Should You Really Avoid All That During Breastfeeding?
By Michelle CLookie
Here’s the skinny, very little of what we put in our bodies, if we are choosing safe and healthy options, will be harmful to your baby.
However, there are times when babies have allergies to medications or food sensitivities, and there are really great things that can be harmful to our milk supply.
So, as always, it is not one size fits all. Let’s talk about the most common things that seem to come up.
Studies have found that consuming turmeric is safe for breastfeeding mamas. Turmeric cream is actually used by some as a topical ointment to help with inflammation during mastitis. However, the reason we may not want to be chugging golden milk all day long is that it does have anti-inflammatory properties, and has been known to effect milk supply in some moms. So, if you are on a turmeric kick, just be aware of your supply and if you notice any change, consider reducing the amount you are consuming.
Caffeine is safe to consume during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. I mean, for some it is our life blood in the morning after those long nights. That’s ok, treat yourself Mama (Suggested quantities can be found here). However, we know that caffeine does not hydrate, and sometimes can do the opposite, so make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of water in conjunction with your latte.
Herbs & Essential Oils:
I love when herbs and essential oils can help a Mama out! In fact, one of my favorites is a nutrient-dense plant found in the Philippines called Moringa which can help increase milk supply. The key thing to remember though, is that herbs and essential oils are medicine, and medical professionals should be consulted before adding these to your shopping list. Why? Because there are several commonly used herbs that may have not so commonly known side effects. Like fenugreek, this herb is used to help increase milk supply, but can be harmful to Mamas with a thyroid condition. Another no no would be peppermint and sage essential oils, these are oils that are actually used to help decrease milk supply. So, enjoy natural remedies, because I love them, but ask questions and do your research!
There are many things to consider when talking about alcohol and breastfeeding, and I am speaking to the Mama who really doesn’t want to pass on that glass of wine or two on her first night out after baby. Oh hey, I mean even the Mama who just wants to cheers to the fact that she created and birthed a baby! You deserve it! Pop that bottle, and enjoy a drink because studies have shown that a drink is not harmful to baby. The best time to drink is right after feeding to give your body time to process the alcohol before the next feed or pumping session (for more information on studies, amounts and guidelines click here).
It happens, dairy and gluten can be a sensitivity for some babies, just like it is for some adults. However, before you go limiting your diet because your baby is spitting up, ask for help! Here’s why: reflux, green poops, gassy baby, generally fussy baby can all be caused by a dairy allergy, but a lot of times it can be a host of other things. A good rule of thumb is that if a food doesn’t sit well with you, your body probably isn’t breaking it down very well, and it may not sit well with your baby either. Avoid those things. Other than that, get a full assessment of your baby’s feeding with an IBCLC before passing on the yogurt or bowl of ice cream!
What else have you been told to avoid? Let us know, submit a question in the comment section below and we can answer it for you!
*This blog post does not take into account everyone’s specific needs, allergies, and situation.
If in question, please consult with your OBGYN or Pediatrician*
Michelle Clookie is a Lactation Consultant, and also works for the Postpartum Health Alliance supporting families in their parenting journey. As a Lactation Consultant, Michelle works to help families reach their unique goals for feeding their babies, and is passionate about normalizing all things motherhood. Michelle also works to provide Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMADs) awareness by providing families, and clinicians with education through the work she does with the San Diego Postpartum Health Alliance. Before shifting her work focus after her first born, Michelle spent 9 years in non-profit working as a Training and Development Director. Michelle, along with her husband Jeremy, live in San Diego with their daughter Charlotte (4 years), son Beckett (2 years), and baby number 3 due this Fall!
You can follow on Instagram or visit her website www.michelleclookie.co