Congratulations! Motherhood has finally arrived! Everything that we have had to put up with for the past nine months has finally paid off. All those emotional months of not being able to tolerate our favorite food, the sleepless nights, the backaches, the worries we've had, they are all in the past now and we can finally welcome our bundle of joy. Just look at the baby! Aren't they a sight to behold? Every little movement the baby makes is so fluid; just a flutter of their eyelids can melt even the coldest of hearts.
Now that the baby is here, it's time to rejoice and celebrate! What better way to reward ourselves than to throw a banquet and enjoy a feast worthy of the king himself?
But wait... We have just given birth, our bodies are still adjusting to the sudden and massive changes of having to return to their pre-pregnancy forms again. It's a shock to the system. After not eating certain foods for nine months, we should take it slow and start reintroducing our favorite snacks at a gentle pace. So, what should we refrain from eating right after labor? The list is aplenty but we've narrowed them down to the top 20 foods that should be avoided like the plague lest mom and the baby get into trouble.
20 Fermented Drinks: Drinking These Can Lead To Drowsiness
Think of the digestive tract as a shrine; a holy temple with a "thou shalt not stain thy temple with fermented beverages" sign right at its entrance. After having cleansed our bodies with nothing but healthy wholesome meals for the past few months, the introduction of fermented beverages might do more harm than good. While they may be good for one's heart and digestive tract (delicious, healthy drinks like kefir and kombucha are said to be full of probiotics), consuming too much right after labor can lead to drowsiness and, in some cases, nausea. That's a no-can-do for moms who have to be alert 24/7 to look after their newborn.
19 Citrus Fruits: Baby's Gastrointestinal Tract Might Be Too Young For This
Citrus fruits are to be avoided like at all cost if mom plans on breastfeeding. Various articles from BabyCenter, Firstcry Parenting, and Mom365 all advise against consuming these for fear of irritating the baby's gastrointestinal tract. What is deemed as a minor issue to mom can lead to a series of serious refluxes and diarrhea for the baby. In some cases, they can even develop diaper rash from drinking breastmilk from moms who consume oranges, lemons, and limes. Babies are fragile little humans, so we need to be extra careful. We can always introduce citrus to the baby through vitamin boosters once they are physically ready.
18 Garlic: It Won't Shun Only The Vampires Away
This one really is a no brainer. Anyone can tell that garlic gives off a pungent smell strong enough to ward off even Count Dracula. Heck, garlic is so strong it can even shoo away coughs and cold. But regardless of how great its healing properties may be, we wouldn't want the first smell to welcome our baby to be one of garlic odor. It just isn't appealing; it's downright traumatizing for them.
Here's a fun fact; there have been babies who have refused their mother's milk and warm embrace because of the lingering taste of garlic in the milk, or even in their mother's breath. So say bye-bye to garlic for the time being.
17 Nuts: Allergies, Baby, Allergies
Since nuts (especially peanuts) have been known to cause various allergy reactions in babies, try to avoid having any contact with these freaky little things until after the baby is weaned. So, what if you can tolerate a little rash and itchiness here and there? Well, the little portion of allergenic compounds might find their way to your breastmilk. This leads to unwanted hives, rashes, eczema, asthma, and in some serious cases cardiac arrest. Tree nuts may be small in size and great as snacks, but they can be extremely lethal. It's best to play it safe and ax them for the time being.
16 Coffee: It'll Keep Both Mom and Cranky Baby Awake
Coffee-loving moms who have been waiting with bated breath will most likely throw a fit when they find out they still cannot consume coffee yet. But hold your horses, honey! We all know that coffee and even certain teas contain high levels of caffeine; and when drank by an already tired mom who has been through hours of labor, the end result will most likely be a cranky mother who can't sleep. Also, let's not even talk about what would happen to the baby if you breastfed your child with caffeinated milk. An extremely alert baby and a cranky mommy isn't exactly the best combination.
15 Chilies: Colicky Babies, Anyone?
Too much spicy food is never a good thing, and more so if one has just come out of labor. Imagine all the heartburn mom needs to endure while trying to entertain her little infant. "Sorry baby, mommy can't play with you. I have to go douse myself with water first." So let's play it safe for the time being, and pass over anything that adds heat when thinking of postpartum meals. If you're nursing your baby, there are even more reasons to avoid all these fire breathing foods. Just reincorporate them into your lifestyle after a while later; or rather, a very long while later.
14 Chocolate: The Rise Of The Overstimulated Baby
Everyone loves chocolates. Okay, maybe not everyone; but a majority of the population loves chocolate. For moms who have just given birth, what better way to reward themselves than to have a sweet treat like this? Sadly, chocolate must be listed as a no-no for moms. Is there no end to this postpartum anguish? Can't a mom even enjoy some snacks here? But these sugary, high-calorie sweets work in a similar manner to coffee. It can overstimulate both you and your baby so much so that you might have to put up with a crying baby all day and night. That consequence isn't worth the short-term bliss.
13 Gassy Food: Babies Have Sensitive Noses Too
Gassy foods such as broccoli, beans, and cabbage—among numerous other greens—should be avoided at all costs for the first day or two after delivery. There's no worry about these food being harmful in any way; if a mother's digestive tract can handle them, then, by all means, dig into them! That being said, a handful of moms tend to be more sensitive after labor and can have adverse reactions to gassy food. To prevent welcoming the baby, family members, and well-meaning visitors with gas, just stay away from gassy food for the time being.
*Farts* Oops! It wasn't me!
12 Fizzy Drinks: Moms Might Feel Bloated And Irritable, And It Won't Be Because Of The Hormones
Ask a new mom what she would like right after the bun pops out from the oven, and one might just get Pepsi, Coke, root beer, and a plethora of other sweet fizzy drinks as the answer. But as tempting as these drinks may be, it might be best to refrain from drinking them for a few days. This isn't to say that one should completely eliminate fizzy drinks from postpartum meals. A few tiny sips are fine, but any more than a half cup could render mom feeling bloated and irritable from both the high sugar count and gas within the drink.
11 Fried Snacks: Moms Might End Up Having Nausea
We commonly hear and read about celebrities who order pizzas and fries right after giving birth to their little darlings. News such as this is more often than not followed by massive applause from mothers-to-be worldwide, vowing to chow down on crispy fried chicken and cheesy onion rings after they gave birth. There's obviously no law saying that moms cannot consume extremely oily, greasy, unhealthy food, but please bear in mind the consequences that come after. Moms might end up with extreme nausea and vomiting worthy of the classic scene from The Exorcist.
10 Health Supplements: Are You Kidding Me?
One of the things that hang heavy on most mothers minds right after giving birth to her beautiful baby (apart from looking after her infant's wellbeing, of course) is getting back in shape as soon as possible. Who wouldn't feel pressured into trying to look like Kim Kardashian or Victoria Beckham? So naturally, some moms may want to start on health supplements right away. But for the love of both your child and your own body, please don't do that. Well, at least not right away. While health supplements may be good for the body, no one knows what effects they can have on the baby for moms who plan to nurse. So refrain from popping those kinds of pills- for now.
9 Candies: An Overly Stimulated Mom and Baby Isn't A Great Way To Start Motherhood
As with all sugar and spice and everything nice, candies should be avoided like a plague for the first day or two after labor. While it's a fact that candies provide sugar and therefore can act as an energy booster to a tired mom, consuming too many can lead to a sugar rush- and subsequently an overstimulated mom. What's worse is if you're nursing your infant, doses of sugar can be passed onto your child. Then you'll have not one, but two overstimulated human beings in the same room.
In addition, a small percentage of moms retain their gestational diabetes even after labor. If you fall under this category and don't properly care for your own health, there's a chance that you'll become permanently diabetic in later years.
8 Soy Milk: This Can Lead To Nausea And Constipation
Soy milk, according to The Journal of Perinatal Education, is the only plant source to contain all eight amino acids found in meat. It also contains a high amount of calcium (good for the bones), iron (a real plasma booster), and fiber (to keep you regular). So, why would such a good source of food that can help fuel lactation be avoided in early postpartum meals? Well, for one thing, every baby is different. Some infants tend to be allergic to soy and can have allergic reactions to remnants of soy passed on in mom's breastmilk. There have also been claims (albeit not scientifically proven) that compounds of estrogen from soy can also make their way to the breastmilk, hence affecting the baby's normal growth.
7 Sushi & Sashimi: Mercury From Fish Can Make Its Way To Breastmilk
Sushi and sashimi. Ahhh, you can bite into soft and tender salmon sashimi, and savor the juiciness of the raw fish. You reach out to take a bite when...smack! That plate of sashimi and sushi gets taken away. Noooo! Motherhood should be celebrated with glory, not treated with despair.
Don't tell us that new moms in Asia can't enjoy sushi and sashimi after delivery. It's practically their staple food! Okay, okay — before people judge me for saying to stay away from fish, moms should know that a small portion is still acceptable. However, some fish—if not thawed properly—can contain bacteria that leads to extreme stomach discomfort, while others have high mercury content. The latter is never good for one's health, so please take all this information into consideration before consuming any.
6 Spices: Sugar And Spice And Everything Nice Might Trigger Allergies And Affect Breastmilk Supply
Spices like cinnamon, garlic powder, turmeric, and nutmeg are wonderful flavor enhancers. They can elevate a simple meal to the heights of a Michelin-star dish. But, they can also cause allergic reactions in some babies, and also their moms. These reactions include mild rashes, eczema, fussiness, constipation, diarrhea, and even difficulty breathing. While everyone reacts differently to spices (a lucky few will never have to endure all these allergic reactions), one should never ever take a chance with their baby. If you plan to breastfeed, then please steer clear of spices for the time being.
5 Cherries & Prunes: They Are Known To Have A Laxative Effect On Babies
Cherries and prunes, which are part of the CRAP nutriment (cherries, raisins, apricot, and prunes) are delicious versatile fruits that are full of vitamins and a great source for relieving constipation. We also all know that what is considered a small portion to mom may have an enormous impact on the baby- especially if one is nursing. So while cherries and prunes might be great in helping relieve constipation, they might have an extreme laxative effect on your newborn baby. Think more than 10 diaper changes a day.
*Jaws drop and eyes bulge* Not exactly a great way to start parenthood.
4 Eggs: They Might Be A Concern For Moms With Weak Kidneys
There's a rare but dangerous condition that affects women both during and after birth called postpartum preeclampsia. According to preeclampsia.org, this condition can happen to any women who has just given birth. This condition can last anywhere from 48 hours up to six weeks after delivery. During this sensitive period, you'll have to watch your food intake as your pressure and the health of your kidneys is on the line. That's why eggs are definitely out of the question at that point. Even healthy moms should also watch their egg intakes, as some babies tend to be allergic to eggs. So, if a nursing mom insists on eating eggs, keep an eye on the baby's reactions.
3 Cow's Milk: Lactose Intolerance, Anyone?
Cow's milk is one of the main contenders of common problem foods for breastfed babies. In fact, it could be the heavyweight champion of allergy-inducing foods. Cow's milk and a mother's breastmilk contain slightly different properties, some of which are not well tolerated by infants. The human digestive tract is very different from a cow's, so some babies tend to develop lactose intolerance. A baby with lactose intolerance will end up with rashes and diarrhea after drinking breastmilk from a mom who drank cow's milk. We know they are a much-needed source of calcium, but cow's milk has just got to go.
2 Wheat: A Number Of Moms Develop Wheat Intolerance After Labor
Some moms develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), while a smaller number hit the jackpot and develop celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder that causes a reaction to gluten) after giving birth. According to Wikipedia, side effects from having celiac can include bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and in some instances acute chest pains.
Sigh, motherhood can indeed be both a blessing and a curse sometimes.
So, to keep yourself out of trouble, cross wheat off from your list of postpartum meals. Delicious as they may be, one's health should always come first. Satisfying the taste buds can take a backseat for now.
1 Corn Soup: This Causes Hard Stools In Babies
Corn soup sounds and tastes delicious. It is considered comfort food for many, and that includes moms who have just come out of the delivery room. While a sip or two of corn soup is fine, polishing off a whole bowl might not exactly be the wisest thing to do.
According to the Manhattan Gastroenterology Center, corn is high in cellulose, a fancy name for fiber that the body cannot break down. When it passes through our system in large amounts undigested, it can cause cramps and lots of gas. For nursing moms, their babies might be affected too with hard stools. That's an uncomfortable situation for both mom and baby to deal with.
References: Wikipedia, momjunction, parents.com