Medications And Food To Be Avoided During Breastfeeding
Right from the conception of the baby until its breastfeeding stage, the baby is totally dependent on the mother’s nutritional status. A pregnant woman gains about 10 kgs during pregnancy. This extra energy is required for the breastfeeding that comes from fat stored in the body during pregnancy. An extra of 350 calories is required to be taken by the pregnant woman to support her child during the lactation or breastfeeding period.
We all know that nursing moms need to eat well but are you eating right? A well-balanced diet will consist of foods that you like best but there are certain foods which you should not have as it might not agree with the baby. If you have these non-agreeable foods then the baby may spit up a lot or suffer from congestion. The following food items should be avoided fully during breastfeeding.
When you drink coffee or soda, some of the caffeine ends up in your breast milk. Babies cannot excrete caffeine as efficiently as the adults and so too much of the substance can lead to irritation and sleeplessness. So you need to reduce your coffee intake at least till the nursing session is over.
Unfortunately, for many you need to proceed with caution if you have a habit of having chocolates too often. Chocolate too contains the certain amount of caffeine but not as much as coffee. A cup of coffee would contain 135 mg of caffeine whereas a dark chocolate can have a maximum of 30 mg of caffeine. If your baby is too fussy then chocolate may be the culprit. Eliminate it from your diet as soon as possible.
3. Citrus fruits
The Gastro-intestinal tract of a baby is still immature and is not capable of handling certain compounds which are found in citrus fruits. This can lead to spitting up and diaper rash in certain babies. If you are forced to cut down on citrus fruits then you can compensate it by having vitamin-C-rich foods like papaya.
You will always find people who will tell you that vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower can lead to gassy babies. We suggest that you take a break from having these vegetables and after a few days slowly add them to your diet to see how your baby reacts. It is believed that steamed broccoli helps to reduce gassiness.
One drink per day or less hardly poses any risk for the baby but if you are a moderate or a heavy drinker then you need to severely cut down on the intake. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that there are certain side-effects of drinking during breastfeeding such as weakness, abnormal weight gain for the infant and decrease in the milk-ejection reflex in the mother.
Most seafood today can contain a high level of mercury whose exposure to the baby via breast milk can cause some serious defects to the baby’s developing nervous system. Avoid eating fish from local places. In case you want to have a fish, limit your intake to 6 ounces (170 grams) fish in a week.
Having a strong pungent taste, garlic makes its way to the mother’s breast milk within 2 hours of consuming it. The baby can smell the same and be reluctant to take the milk at all. In case you find the baby pulling himself away while feeding or being averse to the idea of it making faces, then be sure that it is because of the garlic you ate a few minutes ago.
8. Diary Products
One of the most usual foods that cause problems in babies are the diary products. Many babies are intolerant to the cow’s milk-based formula. The allergens can enter the breast milk easily causing problems to the baby. A few symptoms of the same can be seen in the baby like colic, vomiting, eczema or other skin or sleep issues making the baby fussy after the feeding.
The La Leche League International (LLLI), suggests that in case an allergy to peanuts runs in the family, it is better to avoid it in your diet well until after the baby is weaned. the compounds of peanuts can be transmitted through breast milk to the baby and cause an allergy. Be on a look out for the allergic reactions to peanut in the baby like wheezing, rash, or hives in your baby.
Drugs to avoid
Just like your daily diet, you need to exercise extreme caution with medications too. Generally, it is safe to take some OTC while breastfeeding but there are some drugs which should be avoided by a nursing mother as it will pass on to the milk. Normally the drugs for breastfeeding are classified as the following to give one a better idea of its usage while breastfeeding. So look for the same in the instructions manual of the drug.
1. Compatible with breastfeeding
2. Compatible with breastfeeding. Monitor infant for side-effects
3. Avoid if possible. Monitor infant for side-effects
4. Avoid if possible. May inhibit lactation
As a rule of thumb, drugs which were considered safe during your pregnancy period are deemed to be safe during the nursing period too. You should always avoid extra-strength formulas and long-acting drugs that have a tendency to stay in the bloodstream of the mother for a long time. Drugs like lipid-lowering drugs, large doses of Salicylates, radioactive iodine, Antihistamines, Diuretics, Very high doses of vitamin B6, Hormonal contraceptives containing estrogen, Ergot alkaloids, iodide products and clozapine. These drugs are definitely not safe for a breastfeeding mom. Always ask your doctor for a safer alternative. But if you are forced to take them for health reasons then you should refrain from breastfeeding during that period.
Breastfeeding is associated with nutritional, emotional, and economic benefits. All the foods and medications used during this time should be sensibly scrutinized. It is, therefore, important to be constantly up-to-date with all the information on medication use during breastfeeding, so that these medications can be used in a judicious manner, guaranteeing a good feed to the baby.