Your Diet and Your Breast Milk
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Even after you've given birth, you still have to watch what you eat if you're breastfeeding. Check out our video to know how diet impacts breast milk.
Transcript: Like most nursing moms, you probably worry that something you eat or drink will pass into your breast...
Like most nursing moms, you probably worry that something you eat or drink will pass into your breast milk and affect your baby. Here's what you need to know about how things you consume affect your breast milk. While it's true that what goes into your body usually does make its way into your milk supply, the amount is generally a tiny fraction of what you ingest. Gas and fussiness in your baby are the most common signs that something you ate has made its way into your breast milk. Common cultprits include: cabbage, onion, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, eggs, wheat, corn, fish, peanuts, nuts, and soy. Chocolate and citrus fruits, as well as cows' milk products like milk, cheese, yogurt, and even butter can also be common culprits. Keep in mind that diarrhea and a skin rash could signal an allergy. If you notice these symptoms in your baby, try eliminating the food or foods you suspect might be the culprit to see if doing so helps. Talk to your doctor, however, before making any MAJOR changes to your diet. What about a glass of wine with dinner? Although alcohol passes through your milk, the amount your baby gets is MUCH less than the amount you drink. Studies have shown that alcohol levels in breast milk peak about 30 to 90 minutes after one drink. So while it's probably fine to have one or two glasses of beer or wine a week, wait until the last feeding of the day (just after you nurse rather than just before) to allow a couple of hours per drink for the alcohol to metabolize And that morning cup of java? Your baby may be more irritable and feed more frequently if you ingest A LOT of caffeine. One or two cups of coffee a day won't harm your baby, but try to limit caffeine intake while you're breastfeeding, because babies can't efficiently rid their bodies of caffeine, so it can build up in their systems. Too much caffeine can also cause sleep problems and nervousness. Try drinking decaffeinated coffee and tea, and avoid colas and other carbonated drinks that have added caffeine. And remember, caffeine can be found in chocolate, soft drinks, and some herbal teas and medications, in addition to coffee and tea. And no cigarettes Mom! Nicotine ingested by smoking tobacco can get into breast milk. Heavy smoking (more than a pack a day) has been known to decrease milk production and to cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, and restlessness in babies. Stop smoking, for your sake and your baby's. But if you just can't quit while you're nursing, try cutting back on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day, and don't smoke just before breastfeeding or around your baby, especially indoors. Eat good food, be stringent with drinking alcohol and coffee, don't smoke cigarettes, and take good care of yourself, Mom, and you'll help keep baby happy too!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-09 | Tags »
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