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Food to avoid while breastfeeding: helpful info

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1) Caffeine: While some caffeine may be OK, it’s important to know that caffeine does work its way into your breast milk. Babies’ bodies aren’t prepared to process caffeine as quickly as an adult’s body, so if you’re hoping that your baby will nap soon, wait to have your coffee until after baby is asleep.

2) Fish: You don’t need to avoid fish entirely, but you do need to be selective about what types of seafood you’re eating. Some fish can be high in mercury, which can find its way into your milk supply.

3) Chocolate: While you don’t have to eliminate chocolate entirely, it is a source of caffeine. Some nursing mothers also find that eating chocolate has a laxative effect on baby.

4) Parsley or Peppermint: These herbs both come with the risk of reducing your supply. If used in small quantities they shouldn't cause an issue, but be aware of any dips following eating either especially if you’re coming up on a growth spurt where baby is going to be hungrier than usual.

5) Dairy: Dairy is one of the most common problem foods for breastfed babies. If your baby is especially fussy after nursing, has eczema or other skin issues, or has sleep issues, an elimination diet is a good place to start.

6) Citrus: Your baby’s GI tract is still immature, and some of the compounds in citrus fruits can be especially irritating. Citrus can cause spitting up, fussiness, or even diaper rash.

7) Peanuts: If there is a history of peanut allergy in your family, make sure to avoid eating peanuts until after your baby is weaned. The allergenic compounds in peanuts and tree nuts can be transmitted through breast milk.

8) Garlic: If you find that your baby is occasionally reluctant to nurse, or pulls off while nursing to make faces, see if it coincides with when you last ate something laced with garlic. While most of us think that garlic makes everything better, babies’ palates haven’t matured enough to appreciate it yet.

9) Wheat: Gluten intolerance might take the blame if your baby develops bloody stools. Fussiness and a painful tummy can also point to issues with wheat. Like dairy, the best way to determine if wheat is an issue is to follow an elimination diet.

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