There’s a lot of stories that do the rounds about what you can and can’t eat when breastfeeding if you want to have a happy, settled bub. Here’s Julie’s advice to one mum questioning what she should and shouldn’t eat.
Q: I've been told there are foods I shouldn't eat when breastfeeding, as it might upset my baby's tummy. Is that true, and what are they? And how will I know if my baby doesn't like them?
Whilst it can be true for some people, it is not the case for the majority of babies, and it is best for breastfeeding mothers to maintain a healthy balanced, wholefood diet without unnecessary limitations. If your baby is generally happy and settled, there is no need to exclude foods from your diet.
If your baby seems to be suffering from colicky type pain or appears quite unsettled, it may be worth experimenting with excluding some foods from your diet; this is best done under the care of a lactation consultant, naturopath, nutritionist or dietician that is knowledgeable in breastfeeding management.
The most common foods thought to be troublesome for breastfeeding babies are the allergens found in dairy, wheat, citrus, corn, eggs and peanuts but there is evidence to suggest that exposure to these allergens via the breastmilk prevents allergies later on.
Many people do advise avoiding the cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli to prevent colic or excess gas, but studies have failed to demonstrate that this makes any difference to babies. It may be worth a try for a couple of weeks to see if this helps if your baby is unsettled and does seem to suffer from tummy pain.
Got questions of your own? Call the Blackmores Nutrition Advisory Service 1800 808 669.
Blackmores supports the benefits of breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for babies. However, we also recognise that not all mums are able to breastfeed, and the reasons women are not able to breastfeed are for each mum to discuss with her health care professional.