15+ Food best to Avoid when Breastfeeding

Congratulations Mum!!

You went through the most amazing journey of your life and you are now holding your precious baby in your arms. But after hours of labour, birth and hospital time you need now some good food! And I know, it has probably been ages since you had some sushi, a nice juicy steak, some chilli or an egg royal with a smooth and running egg. You might be dying for greasy food and fries right? Well, this is probably not the best news, but you still have to be careful if you are breastfeeding.

Are there food I need to avoid while breastfeeding then?

That’s right! The molecules from the food you eat, via breast milk, will make their way into your baby’s system. And even if there is not an official list of food you have to avoid while you are breastfeeding, you have to pay attention to what you are eating if you see your baby is upset.

Is your baby too gassy, fussy and not much sleepy? Simply try to pay more attention to your diet.

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On the NHS site, and other online websites, you read to avoid, or at least limit:




This is surely a good start, but I would add some more too! And bear in mind that it’s not an absolute list of foods to avoid when breastfeeding, like the pregnancy food list. It’s simple a constant test & adjust according to baby sensitivity.

As a newborn photographer, I see lots of newborns and I’ve seen some upset babies. Most of the time, it was caused by what mums ate in the previous 24/48 hours. So now before a newborn session, I send my clients a list of foods that should be avoided before the session for the best success. Because they surely don’t want crying babies in their photos!

Do you want to know a few?

Tomatoes? Forget it! Sorry, but tomatoes contain acid and citrus that trigger heartburn. My daughter suffers from reflux and I can see how much she burps after eating a pizza! All that acid will be passed to your baby and the poor little stomach will struggle to handle it. It just isn’t worth staying up all night. Pizza is quick to eat but then when your baby is gassy all night long, somehow that pizza didn’t look too good.

Dairy – another no no! Babies may be sensitive not to the lactose, but to the protein cow’s milk contains.  So if you suspect baby is upset because of that try to avoid milk, cheese, yoghurt . . . or switch to plant-based options. It can take up to 21 days for all traces of cow’s milk protein to leave your system so it’s best to wait for 2-3 weeks to evaluate the results.

Garlic? Not only the strong odour will give your milk a funny smell to the breast milk but it will also alter its taste. But more than that, it causes infant gas just like kale, spinach, beans, onions, peppers and chilli food.

What does it work then? Yummy pasta with oil, boiled rice, wheat bread with light butter, mashed potatoes and amazing steaks! All of these things keep you healthy, fed and the baby not only nursing but sleeping better than any baby ever met.

Now, every baby is different of course and when all else failed Gripe Water or Infacol can help. Are babies fussy? Of course. Gassy, sure? Will this list works for every baby – no. But it works for many and that’s worth passing it on.

Some people will say they ate anything and everything and it didn’t affect their babies. That’s super awesome. But it’s not the case for many other mums. So it’s important to keep a close eye on patterns. If you notice that each time you eat something your baby becomes fussy, try avoiding the food for a while and see what happens. 

Food has changed over the years and much of it affects us as grownups – now imagine a teeny tiny new digestive system. So try to eat healthy and take care of your body.

So…if you are planning to have a newborn session keep it in mind for a smoother session. (For more information about a newborn session check out my website)

If not, give it a try, you just might get a good nights sleep!

Oh this is the list!

List of food to avoid when breastfeeding

You should always consult your doctor for any concerns.

For any questions about newborn or baby photography feel free to get in touch.

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