15 Foods That Can Harm The Baby While Breastfeeding

Women likely spend nine full months watching and worrying about what to eat, and refrain from certain foods for the sake of the baby. Well, it does not end once the baby is born, if mom decides to breastfeed. Breastfed babies can have a reaction to certain foods that their mom decides to eat.

There are actually a slew of foods that are surprisingly harmful to your baby if you are breastfeeding. Yep, that is right, breastfeeding mamas, you need to continue to watch what you are eating, as it can easily pass through your system and into the breast milk that your little one is consuming every few hours. You may discover there is a reason why your baby is so fussy or gassy or worse.

In fact, foods that you should think twice about when breastfeeding may not be the ones that immediately come to your head. These same foods may have been perfectly fine for you to consume when you were pregnant, but now that baby has arrived and you are breastfeeding, they may end up being off limits. Read on for some foods that can harm your baby while you are breastfeeding. Take notes, because some of these may shock you!

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Nothing Fattier Than Bacon

Everyone loves bacon, but we all are well aware that it is not exactly the healthiest breakfast food. More so, the big problem is that if we indulge in some bacon, and we are breastfeeding, our little ones are having a taste of that bacon, too.

So is that really so bad? Well, sort of. Bacon is very fatty, and that is nothing that a developing and growing baby should be consuming. Many times, when something is of high saturated fat, it can have a higher percentage regarding chemicals. So with each bite of bacon you take, you are passing on nothing but junk to your little one if you are breastfeeding. We know you want that bacon, just wait to be done with breastfeeding until you indulge!

14 Strawberries Are Not So Sweet

Strawberries may seem harmless, but they can actually do more damage to your breastfed baby than you would ever think possible. Strawberries may seem light and sweet, and not a big deal to consume if you are breastfeeding. However, they can cause some damage to your baby, surprisingly. You may not even realize it is strawberries that are causing so many issues with your little one!

Strawberries can actually make your baby very uncomfortable. These delicious nature’s candy can pass into the breast milk, causing your baby to experience painful gas, fussiness, sleepless nights, constipation, and more. Who knew, right?! If your baby is having any of these symptoms, it may be best to eliminate strawberries from your diet and see if they were the culprit after all.

13 Say Goodbye To Chocolate

Say it isn’t so! Chocolate can actually be damaging to your baby if you are breastfeeding. This one may come as a shock, but rest assured, it is okay to indulge in some chocolate, you just do not want to go overboard if you are breastfeeding your baby. In other words, do not eat that entire box of chocolates (even if you really want to!).

So why is chocolate so bad? Too much of this sweet stuff can be damaging to your baby, all via breast milk. Chocolate contains caffeine. Not as much as a cup of coffee, but if you eat a ton of chocolate, your baby is getting too much caffeine, and their tiny bodies cannot handle and expel caffeine like ours can. Too much chocolate could also cause your baby to have very loose stools, and none of us want that!

12 Peppermint Will Dry Up The Girls

Peppermint flavored anything, as long as it is real peppermint and not artificial, can cause harm to your baby in probably the worst way that any breastfeeding mom could imagine - it can cause your milk supply to dry up. And you may not even realize it.

That means your baby is not getting anything to eat. No nutrients. He may not be himself, and you may not know why. It could be that you are not producing as much milk as he needs. And your peppermint tea could be to blame. Be careful with peppermint. This is something that many breastfeeding moms are totally unaware of, so spread the word, and refrain from peppermint flavored anything until you are done with breastfeeding. Otherwise, peppermint may decide breastfeeding is over for you.

11 Beware Of Broccoli

Your little one is so gassy and fussy. What could be the cause? Well, it could be something you ate if you are breastfeeding your baby. One major culprit of gas is something many of us think is otherwise quite healthy, and that is broccoli. But believe it or not, broccoli can do a number on your little one.

Broccoli is a likely suspect if your baby is having many issues with gas, pooping, sleeping through the night, and general fussiness. We never want our babies to be uncomfortable, and oftentimes, it can hinder their development if it gets severe enough. So pay attention if you happen to eat broccoli, your baby just might have a negative reaction. Your best bet is to eliminate broccoli from your diet, to see if the symptoms in your little one improve.

10 Fish That Are High In Mercury

Eating fish can be healthy for both mama and baby, depending on what kind of fish it happens to be. Certain fish can actually pose a very serious danger for your little one, and it is best to refrain from consuming these types of fish.

Fish that are high in mercury are dangerous for your baby. When you eat these fish, the mercury can go into your breast milk for your baby to consume. You do not want that. Mercury can harm your baby’s sensitive system and their brain and nervous system development. It should not be taken lightly at all. So what kinds of fish should you stay away from if you are breastfeeding? They include swordfish, ahi tuna, shark, marlin, king mackerel, and more. Always check before consuming any fish.

9 Citrus Fruits Make For A Fussy Baby

As you reach for that orange or grapefruit, you are likely thinking that you are eating something healthy. And while you definitely are, it may come as a shock that while vitamin C is important, certain citrus foods can cause harm to your baby if you are breastfeeding.

It is the acidic nature of many citrus fruits that can cause ill effects in your little one. This is all due to your baby’s gastrointestinal tract still developing. The acidity can cause a number of ailments to your baby, from diaper rashes to spitting up and what you may think is unexplained fussiness. If you eat lots of citrus fruits, they may be the reason why your baby is suffering, so try to eliminate those from your diet and choose less acidic fruits, such as pineapple or mango.

8 Parsley In Any Form

Does it surprise you that the garnish and herb parsley is on this list? Believe it or not, parsley is bad. It is very bad for those who are breastfeeding. Parsley can actually cause your milk supply to dry up. That means no more breastfeeding or not enough food for your little one.

Sure, a little parsley here and there is likely to not have a big impact, but you should always steer on the side of better safe than sorry. You may not realize that parsley is an ingredient in many things, such as dips, macaroni and cheese, and more. As you enjoy your food, that parsley may be doing damage to your body, and inadvertently to your sweet baby who needs to feed from you.

7 Artificial Sweeteners

We all have heard that artificial sweeteners are not very good for us. Yet, so many of us consume them on a daily basis. We put them in our coffee, we drink the soda, and so much more we have no idea we are even consuming. If we are breastfeeding, our little ones are also consuming all those artificial sweeteners. It passes right through our breast milk.

Artificial sweeteners are linked to all kinds of issues, which will make you think twice about consuming them yourself, let alone passing them onto your growing and developing baby! Artificial sweeteners may be the root of all evil, and could be to blame for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic disorders, and more. Think twice about consuming anything with artificial sweeteners while you are breastfeeding, as it can only negatively impact your little one.

6 Garlic Goes Through Your System

There is a reason garlic keeps vampires away! In fact, you know that you take a few steps back from anyone with garlic breathe! While garlic may make a dish delicious, your baby is not going to find it delicious to drink in their milk that comes from mom.

That's right, garlic can pass right into your breast milk. Your baby will be able to smell and taste it. This can cause your baby to be reluctant to feed and perhaps not feed at all. Your little one needs to eat many times a day. You may not realize that the reason they are so fussy and turning away from the boob is because you choose to have garlic during dinner. Babies need to eat, and if they don’t, they cannot thrive and develop. Just say no to any and all garlic!

5 Any And All Dairy

Dairy can mean danger. Dairy may be the worst culprit on this entire list. If there are any issues with your little one, from skin problems to pooping issues to general fussiness, dairy could be the root of all evil - or fussiness.

We may not realize how much dairy we consume, from milk in our coffee to cereal every morning, cheese at lunch, and more. All the dairy goes through our breastmilk to our babies. And the thing is, many babies can have an intolerance to dairy, without mom having any effect. Many doctors recommend that if your baby is having any issues at all, the first thing that mom needs to do is to refrain from any and all dairy for a period of time. That will tell if dairy is what is making your little one so miserable.

4 Be Wary Of Wheat

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: 74th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Wheat is very similar as dairy, in that in can cause quite a deal of harm to your baby if you are breastfeeding, and you may not even know that wheat is the cause of all the problems. Wheat can really mess with our systems, and for a tiny baby, it can cause some damage that can sometimes be quite severe.

Wheat intolerance or allergies can cause your baby to be extremely fussy and have stomach issues. In extreme instances, it can cause your little one to have bloody stool. As the breastfeeding mama, you may be so stressed not knowing why your baby is so upset. It may be the wheat products you are consuming. The best way is to eliminate all wheat from your diet, and see if baby’s issues resolve.

3 Baking With Vanilla Extract

You decide to whip up a scrumptious sweet dessert. Your divine cake calls for vanilla extract as one of the ingredients. You pour some into your batter and then lick your fingers with what is left. Now your baby is crying, and needs to eat, and you are breastfeeding.

Guess what is in your bloodstream now? Alcohol. That's right, vanilla extract contains much more alcohol than probably any of us ever realized. Sure, a little bit does no harm, or does it? Would you swig a beer and then go feed your little one? Likely not. Be careful with vanilla extract, and how much you put into your sweet treats. And definitely won’t start sipping from the bottle if you are breastfeeding (not that you would do that anyway!).

2 Processed Foods Are Done

Processed foods are not good, period. We all know this, yet many of us still consume processed foods on a daily basis. If they are not good for us, they are certainly not good for babies. And if you are breastfeeding, all you are doing is passing that horribleness to your baby, which can cause many issues.

Processed foods include fast food, frozen dinners, prepackaged foods, in other words, some good stuff that is not very good for us at all. It is not a surprise that the junk that is in processed foods can pass into breast milk and cause all kinds of harm to your baby, including fussiness, sleeplessness, problems pooping, issues with development, and more. At the very least, try to refrain from consuming processed foods for as long as you are breastfeeding, for your baby’s sake.

1 Even A Drop Of Alcohol

It is not recommended that women have any alcohol while pregnant, and the same goes for after baby is born, when mom is breastfeeding. You have to always remember that anything you consume, your baby will consume, too. And the last thing you want your baby to ingest is alcohol, as it can have devastating effects on her development.

Sure, alcohol will work its way out of your system. But it takes longer than many breastfeeding moms may realize. It can take hours before that one glass of wine is totally out of your system. And in the meantime, your sweet baby is hungry. Bottom line, you may not want to take any chances while breastfeeding. Chill your wine until baby is off the boob!

Sources: Mom365, The Stir, Babycenter

More in What?