Wednesday, July 18, 2012

5 Summertime Foods Breastfeeding Moms Should Avoid

The following five food items are quite popular during the warmer months, but they are also quite popular for causing upset stomachs in breastfeeding babies. Compounds in these foods can pass to your child through your breast milk; making for a very fussy and unhappy summer.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are used in a variety of summer dishes to add a fresh twist to everyday foods. They are also used in several poolside cocktails. But if you are breastfeeding, you should try to avoid eating these fruits or drinking their juices as they can create GI tract problems for your baby that lead to upset stomachs and fussiness, spitting up and even diaper irritation.


Whether you are on vacation or celebrating a holiday on the lake, you should avoid drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day if you are breastfeeding. Studies have shown that breastfeeding moms can drink one drink or less per day without causing any negative side effects for the baby. However, any more than that, and you could be causing several problems for your baby and yourself. Side effects of over-drinking while breastfeeding include drowsiness, deep sleep, weakness and abnormal weight gain in your baby. Mothers can also experience a decrease in their ability to eject milk, making it difficult to lactate and feed.

Ice Cream

I scream, you scream! Summertime is the best time to eat this cool treat, but it may not be a good time for moms who are breastfeeding. If you are enjoying any dairy product in your diet (including ice cream), be aware that you could be irritating your baby’s stomach. Some babies are intolerant to antibodies found in cow’s milk. Symptoms of dairy intolerance include colic, diarrhea (including bloody diarrhea), constipation, vomiting, eczema and hives. If you think your baby has sensitivity to dairy, try phasing it out of your diet for a few weeks to see if there is any difference. Many babies outgrow the sensitivity between six and 18 months, so new moms should especially keep a look out for a dairy intolerance.


Grilled corn is very popular in the summer, and many summer salads include corn as an ingredient. However, if you eat it on regular basis, and your baby is exhibiting colic-like symptoms, the corn could be the culprit. Try removing it from your diet for a few days to see if any of the symptoms are alleviated.

Shellfish and Fish

Many families head to the beach during the summer where they indulge in all the fresh seafood they can handle. But if your family (both you and your husband’s) has a history of shellfish or fish allergies, you should avoid all foods from the sea while breastfeeding, because the allergy could be passed on to your child through your breast milk.

Keep in mind that these foods do not upset all babies’ stomachs. When you are breastfeeding, it is best to stay aware of all the foods you eat and how your baby reacts to them. If you have been enjoying these summer treats lately, and your baby has been experiencing irritability, consider cutting them out of your diet for at least a week while monitoring for any improvement in your child’s symptoms.

Mariana Ashley writes about educational topics for Reach out to her with questions or comments at

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