Many foods, such as caffeine, raw fish, and alcohol, must be avoided during pregnancy. If you choose to breastfeed your baby, you may have to continue restricting certain foods because the baby still relies on your nutrients.
Breastmilk is the most nutritious thing for babies. Formula is an amazing alternative, but breastmilk is specifically tailored to your baby. The composition of your breastmilk is regulated by your body, and studies have shown that what you eat affects the contents of your breastmilk.
You do not have to completely omit any foods from your diet, but it is important to restrict certain ones. One of the most important foods to be careful of is fish. Fish can be high in mercury, and mercury can be toxic in infants and kids. High mercury exposure can permanently affect your infant’s central nervous system, and they can have delays in cognition, fine motor skills, speech and labor development, and visual-spatial awareness.
While you’re breastfeeding, you should also limit alcohol consumption. While an occasional drink is safe, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests abstaining from alcohol during breastfeeding. If you choose to consume alcohol, the CDC recommends waiting at least two hours after your drink before you breastfeed.
Finally, you should be mindful of your caffeine intake as well. Some of the caffeine can end up in your breast milk, and babies have a hard time breaking down and getting rid of it. If a large amount of caffeine builds up in your baby’s system, your baby can be irritable and have trouble sleeping. It is recommended to consume no more than 300mg of caffeine per day.
Breastmilk is the most natural thing to feed a new baby, but studies have shown that what you eat affects your breastmilk. This means it’s important to have a healthy diet as you breastfeed, but you should also limit or avoid certain foods, including fish with high mercury content, alcohol, and caffeine.