What should I eat while I’m breastfeeding?
There are unusual circumstances when what you have eaten may cause a problem for your baby. Your baby may demonstrate fussy behavior about eight to 12 hours after you eat the bothersome food. The symptoms will subside after 24 hours. Some mothers of babies less than four months old have noticed that their babies become uncomfortable after they eat broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chocolate, beans or onions. However, these foods do not bother most babies when eaten in moderation.
- Large quantities of any particular food may cause your baby to become uncomfortable. A quart or more of orange juice or a diet heavy in seasonal fruits such as strawberries, melons or cherries have been associated with diarrhea and colicky symptoms in some infants.
- Foods containing many preservatives, additives or dyes have been associated with signs of discomfort in some babies. Try to eat foods in their most natural state.
- If your family has a history of milk, egg or peanut allergies, you may choose to eliminate these foods from your diet since the substances that cause the allergies have been detected in breast milk.
- If you suspect that milk or some other food is causing colicky symptoms in your infant, eliminate that food from your diet for 48 hours and see if the symptoms disappear. If that food did bother your infant, you should see an improvement within 48 hours. Sometimes, however, it takes much longer to see an improvement, and you may need to eliminate cow's milk from your diet for up to two weeks.
- If you do eliminate milk from your diet, be sure that you have some other way to get the 1,200 mg of calcium you need each day while you're breastfeeding. Calcium can be provided by the food you eat or by taking a calcium supplement. Calcium should be taken in divided doses, up to 500 mg at one time. Consult your healthcare provider before permanently removing items from your diet and about which supplement to take.