What foods should breastfeeding women avoid?

Mother's diet during breastfeeding

A special diet during breastfeeding is not necessary. However, breastfeeding mothers should eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet so that their child is adequately supplied with nutrients. Basically healthy is what is good for all women of childbearing age. Breastfeeding is heavy physical work, so that the mother needs more energy of 630 kcal per day. Nevertheless, it is important to only follow your feeling of hunger and not to eat more as a precaution. Malnutrition, but also overeating of the mother, reduces milk production and should be avoided. The body weight should be reduced slowly and not more than 2 kg per month during breastfeeding.

Essential foods include products made from milk and whole grains that contain protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. Based on current research results, the European Food Standard Agency (EFSA) also recommends eating two servings of fatty sea fish, i.e. mackerel, salmon, herring, per week. The polyunsaturated fatty acids contained in high levels, such as omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, have a positive effect on the central nervous system, brain, liver, retina of the eye and the immune system of the infant.
Low-fat meat or meat products should be on the menu three times a week. They provide protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins.

According to current knowledge, it is not necessary to avoid certain foods during the breastfeeding period to avoid flatulence in the baby. If it does happen that the baby does react to a food, you just have to try out what is better for him: The vegetables carrots, broccoli, fennel and spinach as well as the fruits apple, bananas, grapes, apricots and mango are usually well absorbed. Legumes, garlic, onions and cabbage vegetables can lead to flatulence in individual cases, so they should be avoided if this is the case.

The later taste of the child can already be influenced a little while breastfeeding. Children prefer to eat certain types of fruit and vegetables if the mother has already consumed them more frequently while breastfeeding.

Drinking has no effect on the amount of milk. Nevertheless, every breastfeeding mother should ensure that they drink 2 to 2.5 liters of fluids per day. It is best to have a glass of water with every breastfeeding meal. Still or low-carbon mineral water, unsweetened herbal and fruit teas, juices or spritzers made from low-acid fruits are particularly suitable for this. For coffee (decaffeinated if possible) or black tea, you should limit yourself to one or two cups in the morning immediately after breastfeeding.

The precautionary intake of vitamins, fluoride or iodine should be carried out in consultation with the doctor.

Pure vegetarians (avoiding any food of animal origin) should definitely seek advice from their gynecologist on the right diet during breastfeeding during pregnancy. In these cases, additional nutrient intake or very specific food choices are sometimes required.
Iron is a critical factor in vegetarians who do not eat meat but consume milk, as it is best absorbed through the meat.

Years of strict vegans often suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency. If this vitamin cannot be passed on with breast milk, permanent neurological damage is to be feared in the infant.

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