8 Food Rules To Follow While You're Breastfeeding
4 months ago, 2 Jan 19:58
Congrats, mama! You conquered nine months of pregnancy, and now you've got an adorable little baby in your arms. And after being on a pregnancy diet where you perhaps avoided runny eggs, sushi, lunchmeat, and mojitos, you’re probably ready to go back to your “everything” diet. But if you've opted to breastfeed, there's a solid chance some well-meaning people have given you a laundry list of things you still can’t eat. The good news: You can pretty much ignore them. “There are many myths out there about what you can or cannot eat,” says Jennifer Tender, M.D., a pediatrician with Children’s National Health System. And for the most part, as a breastfeeding mama, you can eat anything. “Moms shouldn’t feel like they need to limit or change their diet so it becomes a barrier to breastfeeding. If you have a question about what is safe or not to eat, a lactation consultant or healthcare provider knowledgeable in breastfeeding can provide guidance,” she adds. Zarya Rubin, M.D., breastfeeding medicine specialist of Latched On MD in Portland, Oregon, agrees that your diet shouldn’t get in the way of your willingness to breastfeed. “Any time that someone says that you have to have a special diet, restrict foods, or eat an ideal nutritional profile—that you can’t have any junk food or a glass of wine—you get the impression that breastfeeding is restrictive, and it’s not,” she says. With that said, here are eight things you need to know about some best dietary practices while breastfeeding. While Tender says that most women can eat anything without it bothering the baby, some women say certain foods make their baby fussy. “If on the rare occurrence you notice there’s one type of food that consistently brings on irritability, try eliminating that food and see if it makes their symptoms better,” she says. (You may want to check with your healthcare provider to make sure this will not affect your nutrition.) That said, the type of food is individual for every woman—there’s not one trouble-causing food across the board. It’s a good idea for everyone to limit their consumption of high-mercury fish (mercury is a neurotoxin), and that’s especially true for breastfeeding moms. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding high-mercury fish, like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Since fish can provide an important source of omega-3s, you should keep it in your diet. Just go for low-mercury swimmers like light tuna, shrimp, salmon, pollock, or catfish, the AAP says. Find out what it's like to breastfeed with implants: As a new mom, if you slap some peanut butter on whole grain and call it lunch, you’re not only nourishing yourself, but you may be doing your baby good, too. “At least one study looking at moms who ate peanut products while breastfeeding found that it may slightly protect the infant from developing peanut allergies,” says Tender. Usually, she says, there’s no reason to limit your intake of allergenic foods, like peanuts or eggs. Like many moms, you may need ...
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