nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein (poultry, fish, legumes), low-fat dairy, and healthy fats (avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil).
  3. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, mainly water, throughout the day. Breastfeeding can make you feel thirsty, and staying hydrated is essential for milk production.
  4. Consume enough calcium: Calcium is crucial for your baby's bone development. Include calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified plant-milks, and leafy greens in your diet.
  5. Include omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your baby's brain development. Include fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and trout in your diet or take a fish oil supplement. Vegetarian sources include chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
  6. Eat smaller, frequent meals: Eating smaller, frequent meals throughout the day can help maintain a steady milk supply and prevent energy crashes.
  7. Don't skip meals: Skipping meals can hinder your energy levels and milk production. Make sure to have regular, balanced meals and snacks.



It is important for breastfeeding mothers to be conscious of their food choices to provide the best nutrition to their babies.

Although there are many foods that are best to avoid during this time, it is important to note that each person is different and may react differently to certain foods.

Consulting with a healthcare professional or a lactation consultant can provide personalized guidance on what foods to avoid based on individual needs.

Ultimately, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet, focusing on whole foods, and staying hydrated will contribute to the overall health and well-being of both the mother and the breastfeeding baby.



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Frequently Asked Questions

What food will stop breast milk?

It is generally said that eating bitter gourd reduces the milk in the mother's breasts.

Which food is best for breastfeeding?

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and plenty of water are recommended for optimal breast milk production and overall health.

What foods make breastfed babies gassy?

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, onions, garlic, caffeine, and spicy or heavily seasoned foods.

What are the worst foods to eat while breastfeeding?

Highly processed foods, spicy foods, caffeine and allergenic foods containing artificial ingredients can cause discomfort or allergic reaction in the child.

What to eat while breastfeeding to increase baby weight?

Lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Additionally, it is also important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. These dietary choices help provide adequate nutrition for both mother and baby, which can ultimately aid in healthy weight gain in babies.