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16 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

You just spent the last nine months worrying about what you were eating and drinking because of your baby’s development—and now that you’re nursing, you should be on the watch out for some possible reactions.

It is very important that moms maintain regular meals when breastfeeding to gain essential nutrients and also to increase breast milk levels, and while not all babies react to the same foods, here are 16 foods that might cause problems.

Always watch your baby for reactions whenever you eat something that could be questionable, and check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

1. Coffee

When you drink coffee (or soda or tea), some of thecaffeine ends up in your breast milk. Because babies aren’t able to excrete caffeine as quickly or efficiently as adults, too much in their systems may lead to irritation, crankiness, and sleeplessness. The solution? Cut back on coffee. As tired as you are, a fussy baby who won’t sleep just

2. Chocolate

Proceed with caution if chocolate is your sweet indulgence of choice. Just like coffee and soda, chocolate contains caffeine. (Though not as much—a 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate contains between 5 and 35 mg of caffeine; a cup of coffee generally contains up to 135 mg of caffeine). If you suspect chocolate is the culprit behind your

3. Citrus Fruits

Certain compounds found in citrus fruits and juices may irritate a still-immature GI tract, leading to fussiness, spitting up, and even diaper rash in some babies. If cutting down on citrus seems like a good idea for Baby’s sake, compensate by adding other vitamin C-rich foods to the menu, including papaya and mango.

4. Broccoli

Lactation consultants may tell you that it’s just an old wives’ tale that eating broccoli, cauliflower, and other “gassy vegetables” leads to irritable, gassy babies. But ask any nursing mom about broccoli’s ability to create misery in breastfed infants and you will probably hear a very different tale. Is your broccoli-loaded lunchtime salad the culprit? Possibly!

5. Alcohol

It’s not the occasional glass of wine with dinner that you need to worry about. One drink or less per day likely poses little risk for babies, experts agree. But if your drinking habits fall into the moderate or heavy category, you are treading into murky waters.

6. Spicy Foods

Some nursing moms can add extra jalapeños to everything and still have completely content babies. But you might find that just a dash of pepper is enough to make your baby irritated and fussy for hours. How to spice it up food without causing Baby discomfort? Look for flavors that add zest without the heat.

7. Garlic

That wonderfully warm slice of garlic bread you just inhaled might not taste so wonderful to your baby. Eating garlicky foods often leads to breast milk taking on the slight flavor of garlic (garlic odor can enter milk up to two hours after a meal). Some babies may grimace or fuss at the breast if they detect garlic’s telltale aroma.

8. Peanuts

Do you, or other members of your family, have food allergies? Proceed with caution before including peanut products in your diet. According to La Leche League International (LLLI), if you have a family medical history of allergy, it is worth being careful about your diet and avoiding known allergens, like peanuts.

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