The period of breastfeeding comes right after pregnancy. After giving birth to your child, you have to feed it with breast milk. Breast milk contains all the essential nutrients a baby needs in the first few months of their lives – at least six months.
Breast milk is produced by the body and what you eat goes a long way to determine the quality of your breast milk. So, just as there are foods you should eat much of, there are also foods you should avoid during the period of breastfeeding. While these foods are not bad, you should limit your intake when breastfeeding. There are also some foods that boost breastmilk production during pregnancy; however, there are also other foods to avoid while breastfeeding.
Today, we would be looking at some of the Nigerian foods to avoid when breastfeeding
While fish can be quite nutritious, it also contains mercury, which is a harmful substance you do not want in your body. This mercury can be passed on t the baby through breast milk and it can impair their brain health.
But this does not mean you should give up eating fish. The mercury content in fish does not cause any problems when eating in safe amounts. As a breastfeeding mother, you can eat fish twice a week. Also, you should eat other healthy Nigerian seafoods like salmon, catfish, pollock, and even shrimps.
You must have avoided alcohol all through the period of pregnancy. You have to avoid it again for, at least, the next six months while you breastfeed your baby. This is because alcohol can be passed through breast milk to the baby and the last thing you want is your one-month-old baby to have alcohol in their system. While there are safe amounts of alcohol you can have, abstinence is advised. If you must drink, make sure you have just a little so that you are not drunk or inebriated. If you drink to the point where you are tipsy, then wait till your body has cleared off all the alcohol before you breastfeed the child again.
3. Junk Foods
If you are someone with a sweet tooth and love for junk food, you would have to practice some self-discipline at this point as you do not want to eat a lot of highly processed foods while breastfeeding. Junk foods hardly contain any nutrients and they are not healthy. Research has also shown that when a mother consumes processed food when breastfeeding, the baby might develop a taste for such types of food. Some common junk foods in Nigeria to avoid while breastfeeding include shawarma, hamburger, pizza.
Where giving up junk food is impossible, try to limit your intake as much as you can.
We know you love your early morning tea or coffee but you would have to put that on hold now that you are breastfeeding. Other sources of caffeine include soda, chocolate, and energy drink. No matter what boost your feel you get from taking any of the above, it is recommended that you stay off them while you breastfeed.
5. Spicy Foods
Eating spicy foods while pregnant is a bit tricky. While there is nothing wrong with it, you can pass some of the spice to the baby when you breastfeed. Some babies might react well to it while others would not. You just have to limit the spicy things you consume. Do not eat anything unnecessarily spicy.
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