Foods to avoid while Breastfeeding

Breast milk, without a doubt, is the perfect food for babies. It covers all the essential vitamins and minerals and contains carbohydrates, proteins, and fat in the right amount. But that's not all. Mothers still need to put an extra layer of caution to maintain the contents of breast milk. It is because what you eat is what your milk produces. This, in turn, determines the health of your child: progressive or degrading. So, a food check is the ultimate answer here.

Given below, we have listed 6 foods to avoid while breastfeeding.
1. Fish high in mercury

Fish are a great source of protein. They also contain omega acids like docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. But this doesn't mean every type of fish is suitable for your baby. Especially those with high mercury content can cause severe health conditions in the child. These can range from cognition defects, motor skill impairment, and delayed speech and language development. Therefore, avoid fishes high in mercury and opt for a healthier option. Some fishes high in mercury are shark, swordfish, bigeye, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, and tilefish.

2. Alcohol

Avoiding alcohol during breastfeeding is the best you can do for your baby's health. According to research, alcohol reduces breast milk output by 20%. Also, high levels of alcohol in breast milk can cause psychomotor and cognitive problems in the child. Therefore, stopping the consumption of alcohol is the best. But, if you still want to drink some: then make sure to wait for at least 2-3 hours before you breastfeed. It is because alcohol takes at least 2-3 hours to be cleared from the system.

3. Caffeine

We know that caffeine messes ups the sleep pattern. And, especially in the case of children, caffeine consumption is more alarming because they can't metabolize caffeine easily. It leads to its toxic accumulation. So, as a result, along with sleep disturbances, systemic problems can also be seen in babies. Therefore, doctors recommend a daily dose of 300 mg of caffeine for breastfeeding mothers.

4. Spicy foods

Spicy foods are generally not a problem during breastfeeding. But, mothers need to make sure that their intake is not out of proportion.

While many babies tolerate spicy food, some babies react to it unusually too. So, if your baby is grumpy and gets diarrhoea every time you take spicy foods, then it's time to cut spicy food from your diet.

5. Sugary and highly processed foods

During breastfeeding days, it's normal for mothers to have higher food demands and thirst. But this doesn't mean you can munch on junk or sodas. A balanced diet is always important to meet food demands to refuel. So, make a conscious choice to add healthy foods to your food list.

6. Peppermint, parsley, and sage

While it is a good idea to include herbs in your diet: make sure to avoid peppermint, parsley, and sage. These herbs are anti galactagogues which are known to decrease breast milk production. Though research states that a small amount of these herbs used in the diet will not affect lactation: it is always a good idea to cut it off when you start noticing decreased milk production.


Being conscious about the food you take during breastfeeding is one of the evident pillars of motherhood. So, it's absolutely necessary to dig deep into the food and nutrition chart. While this blog gives you a brief idea about the foods to avoid during breastfeeding: you can also directly book an appointment at Belle Vue's Cambridge Hospital for a thorough consultation. Call us at +91 96630 11112 or visit our website You can also visit our hospital located in Halasuru, Bengaluru.