top of page

Avoiding Foods While Breastfeeding

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Avoiding Foods While Breastfeeding


Many women find that they can eat whatever they maylike during breast feeding.  Even though it's true that some strongly favoured foods can change the taste of your milk, many babies seem to enjoy the varieties of breast milk flavours. Occasionally, your baby may get cranky at the breast after you eat certain foods. If you notice this happening, simply avoid that particular food.

The most common offenders during breast feeding include chocolate, spices, citrus fruits, garlic, chili, lime, gassy vegetables, and fruits with laxative type effects, such as prunes and cherries.

There is also certain food may contribute to gassiness in the mother and therefore in the baby. These foods are cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprout, beans, dairyproducts, soy or wheat.

Having a food dairy can help to pinpoint which food may have been responsible either for the taste of the breastmilk or the gassiness. Helping the mother to adjust her diet as she sees best fit her and her baby’s preference and wellbeing. It does not necessarily mean the elimination of the given food, adjusting the time when eating it can also make a difference.

Try to minimise or avoid consuming parsley, sage and peppermint as they can have a negative effect on milk supply.

Everyone knows that including fish in our diet is great, however during breastfeeding try to limit swordfish, marlin or shark to one portion a week. This is because of the high levels of mercury found in them. Don't eat more than 2 portions of oily fish a week (such as fresh tuna – tinned tuna is fine, salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards).

You can have a cup or two of coffee a day, although too much caffeine can interfere with your baby's sleep and even make him or her cranky.  Keep in mind, caffeine is found in many soft drinks, tea, and over the counter type medicine as well.

It's okay to have an alcoholic beverage every now and then, as long as it’s timed right it will have no effect on your baby. Having a half glass of red wine during breast feeding or shortly after, even benefits the mother due to the properties of red wine supporting red blood cell production. Although having more than one drink can increase your blood alcohol level, putting the alcohol into your breast milk.  

If you are planning to have more than one drink at a time, it's best to wait two hours or more per drink before you resume any type of nursing or breast feeding.  There is no need to pump and dump unless your breasts are full and it’s time to feed your baby.  While breast feeding, any type of heavy drinking should be avoided.

Before you actually omit any foods from your diet, you should talk to your doctor.  If you avoid certain foods and it causes a nutritional imbalance, you may need to see a nutritionist for advice on taking other foods or getting nutritional supplements.


Katalin Kaszas

Antenatal teacher

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page