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10 Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding


If you are currently a nursing mother, you should be on the lookout for meals that are going to potentially induce sensitivities in your child. 

The food that a nursing woman consumes has a significant impact on the infant.

When you are breastfeeding, it is crucial to eat healthy meals consistently so that your infant receives the necessary nutrients and enough breast milk.

Some babies become bloated and agitated after you eat certain meals. It is better to stay away from that cuisine for a while if you see such a tendency.

There might not be a specific list of foods which nursing mothers should absolutely avoid or limit to maintain a healthy, contented baby, and a healthy milk supply.

In this article, we will be looking at some foods that you should avoid during breastfeeding.

foods to avoid while breastfeeding

  1. Alcohol

    This one ought to go without saying, yet we still felt the need to bring it up. Alcohol might hurt your baby if it enters your breast milk.

    It is better to refrain from drinking, but if you do, know that it could take the alcohol 2-3 hours to leave your system, as per this article[1].

    Alcohol does not remain in breast milk for any longer than it does in your bloodstream, so you could start nursing as soon as you feel entirely sober.

    It is not necessary to pump and dump after drinking, although it is usually advised to moms who have had a few drinks. It is acceptable to nurse when you feel fine.

  2. Dairy products

    Milk, curd, and cheese are examples of dairy products. It is believed[2] that diet-related colic is primarily brought on by cow’s milk.

    The proteins in cow’s milk are easily transferred to breast milk, which is usually good as it adapts the baby to the proteins for later.

    However, sometimes colic might be brought on by a cow’s milk sensitivity.

  3. Caffeine

    In moderation, caffeine is safe to ingest while nursing. You and your child are going to be fine as long as you keep your daily caffeine intake to no more[3] than 3 cups of caffeinated coffee.

    However, caffeine-containing foods[4] are not inherently bad for you to eat while breastfeeding, but it is a good idea to drink your tea or coffee after you have stopped nursing.

    Caffeine enters your bloodstream and goes into breast milk, thus drinking a lot of coffee might make some babies, especially newborns, become jittery.

    The caffeine ought to be gone by the time the infant needs to eat again.

  4. Citrus fruits

    Fruits having citrus flavors are popular for promoting calm. They might be the finest source of vitamin C available.

    But as they are acidic, they could bother your baby’s stomach. Babies’ gastrointestinal systems are flawed.

    As a result, their digestive system has a difficult time breaking down the acidic components.

    After you stop breastfeeding a baby, they might start spitting up and getting rashes.

    While breastfeeding, oranges and grapefruits could be fussy, but you would not need to cut them out of your diet.

    Choose different fruits which are low in vitamin C if you believe you are susceptible to their negative effects.

    You might consider introducing pineapple or mangoes into your diet.

  5. Chocolate

    You do not need to be concerned about eating chocolate while nursing. As chocolate has very little caffeine, eating a bar of chocolate is acceptable.

    Theobromine is abundant in chocolate. It works similarly to caffeine when consumed.

    Although people adore chocolate, they should limit their intake when nursing.

    It is best to avoid chocolate if you see that your child is being highly irritable as a result of eating it.

    You could only determine the quantity of chocolate you are going to eat after watching your baby’s actions.

    If the mother uses more than 800 mg of theobromine per day and has sleep problems, the infant might act erratically and irritable.

  6. Spicy food

    They claim that spicy food causes heartburn, but moderate quantities should not be harmful to your child.

    If you prefer your food a little hotter, you might want to watch out for any changes in your kid, such as skin rashes or fussiness.

    Additionally, you might also discover that your baby avoids milk the next time you eat garlic, which could be attributed to the pungent garlic odor that seeped into your feed.

    Similar to pickles, which are spicy and sour and a lot of them might give you back discomfort.

    Everything in moderation is okay. Mothers should avoid excessive intake[5] of such foods but should not deprive themselves of eating them.

  7. Seafood

    The best nutrient for you and the baby is omega-3 acids as they help the infant’s nervous system to develop.

    For Indians, the finest sources of omega-3 acids are Ghol fish. It is also known as Protonibea diacanthus or croaker.

    These days, many water bodies are having higher[6] mercury levels, which translates to higher mercury levels in seafood.

    In contrast to different seafood, which has low levels of mercury, king mackerel and shark contain high quantities of mercury.

    Therefore, experts advise against eating any seafood while nursing.

  8. Intensively Processed Foods

    To produce nutritionally dense breast milk, one should practice proper eating. Nursing mothers should focus[7] on healthier eating habits and nutrition.

    Processed foods have a lot of added sugars, bad fats, and calories.

    There is some worry that exposing your infant often to foods heavy in fat and sugar might result in obesity and unhealthful eating patterns in your child, although more human study has to be done.

  9. Peppermint and parsley

    They are not preferred during nursing, although they have several health advantages.

    The primary factor could be that they have an impact on milk production and lactation.

    For instance, consuming excessive peppermint might[8] reduce your ability to produce milk.

    These herbs have the potential to reduce breast milk production when consumed in extremely high doses.

    Therefore, when you consume these herbs, keep an eye on your milk production, especially if your kid is going through a stage where he requires more milk than usual.

  10. Peanuts

    If there is a history of peanut allergies in your family, it is advisable to stay away from them. The allergens in peanuts could enter breast milk when it is being produced.

    They could harm your child’s health. The infant might consequently experience several health problems.

    Peanut allergies are a serious concern for babies as they are allergens[9] and might impact the health of the newborn.

    Rashes, hives, and occasionally wheezing and coughing are symptoms of the illnesses.

    Peanut eating, even in smaller quantities, complicates both the nutritional value and production of breastfeeding.


It could be difficult to breastfeed, especially in the early weeks. Numerous new moms experience such stress that they neglect to eat.

Some might be concerned that taking time off is going to entail missing up on the baby’s needs. The health of a baby’s mother often affects that child’s health.

Mothers might make sure they have the emotional resources and strength necessary to care for the infant by practicing self-care.

For both nursing mothers and babies, proper nourishment is essential. Follow your body’s cues and consume what feels good.


Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Alcohol. Last Revision: January 18, 2022. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501469/
  2. Herbert Brill. Approach to milk protein allergy in infants. Can Fam Physician. 2008 Sep; 54(9): 1258–1264.
  3. Caffeine. Last Revision: June 20, 2022.Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501467/
  4. Maternal Diet. Page last reviewed: May 17, 2022. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/maternal-diet.html
  5. Goun Jeong, Sung Won Park, Yeon Kyung Lee, et al. Maternal food restrictions during breastfeeding. Korean J Pediatr. 2017 Mar; 60(3): 70–76. Published online 2017 Mar 27. doi: 10.3345/kjp.2017.60.3.70
  6. Stephan Bose-O’Reilly, Kathleen M. McCarty, Nadine Steckling, et al. Mercury Exposure and Children’s Health. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2010 Sep; 40(8): 186–215. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2010.07.002
  7. Michelle A. Kominiarek. Nutrition Recommendations in Pregnancy and Lactation. Med Clin North Am. 2016 Nov; 100(6): 1199–1215. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2016.06.004
  8. Peppermint. Last Revision: March 21, 2022. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501851/
  9. A DesRoches , C Infante-Rivard, L Paradis, J Paradis, E Haddad. Peanut allergy: is maternal transmission of antigens during pregnancy and breastfeeding a risk factor? J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2010;20(4):289-94.

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