Breastfeeding is the most important means of nutrition for babies and according to the WHO, a baby should be breastfed within the first hour of birth and it should continue exclusively for the first 6 months of life. If you are a new mother and you are currently breastfeeding, you must be careful with your diet and avoid all foods that would endanger the health of the baby and the mother. Breast milk is the natural formula to which every baby is entitled. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that if you want your baby to be protected from all kinds of diseases, breastfeeding is the way to go. Breast milk is a wealth of nutrients, which will decide the future health of your newborn baby. The nutrients present in breast milk are easily digested by the newborn, which is a big advantage.
Did you know that breastfeeding also helps strengthen the bond between mother and baby? This is because oxytocin is released into the body during this process. But unfortunately, if you don’t follow a proper diet, your baby’s health can be affected. According to experts, certain foods MUST be avoided while breastfeeding. World Breastfeeding Week 2022 Date, theme and meaning: What are the health benefits of breast milk for mothers and babies? Everything you need to know.
Foods Breastfeeding Mothers Should Avoid
Foods that can cause gas: It is generally said that if the mother has a gas problem, the baby can also be affected. In this case, what mothers eat makes a big difference. Some foods that can cause stomach issues include broccoli, cabbage, kidney beans, chickpeas, black gram, lentils, peanuts, potatoes, and corn.
Caffeine-rich foods: The most common sources of caffeine are coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Caffeine is transferred to the baby through breastfeeding. This is usually less than 1% of daily caffeine intake. The problem begins when it begins to accumulate in the baby’s body. If the mother consumes more than five cups per day. This can lead to a very high caffeine content.
Alcohol: Alcohol should be avoided completely, but if you are too restless to drink alcohol, you should not exceed one to two doses. Be sure not to feed your baby for at least four hours after the last drink. Always drink alcohol only after breastfeeding your baby. Alcohol penetrates in large quantities into breast milk and can put the baby to sleep.
Exposure to mercury through food: Certain types of fish high in mercury, such as king mackerel, swordfish, shark and tilefish, should be avoided. If consumed in large amounts, it can cause mercury poisoning in some infants, which can delay their cognitive and psychomotor abilities. You can have 2-3 servings per week of different fish like sardines, crab, squid, lobster, and salmon.
Citrus: Sometimes consumption of citrus fruits like orange, lemon, and amla can irritate the baby’s stomach, leading to diarrhea and diaper rash. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate them from your diet. Just pay attention to the symptoms and if you notice a change in your baby’s behavior, limit consumption to 1-2 servings per day.
Foods high in trans fat: Foods like cakes, pastries, whipped cream, pizza, hamburgers and margarine are high in trans fat. When the amount of trans fat in certain foods increases, the amount of DHA decreases, which has a negative effect on baby’s brain development. According to the WHO, it is recommended to keep less than 1% trans fat in your diet and to avoid all the fast foods mentioned above.
Any artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, stevia, sucralose, saccharin and sorbitol can be transferred to the baby during breastfeeding. As long-term studies on its effects on the baby are not available, it is advisable to avoid its consumption by nursing mothers.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on August 02, 2022 at 10:34 PM IST. For more news and updates on Politics, World, Sports, Entertainment and Lifestyle , log in to our website latestly.com).