Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Things to Avoid Jan 5, 2021

Is There a List of Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding?

Most foods are safe to eat while breastfeeding. A mother only needs to start looking at her diet for culprit foods, after she has considered other reasons why her baby might be cranky.

Have a look at the breastfeeding a fussy infant page, to find out whether you should change your diet or change something else.

Other possible reasons for colic symptoms in your baby.

If you think that it is the food in your diet that is causing the discomfort in your baby, you should get allergy tests done before trying an elimination diet.

It may take up to two weeks before your system is cleared of the food that you have eliminated from your diet. If the gassiness, fussiness, and crying do not ease with specific food elimination, you can rest assured, that most babies will stop experiencing these types of problems from about three months onward.

The fussiness, if caused by your breast milk, is usually the result of something that was eaten three to six hours before; this will give you an idea of what could be causing the problem.

Your baby’s tolerance to the specific food will change as he/she gets older and as Baby's system matures. ONLY IF your baby has tested positive for a food allergy, it is best to delay giving the problem food to your baby before 12 months. After this period, you can start to give small amounts of the culprit food to your child.

foods to avoid while breastfeeding, breastfeeding, breast milk

Those That Every Breastfeeding Mom Should Stay Away From

  • Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish and King Mackerel are the most important foods to avoid while breastfeeding. (These fish contain a high mercury content).
  • Tuna. (No more than one tuna steak or two 170g cans a week).
  • All freshwater fish that comes from places known to be contaminated. More about eating fish while breastfeeding.
  • Stay away from artificial sweeteners like Saccharin.
  • Stay away from processed foods; they contain too many additives.
  • Alcohol is allowed in small amounts. More about drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.
  • The extra fat on meat should be cut off because it absorbs toxins.
  • Coffee (limit to two cups a day). More about breastfeeding and caffeine intake.

Common Foods That May Cause Your Baby Discomfort

It was believed that avoiding common food allergens (any substance that can cause an allergy), would decrease the risk of a baby developing allergic reactions. It was also believed that if the mother or close family had an allergic reaction to a specific food, that that food should be avoided while breastfeeding. BUT...Recent research suggests that the introduction of "culprit allergy foods" into your baby's diet in small amounts from the age of 4 months can prevent allergic reactions later on. A mother is now encouraged to eat these foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding unless she is allergic to a specific food. Reference for this new information: Allergies - Where are we now? & Early consumption of peanuts in infancy is associated with a low prevalence of peanut allergy.

Some Common Culprit Foods Include:

Beans, Cabbage, Cherries, Corn, Dairy products, Garlic, Onions, Shellfish, Tomato, Broccoli, Caffeine, Chocolate, Corn syrup, Eggs, Hot peppers, Peanuts, Soy and tofu, Wheat, Brussel sprouts, Cauliflower, Citrus fruits and juices, Cucumber, Food dyes, Iron and other supplements and medication, Prunes and Spicy food.

Signs That You Need to Get Your Baby Tested

Signs That Your Breastfed Baby Is Allergic to Something in Your Diet

More about how to handle food sensitivities in the breastfed infant.

If you are going to be eliminating something like dairy from your diet, you will need to see a dietitian, so that they can help balance your diet; also remember to keep on taking your vitamins.


Tracy Behr

A homeschooling mother of two, breastfeeding helper, and lover of all things natural! Currently studying plant-based nutrition.

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