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Mother and Baby

How Food And Drink Affects The Flavour Of Your Breastmilk

The different flavours of your food and drink will pass through your breastmilk to your baby, but some make a difference more than others

After months of carefully watching what you eat, sticking to orange juice at parties and cutting back on your daily coffee fix, meeting your baby for the first time might not be the only thing you’ll be celebrating. While there’s nothing wrong – or unusual – about rushing back to your pre-pregnancy vices, if you decide to breastfeed it’s worth thinking about how they’ll affect the flavour of your breastmilk.

Beware of cabbage


Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, have been found to give your baby gas and colic. Garlic can also have the same effect.
Eating too much dairy might also have a similar effect but this does vary so it can be a case of trial and error and keeping an eye on his reactions to different things.

Avoid spicy foods

Stay away from strongly spiced foods, such as hot curries or dishes prepared with chillies, as these can give your baby colic. When you’re breastfeeding it’s important to keep your energy levels up and enjoy a healthy balanced diet – this will ensure your little one experiences a variation of flavours through your breastmilk. The good news is most foods are fine for breastfeeding mums so you can enjoy eating your post-birth cravings.

Drink alcohol with dinner


There’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine after a busy day of mum duties, but while a glass or two with dinner shouldn’t have a negative effect on your breast milk. ‘The effect of alcohol on the baby depends on the amount you drink, so try to keep it in moderation and have a couple of nights off while your baby is still feeding,’ says breastfeeding expert Geraldine Miskin.

There’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine after a busy day of mum duties

Limit your caffeine intake


One or two cups of coffee or tea is fine, but caffeine does filter through your breastmilk – if your baby is particularly sensitive to caffeine he might be up all night (and, breathe…), but finding out how it will affect him is a case of trial and error and keeping an eye on his reactions. So, try incorporating a couple of decaf alternatives. And, stick to a few squares of chocolate instead of the whole bar – as it has a similar stimulant effect.

Only smoke after breastfeeding


Smoking does negatively affect the flavour of your breastmilk, so cut down where possible. ‘Nicotine passes into the breast milk and through to your baby,’ says Geraldine. ‘So, try to smoke immediately after a feed to reduce levels of nicotine in your milk before the next feed is due.’

 
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