Click above to watch my VLOG – 5 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding. Or, feel free to read the transcript below instead!
Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Welcome back to our vlog where our topic this week is 5 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding. And if you tuned in last week we talked about important foods to add in. Just like our diets in general, it’s just as important what you’re not eating as what you are eating.
These choices can have a significant impact on your energy, your health and in this case on your ability to produce healthy milk for your little one. We know that the quality of your breast milk can also have an influence on little baby’s behavior, their level of colic and their digestion.
I want to talk about five foods that you definitely want to try to avoid as much as possible when you are going through this really critical, beautiful, connecting, bonding stage with your baby.
# 1 Food to Avoid while Breastfeeding: Dairy
The first is dairy and I definitely recommend mama avoiding dairy when she is breastfeeding. I want to cite a study here from the Pediatrics Journal, which says that breastfed babies are sensitive to the proteins in cow’s milk and more likely to develop baby colic and eczema than when mothers are dairy free.
We talk about the fact that cow’s milk is not really made for humans and it’s very difficult to digest. It’s technically the food for baby cows, not baby humans and not mama humans either.
Human milk has more cysteine which is a sulfur containing amino acid that’s critical for protein assimilation in infants. So as much as possible, we want to stay off the dairy and we want our little ones to be off it as well.
#2 Food to Avoid while Breastfeeding: Garlic
Next food is garlic. If you’re a garlic lover, now’s a great time to just try alternatives instead. There is studies that show that garlic can be irritating to babies and contribute to colic as early as two hours after feeding.
I personally gave up garlic a few years ago. It’s considered very rajasic, very active in Ayurveda, and can be overstimulating and very irritating. There’s already a lot of stress with sleeping a lot less, so for your moods and your wellbeing it’s helpful to reduce that Pitta, that fiery energy.
Try giving up garlic at least in this time period. And also for baby’s developing system, research has shown that it can be very irritating as well. Very interesting.
#3 Food to Avoid: Certain Herbs (Anti Galactagogues)
Third is anti-galactagogues, which are fenugreek, fennel and cumin. These are great for breast milk production, but there’s foods that are not great for breast milk production even though they could be otherwise healthy foods. And these include parsley, peppermint, sage and oregano.
Avoid cooking with these foods for this period. A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that clinicians should discourage consuming these herbs because of their negative effects on breast milk.
Switch over to other herbs as you do naturally in your cycle seasonally and with what’s going on with different dishes. Again, the ones to avoid are parsley, peppermint, sage and oregano.
#4 Food to Avoid while Breastfeeding: Caffeine
Next to avoid is caffeine. A 2018 study linked mother’s consumption of caffeine, mainly coffee, with increased infant colic as well as exacerbation of infant eczema. I’m not saying you have to cut it out completely if you are a caffeine drinker or coffee drinker, especially because I know how hard it is with sleep during this period.
However, be aware, try to get your naps in, try to rest and recharge. And when you really want to have that cup of coffee, have it and enjoy it, but don’t mindlessly drink caffeine all day long.
#5 Food to Avoid while Breastfeeding: Processed Foods
The fifth food to avoid is processed foods. Everything that we’re eating right now is being passed through in some way to some degree through the breast milk. We don’t want to give our babies a lot of the additives and preservatives, the toxins that are in processed foods.
Now is a really important time to eat clean, whole foods as much as possible. If you’re going to cook really simple foods at home, it’s a beautiful time to do so.
And then just remember you’re not going to eat perfectly all the time and that’s okay. You don’t have to be 100% perfect. Try not to be overly stressed and incorporate more of the foods that we talked about in our last vlog, whenever you can.
Be sure to rest and drink lots of water. These are also great for breast milk production and keeping baby calm to reduce colic as much as possible and to have a really beautiful time bonding right now.
I am here for you always. Please keep the questions coming. We’ll be covering a lot more fertility and pregnancy information over the next few months as we release our plant-based fertility and pregnancy course.
And I’m super pregnant right now (in my third trimester) so this topic is obviously top of mind for me. I send you lots and lots of love and support and strength and I will see you back here next week for our next vlog.