Foods to avoid when breast feeding

Foods to avoid when breast feeding

If there is a history of allergies such as asthma, hay fever and eczema on both sides of your family, your child may turn out to be allergic too. By breast feeding you are doing the best thing to prevent your baby from being sensitised and subsequently developing allergies, since cow’s milk is the most common cause of allergy in infants (122).

If you think your baby needs extra protection it is better to avoid dairy products in your diet when breast feeding and even during pregnancy as the allergens may pass unaltered into the baby’s system and sensitise her. Replace the protein you would have been getting from milk by eating more legumes (peas, dried beans, lentils), eggs, meat and fish. Goat’s-milk cheese (feta) and puddings made from non-dairy vegetable milks can also be used to vary the diet. Calcium supplements should be taken if no milk is included. However, remember to keep up your fluid intake in other ways.

Acid foods and drinks such as orange or pineapple juice taken in large quantities can give your baby nappy rash or spots. There is no reason to avoid other foods you eat as they are unlikely to affect your baby. The colour of your baby’s stools may be altered according to your diet, but this is of no importance.

Chocolate can cause stomach cramps and restlessness because of theobromine content, so don’t have chocolate and chocolate drinks in large quantities.

Tea and coffee may have a stimulating effect on the baby and keep her awake because of the caffeine content, so don’t drink too many cups. Rooibos tea and decaffeinated coffee are fine. Cigarette smoking can also cause restlessness.

If you have been drinking a lot of milk and your baby is showing signs of allergy, with restlessness (not colic), try cutting dairy products out of your diet and see if there is any improvement. See p. 66.

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