What should I avoid or limit in my diet while breastfeeding?

Dr. Diana K. Blythe, MD

While breastfeeding, you should limit caffeine and alcohol. Avoid completely illegal drugs which can have major effects on your baby's growing brain and body. In addition, make sure any doctor prescribing medications for you knows that you are breastfeeding.

On the other hand, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and continue taking your prenatal vitamin. Eat a good well-rounded diet and try to get as much sleep as possible.

Many restrictions that existed during pregnancy still exist, to some degree, when breastfeeding. A good rule of thumb about alcohol consumption when breastfeeding is that if you’re sober enough to drive, then you can breastfeed. Alcohol affects infants in a magnified way because of their underdeveloped liver function, so consumption should always be monitored with care. Caffeine intake is another common concern, although most mothers can have it in moderation. Some infants are more sensitive than others to a mother’s caffeine intake, particularly if the mother avoided caffeine entirely during pregnancy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.