Holiday Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
The holidays are great on their own. Add in your new baby to the mix and there is something oh-so-special about this time of year. Chances are, your little one will be able to meet many friends and family members for the first time and there is guaranteed to be some great food and drinks! If you are breastfeeding your baby, there are some foods you may want to avoid during the holiday season.
Peppermint, Sage, Parsley, and other herbs
Peppermint (or Mentha piperita) along with other herbs, should be avoided during breastfeeding due to it causing a decreased milk supply. Now, one peppermint candy is not going to dry you up, but just be cautious of how much you are consuming. The research behind why these herbs can cause a decrease in milk supply is minimal and some mothers report not seeing any dip in supply. However, it may be better to just play it safe this holiday season, especially if there is a previous issue with low milk supply. You can view a long list of herbs to avoid at KellyMom.com, but here is the most commonly used:
Gas Inducing Foods
Every baby reacts differently to different foods that their mother consumes. Some may show particular sensitivities to broccoli or beans, while others show sensitivity to dairy. The list of foods that could affect baby’s tummy is long, and nursing mothers can’t eliminate all of them. But it is important to keep an eye out for the instances that you baby does become very gassy to the point of fussiness. What did you eat in the 6-8 hours prior that could be effecting them? Some of those most common culprits are dairy products (milk, cheese, pudding, yogurt, ice cream). Secondly, broccoli, garlic, cabbage and spicy foods may cause baby’s tummy to be upset.
Large Amounts of Alcohol
You’ll notice that I did not just label this section “alcohol” and that is for a good reason. As a breastfeeding mother, you absolutely can have a glass of wine or a beer. That small amount of alcohol will not pose a risk. It is suggested that you try to enjoy your beverage immediately after nursing baby to allow the alcohol to leave your system before the next feed happens.
Now, if you plan to have more than that, it may be wise to pack a bottle for baby and a cooler with some of your expressed milk. If you want to just stick with 1-2 drinks and continue to breastfeed, you can purchase these strips that are designed to tell you if there is alcohol in your breastmilk.
Tis the season for sweets! Surprisingly, too much chocolate should be avoided by breastfeeding mothers. According to LLL, the “area of concern is a substance called theobromine. Theobromine is a stimulant which has an effect on the body similar to caffeine.”. Now, now all chocolates have theobromine, in fact, which chocolate has non, but dark chocolate has the highest concentration. So if you are craving chocolate, go with white or milk over dark. (Source)
If you are looking for ways to increase your milk supply, be sure to check out this post.