What foods should I avoid when I’m Breastfeeding?
In general, most mothers can eat a variety of food without affecting their babies. However, if there is a family medical history of allergies to a certain food, you want to avoid those known allergens during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you suspect that a certain food is causing a reaction to your baby, you will have to eliminate the suspected food from your diet for a week and see if the reaction in your baby goes away. If his behavior doesn’t improve, you can re-introduce that food and examine your diet to look for possible allergens.
These are some of the most common potential allergens: cow’s milk and dairy products, egg white, gluten in wheat products, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions and green peppers. This doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate all these foods from your diet. Only do so if your baby experiences a reaction or if you know that you are allergic to those. Every baby and mother are different and what will affect one dyad won’t necessarily affect the other. Eating a well balanced, varied and healthy diet will help lessen the severity of reactions that could possibly occur with repeated consumption of large amounts of a particular food. If you decide to eliminate any food from your diet, remember to substitute for another source of the nutrient that you are eliminating.
Babies enjoy the flavors in their mother’s breastmilk and this is the first exposure they have to their family’s culinary preferences. If a baby reacts to a certain food you eat when he is very young, the same baby won’t necessarily have a problem with the same food when he is older. Around the age of six months, baby’s sensitivity to a certain food usually diminishes.
Why does my baby nurse all the time, she/he only wants to be held?
During the early months, babies need to build trust for their new world and caregivers; breastfeeding is an excellent way to build that trust. It’s not just about the nourishment that breastmilk provides, but also about the warmth, comfort, love and nurturing. While breastfeeding, you’re holding your baby and providing him not just with food that will help him grow, but also giving him security and comfort. These moments build his trust in you and the world around him. If your baby is growing well (gaining weight, having enough wet and soiled diapers reaching the appropriate developmental milestone according to his age), then the frequent nursing is not an indication of a health problem.
He could also be going through a growth spurt. During this period, it’s very important to allow your baby to nurse unrestricted at the breast, as he is working on increasing your breastmilk supply to ensure it will meet his nutritional needs.
On the contrary, if you are experiencing pain while nursing, the baby is not having enough wet and soiled diapers, he’s consistently unhappy and fussy and is not gaining weight, then you and your baby should be seen by his pediatrician and an IBCLC to assess the health of your baby and breastfeeding. The IBCLC should observe you breastfeeding and assess positioning, latch, breastmilk transfer and any other underlying conditions that may be affecting the breastfeeding relationship and the health of the baby.
To help with your baby’s need to be held, you could invest in a baby sling or carrier. This will allow you to take care of your baby’s need for closeness and still be able to take care of other things as your two hands will be free.
Things get better as your baby grows and becomes more efficient at the breast and at removing milk. Don’t give up and ask for help with the dishes, laundry or any other chores around the house. This will make things easier on you, your baby and the whole family.