During your pregnancy, you stayed away from all the foods and drinks you were supposed to stay away from. No uncooked meat, shellfish, seafood, caffeine, or alcohol touched your lips. Now that the baby is here, do the same set of rules apply? The good news for new moms is that they can go back to the diet they had before the birth of their child. However, there are some things that should be consumed in moderation to ensure your milk production is up and that your baby is happy and healthy.
Caffeine can pass from your bloodstream, to your milk, to your baby’s bloodstream. It is safe to have your morning cup of coffee or afternoon tea. However, try to limit your caffeine intake to less than three cups a day. If you exceed this amount, your baby could seem jittery. The best advice is to avoid drinking your cup of joe until after you are done with a breastfeeding session, so when your baby is hungry again the caffeine will likely be out of your system.
Virtually any fish you eat will contain some level of mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin, and if you are consuming a fish that has high levels of it, that could affect your baby’s brain adversely. Usually, the health benefits of eating fish outweigh the possible costs. It is a low fat, high protein meat that contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins that are good for the body and brain. So, what can you do to lower your risks of subjecting your baby to high levels of mercury? Stay away from fish that have higher levels of mercury such as shark, swordfish, mackerel, and tilefish. Stick to the fish that usually contain less mercury such as tuna, shrimp, salmon, and catfish.
Herbs such as peppermint, parsley, and sage have been known to decrease breast milk production. It should not affect a mother if she has it in small doses, but if you notice a decrease in production after eating any of these herbs, it is best to stay away from them for a while during breastfeeding.
If You Still Have Questions
LifeCircle Women’s Healthcare is the only place that offers a lactation clinic in the area, and it is open to all breastfeeding mothers, even if you are not a patient. We can connect you with breastfeeding classes and support groups to make sure your confidence as a mother grows stronger every day. Give us a call if you are interested in learning more.