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Breastfeeding – Will What I Eat and Drink Affect My Baby?

A mother’s breastmilk will pass consumed substances through to baby. This can be either advantageous or dangerous, depending on the mother’s awareness and lifestyle habits.

Alcohol, caffeine, recreational drugs and prescription and over-the-counter medications all pass through a mother’s breast milk to her baby. These substances are mildly filtered by metabolism, but their harmful effects can impact baby due to their small weight-body ratio. So please be mindful!
The following list contains some items to avoid during breastfeeding as they are known to contribute to irritability and colic in newborns.

  • Drugs: over-the-counter, prescription and social drugs
  • Nicotine
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Soft drinks and carbonated beverages
  • Fatty foods
  • Lentils and most secondary beans such as beans
  • Split peas
  • Cruciferous vegetables: eg. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip, onions, garlic
  • Heavily spiced foods
  • Acidic fruits: eg. Too many oranges, berries
  • Dairy products
  • Rhubarb or laxatives such as senna, aloe or cascara
  • Sports protein bars and shakes

Remember, these foods can be introduced slowly after six months, but it is suggested that you monitor your baby’s physical and behavioural responses. Consider a diet diary perhaps?