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Breast-feeding Diet at a glance

You have heard the saying, 'You are what you eat'. The same goes for your baby - 'Your baby is what you eat'. What a breast-feeding mother eats is passed on to her baby through her milk and the reaction can be discomforting to her child if the foods are not suitable. Though your breast feeding diet is a lot like your pregnancy diet (read eating and drinking right), there is a small difference now; there are some occurrences you have to watch out for.

Hint: it is to do with your baby's reactions to flavors; it's to do with your child's taste buds and her sensitivities to certain foods.

Points worth remembering

• You are still eating for two so it is important to pack in about 500 extra calories a day of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins.

• You also need to up your fluids - 10-12 eight oz of glasses a day in the form of water, juice, soup, and milk if your baby is not sensitive to dairy products.

• Not every food is problem causing so it is not that perplexing. It is good to be aware of foods that commonly cause reactions. A gassy reaction in baby means you have to eliminate.

• While exercising is good, it promotes the production of lactic acid in the milk and hence makes the milk a little sour. Exercise after you nurse and not before helps to prevent this.

The Wait-and-See Approach

Your baby reacts to flavors. Some babies react to onions, garlic, others to green beans or broccoli. Gassy reaction very commonly happens if breast milk doesn't suit the baby. It has a lot to do with what the mother ate. A distressed baby reacts by pulling her legs up to the stomach, a sign of gas pain. Some babies scream in agony. Others do not sleep well. Take the trial and error approach since you cannot predict what suits and what doesn't. For example drink a cup of beverage and then watch how your baby reacts. A screaming baby or one in discomfort tells you that you should skip or limit beverages for a while. Here are some foods to watch out for and temporarily eliminate:

Caffeinated foods.

Chocolate, coffee, tea, sodas and even some medications all contain caffeine in varying proportions. Limit your coffee to a cup or two if you absolutely must have it.


Chili powder, garlic, curry powder, cinnamon are some spices that produce a reaction.


Not all vegetables but some vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, peppers, turnips and cucumber cause gas.

Citrus fruits and juices.

Grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, strawberry, kiwi are examples of citrus fruits your baby can be sensitive to.

Dairy foods.

Be aware that milk, cheese and other dairy products can cause an allergic reaction in your baby.

Laxative inducing fruits.

Cherries, prunes are some examples.


It is okay to enjoy the occasional drink but remember to wait at least 3 hours before feeding baby.


Nuts, peanuts, fish, eggs, wheat and soy are some allergens which contain proteins traces that can be absorbed into mother's bloodstream and into her milk.


Stay clear during your breast feeding days as tobacco can get into breast milk and affect milk production. It can also create a consequence of vomiting and restlessness in baby.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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