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On our site we have the best specialists to help you in the upbringing and education of your children, but also in caring for their health. Within the framework of our Guiainfantil responds project, in which we answer all your questions, we have received a message from a mother concerned about how the mother's diet affects the baby during breastfeeding.
The message from the mother who contacted us through social networks read the following:
Hello! I breastfeed my 4 month old baby.
I have been told that what I eat can affect my baby ... is it true?
Thank you very much!
There are many myths about breastfeeding about what is right and what is wrong, what we can and cannot do, what is good and what is bad for our baby ... Some of these urban legends are so extended that it is difficult not to believe them (and more so when our mothers or mothers-in-law tell us about them). For get out of all the misinformation and to know the latest discoveries and research on breastfeeding, we have the experts trained in the subject.
Surely you have also heard on more than one occasion that if the mother who is breastfeeding takes certain foods, these will end up having a negative impact on your baby. Some say that they can make them nervous, they can cause colic, they can turn their guts ... What is true in all this?
Pilar Martínez, a breastfeeding consultant, has answered this mother's question about the diet that a woman should maintain while breastfeeding her baby.
How does what the nursing mother eats affect the baby? On what should be based the feeding of this woman during lactation? These are some of the keys that we must take into account.
1. 'No food is bad until proven otherwise'
The first basis that we must take into account as a starting point is that, first of all, there is no bad food that the breastfeeding mother cannot take. This means that, unless some harmful symptoms have been registered for the baby or for the mother herself, no food should be absolutely and sharply limited. Although, we must take into account other details that we detail below.
2. The feeding of the breastfeeding mother should be healthy and varied
Like that of any other woman, man or child, the most important thing is that the mother who breastfeeds eat a healthy and varied diet. This diet, which will provide you with all the nutrients you need to feel good, is the best option for the baby who feeds on your milk, but especially for herself.
After childbirth, a mother needs to take care of herself and feeding is one of the first requirements that cannot be neglected. This healthy diet means avoiding processed foods as much as possible, but also restricting salt and sugar.
3. If the baby and the mother have no problems, there are no prohibited foods
Therefore, in general cases, there is no prohibited food for the breastfeeding mother. However, beyond the foods in our diet, we must limit the consumption of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
4. When your baby has a food allergy, breastfeeding does count
In cases where the baby develops some type of food allergy, such as an allergy to cow protein, it will be necessary to modify what the mother eats. In this case, it is recommended that the mother does not take dairy or any derivative to ensure the good health of the baby.
In any case, it is easy to identify the symptoms that could indicate that the baby has any of these allergies, since we will appreciate signs such as: it is too difficult for him to gain weight, he has frequent strong diarrhea, his stools have threads of blood, he cries intensely and persistent due to inconvenience ...
5. The mother's diet is important, but not decisive
While it is true that the mother's diet should be healthy and varied, the truth is that it is not decisive when determining how much the baby grows. The body is wise and knows how to make the best of what we offer to make the mother's milk the best food for the baby, even when the mother does not follow a 100% healthy diet.
Breastfeeding is the best food we can give our baby. As Jane Allen and Debra Hector's research article for the New South Wales Public Health Bulletin points out, 'Benefits of breastfeeding', breastfeeding protects the baby from various health problems throughout its life. This has a positive impact on the health of the child, but if we look in a broader sense, breastfeeding becomes an ally for the health of the population in general, which, as indicated in said publication, also contributes to savings big money for the state.
If I eat spicy my baby will get nervous; if I eat chickpeas, it will have gas; If I eat onion, milk will be bad for her ... You may have heard some of these myths, but is it true that the foods that the mother eats can alter the baby, both emotionally and physically? As this lactation consultant assures, the baby's condition does not have to be affected by what his mother eats.
While it is true, that some foods can change the taste of breast milk. Far from what might be thought at first, that milk tastes different is not a negative thing, nor will it cause rejection of the baby. Quite the opposite!
Babies who are used to breast milk changing taste are more willing to try new foods when they start with the next stage: complementary feeding. Therefore, they are less likely to reject those foods that are introduced after 6 months as a complement to breastfeeding.
In the case of babies who drink artificial milk, they are used to having all the feedings they take throughout the day taste the same, unlike those who breastfeed.
You can read more articles similar to How the mother's feeding affects the baby during breastfeeding, in the category of On-site Breastfeeding.