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Home / Breastfeeding / Foods To Avoid When Breastfeeding
Foods To Avoid When Breastfeeding

Foods To Avoid When Breastfeeding

Have a fussy baby who spits up or vomits most of his feed? Is your baby suffering a colic or diarrhea? Your baby has developed a rash that tends to reoccur – These are all symptoms of food allergy. A particular substance in the breast milk is causing the allergy and the problem actually starts with what you eat. 

Pregnancy advice is not restricted to only the nine months. It continues as you nurse and help your child grow. Quickly skim through the list of foods you should avoid when pregnant.


You will have to limit your intake of caffeine – Coffee, tea and sodas. Have no more than two cups a day. Caffeine passes into the breast milk and thereby to your baby. The baby’s body system is unable to excrete caffeine in the manner we adults do. Caffeine interferes with their sleep and may make your baby cranky and agitated.

Peanuts and Tree Nuts

If you or any member of the family has a history of allergy, a pregnancy tip is to avoid eating peanuts or other tree nuts at least while nursing as your child may develop an allergic reaction. Signs of peanut allergy in babies include wheezing, rash, hives and eczema. 


Some babies display sensitivity to egg whites while some to the egg yolk. 

Dairy Products – Cow Milk based formulas

Cow milk does not agree with babies as the proteins are hard to digest. However, if there is a family history of cow milk allergies it may affect your baby even if they ingest it indirectly through breast milk. Sensitivity to breast milk can cause colic, sleeplessness, vomiting, dry, red skin patches or eczema in your infant.


When you looked up pregnancy tips on the foods you should avoid during pregnancy fish featured in that list and now it features in the list of the foods you should avoid while breastfeeding too. Fish is not recommended because certain varieties contain mercury. This mercury can pass into the breast milk and impair the development of the baby’s brain and central nervous system. You should avoid fish varieties such as king mackerel, Shark, tuna, tilefish and swordfish.


Though not a food item it is one of the most important things you should avoid when nursing and hence is on our list. You can have your occasional glass of wine. What we’re talking about is the habitual consumption of moderate to large amounts. Alcohol that transfers to the child through breast milk is not at all healthy for your little one. It may cause drowsiness, irritation, deep sleep, abnormal weight gain and weakness.


Babies who cannot tolerate milk are generally the ones that display symptoms of soy intolerance.

Wheat Allergy

Wheat allergies are common in adults and can be equally severe in babies. Symptoms of wheat allergy or sensitivity in babies are pain, inconsolable crying and bloody stools.

Parsley and Peppermint

Parsley and peppermint are not recommended because they decrease the production and supply of milk. Hence you need to check supplements that contain parsley or peppermint.

Other foods that you may want to avoid are chocolate, citrus foods, broccoli, cauliflower, spicy foods, garlic (alters taste of milk slightly), cabbage, corn and shellfish.

How to tell if your baby is allergic to a food?

It is difficult to understand the food item which could be the allergen. Thus, if you have any of the foods mentioned in this list, stop all of them for a week or two. Then slowly add each food item one by one and see how your baby responds to them.

About Shalini Mittal

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