Parsley and Mint...and other details about your diet while breastfeeding

You've watched what you ate for nine months – no cold turkey sandwiches, no sushi, no vodka or unpasteurized cheese – and now you are ready to get back into the food game. But wait! Baby may be on the outside but you’re still his No.1 food source.

So nursing moms shouldn't just be sporting their stylish nursing tops and pumping shirts while indulging in cakes and ice cream in between feedings. They should still be mindful of what they eat. Would you want baby chowing down on donuts and Oreos? Probably not. So you shouldn't do that to yourself either.

Still, some of what we nursing moms hear is off limits, may not actually be off limits. Take spicy food, for instance. According to Lactation Consultant Dr. Rebecca B. Saenz, you can breastfeed and enjoy some of your favorite fare.  "Moms all over the world eat their native cuisines and breastfeed their babies just fine.  Italian mothers eat lots of garlic.  Mothers in India eat curry.  Mothers in Mexico eat jalapeños.  And none of their babies complain.  The great thing is, amniotic fluid was flavored with whatever mom ate while pregnant; breastmilk will be, too.  And that’s what gets baby’s taste buds ready for family mealtime."

And what about giving baby gas from what you're ingesting? The last thing you want is to see your little one suffering from gas pain and bloating. Is what we eat contributing to that through breastfeeding?

Unlikely, says Mississippi-based Saenz. "Things that cause gas in mom don’t usually cause gas in baby, and mom’s gas isn’t absorbed to pass through the milk into baby.  That said, some babies are sensitive to some things, but the leading culprit is often dairy.  Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, greens, and beans are usually OK."

If you over indulged during pregnancy (read: ice cream sundaes every night before bed), you'll likely want to curb that now. But you shouldn't deprive yourself either. As they say, everything in moderation.

For more helpful tips from Mississippi Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic, PLLC check this out:

The information contained on this site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant. 

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