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Mother's diet is a very important factor that changes the composition of breast milk. Therefore, during breastfeeding, it is recommended to be careful with the diet, especially to avoid that some substances are passed to the baby through the milk or that the milk taste is altered, making the breastfeeding process difficult.
Some examples of foods that should be avoided are foods with a strong flavor, such as garlic or asparagus, as well as foods that contain caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee or black tea. In addition, the consumption of teas should also be done with care, as several plants can cause side effects in the mother and baby. Check out the safe teas during breastfeeding and which ones to avoid.
Some studies also indicate that the appearance of colic in the baby can sometimes be related to the mother's diet, especially due to the consumption of foods such as milk and dairy products, peanuts and shrimp, which can produce substances that are released into breast milk and end up irritating the baby's intestines, causing colic. Understand how the mother's diet should be to avoid colic in the baby.
Foods that should be avoided while breastfeeding are:
Alcohol passes quickly into breast milk, so after 30 to 60 minutes, the milk has the same amount of alcohol as the body.
The presence of alcohol in breast milk can affect the baby's nervous system causing drowsiness and irritability, compromise their neurological and psychomotor development and even cause delay or difficulty in learning to speak and walk.In addition, the baby's body does not eliminate alcohol as easily from the body as it does in adults, which can cause liver poisoning.
Alcoholic beverages can also decrease breast milk production and reduce the absorption of nutrients in the mother's gut that are necessary for the baby's growth and development. Therefore, alcohol consumption should be avoided as much as possible while breastfeeding.
If the woman wants to drink alcohol, it is recommended to express the milk beforehand and store it to give to the baby. However, if you don't do this, and drink small amounts of alcohol, such as 1 glass of beer or 1 glass of wine, for example, you should wait around 2 to 3 hours to breastfeed again.
Foods rich in caffeine, such as coffee, cola, energy drinks, green tea, mate tea and black tea should be avoided or consumed in small amounts during breastfeeding, because the baby cannot digest caffeine as quickly as possible. as well as adults, and too much caffeine in a baby's body can cause difficulty sleeping and irritation.
When the woman ingests large amounts of caffeine, which corresponds to more than 2 cups of coffee a day, the iron levels in the milk can decrease and thus decrease the baby's hemoglobin levels, which can cause anemia.
The recommendation is to drink a maximum of two cups of coffee a day, which is equivalent to 200 mg of caffeine, or you can also opt for decaffeinated coffee.
Chocolate is rich in theobromine which has an effect similar to that of caffeine and some studies show that 113 g of chocolate has approximately 240 mg of theobromine and can be detected in breast milk 2 and a half hours after its ingestion, being able to cause irritation to the baby and difficulty sleeping. Therefore, one should avoid eating large amounts of chocolate or eating it every day. However, you can consume a square of 28 g of chocolate, which corresponds to approximately 6 mg of theobromine, and does not cause problems for the baby.
4. Intense Flavored Foods
Foods with a strong flavor, such as garlic, asparagus or onions, or stronger spices can change the taste and smell of breast milk, especially when consumed daily or in large quantities. This can cause the baby to reject breast milk, making the breastfeeding process difficult.
5. Processed foods
Processed foods are generally high in calories but low in nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals, which can impair the production and quality of breast milk. Therefore, it is recommended to limit your intake as much as possible and give preference to fresh and natural foods, making a balanced diet to provide all the nutrients necessary for the woman's he alth and the production of quality milk for the baby.
These foods include sausages, chips and snacks, fruit in syrup or candied, crackers and filled cookies, soft drinks, pizzas, lasagnas and hamburgers, for example.
6. Raw foods
Raw foods such as raw fish used in Japanese cuisine, oysters or unpasteurized milk, for example, are a potential source of food poisoning, which can cause gastrointestinal infection for women with symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting, for example.
Although it does not cause any problems for the baby, food poisoning can cause dehydration in the woman, impairing milk production. Therefore, you should avoid raw foods or consume them only in trusted restaurants.
7. Some types of tea
Some types of tea can affect milk production or cause side effects in the baby, such as lemon balm, oregano, parsley, peppermint, ginseng, kava-kava or star anise, for example. So they should be avoided whenever possible or consumed only under the guidance of a doctor.
Check out a list of teas that should be avoided when breastfeeding and others that are considered safe.
8. Foods that cause allergies
Some women may be allergic to certain foods and the baby may also develop an allergy to foods that the mother eats while breastfeeding.
It is important that the woman is attentive especially when consuming any of the following foods:
- Milk and dairy products;
- Wheat flour;
- Dried fruits, peanuts and chestnuts;
- Corn and corn syrup, the latter being often found as an ingredient in industrialized products, and can be identified on the label.
These foods tend to cause more allergies and can cause symptoms in the baby such as redness of the skin, itching, eczema, constipation or diarrhea, so it is important to observe what was consumed 6 to 8 hours before breastfeeding the baby and the presence of symptoms.
If you suspect that any of these foods is causing an allergy, you should eliminate it from the diet and take the baby to the pediatrician for evaluation, as there are several reasons that can cause a baby's skin allergy in addition to foods.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that, when consumed, is quickly decomposed in the woman's body, forming phenylalanine, a type of amino acid, which can pass into breast milk, and therefore, its consumption should be avoided, especially in cases in which the baby has a condition called phenylketonuria, which can be detected shortly after birth through the heel prick test. Find out what phenylketonuria is and how to treat it.
The best way to replace sugar is to use a natural sweetener from a plant called stevia, and its consumption is allowed at all stages of life.
What to eat
To get all the nutrients the body needs while breastfeeding, it is important to eat a balanced diet that contains proteins such as lean meat, skinless chicken, fish, seeds and pulses, carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread, rice and boiled potatoes, and good fats like extra virgin olive oil.
See all foods that can be consumed while breastfeeding, with a suggested menu.