8 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

As mothers, it's important to know what foods you can and can't eat while breastfeeding. You give everything you eat to your baby through breast milk.
8 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Last update: 18 November, 2018

Just like during pregnancy, breastfeeding mothers should take good care of their diet. There are certain foods to avoid while breastfeeding because they aren’t good for your baby. In this article, we’ll tell you what they are and why you should avoid them.

During this time, you really need to watch what you eat. It’s not necessary to overeat, like many people may recommend. What you need to do is monitor your diet. Make sure it’s balanced and that you’re getting lots of nutrients.

Healthy breastfeeding diet characteristics

While breastfeeding, it’s important to follow what’s called a “strong diet.” For example, this can include fried eggs or omelettes, some fresh or dried fruit, nuts, ham and even some chicken.

Breastfeeding mothers’ diets should be varied. They should also have lots of vitamin D, vitamin C and healthy fats, like butter and egg yolk.

It’s also a good idea to have good, healthy snacks. A good option is tea with toast, jam, fresh cheese and honey. For dinner, although this may seem obvious, you should eat lots of vegetables.

In this sense, overeating can actually be harmful. It can cause liver and heart damage. If you overeat, it’s important to improve your eating habits.

Therefore, you need to balance fats, vegetables, legumes, fruits, meats, soups, chicken, fish, sweets, dairy and other important foods.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to eat more dairy to produce breast milk. Lactation is much more complex, and other things produce milk.

It’s also important to remember that it’s essential to talk to your doctor about your diet. They’re able to determine which foods to avoid while breastfeeding, and which foods to include in your diet.

Daily diet for nursing mothers

You might be wondering how much of the different foods you should be eating. Nursing mothers should have these foods every day:

  • Bread: 400 grams
  • Meat: 170 grams
  • Milk: 400 grams
  • Soup: 250 grams
  • Sugar: 20 grams
  • Fresh vegetables: 500 grams
  • Fruit: 200 grams
  • Fatty cheese: 40 grams
8 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

However, there are good and bad foods for breastfeeding. Some foods are more harmful for the baby. The best way to preserve yours and your baby’s health is to avoid these foods.

8 foods to avoid while breastfeeding

Among the foods to avoid while breastfeeding, these are the most important:


Chickpeas and beans, among others, are included here. You should avoid them because they alter the functioning of the baby’s large intestine. Therefore, they could give the baby flatulence.


Some citrus fruits include oranges, tangerines, guava, and passion fruit. These are detrimental to the baby’s digestive function. They can also give babies heartburn.

However, they’re good sources of many vitamins. Everything depends on each mother’s tolerance for citrus fruits.


This is one of the condiments that breastfeeding mothers should eliminate completely from their diet. Spicy foods interrupt intestinal functions. For example, it can make it hard for the baby to defecate. This can be a very uncomfortable symptom for babies.

“In this sense, overeating can actually be harmful. It can cause liver and heart damage. If you overeat, it’s important to improve your eating habits.”


Although it seems unusual to avoid onions while breastfeeding, it’s a good idea. It may cause issues with babies’ emotional development and mood. Eating onions can make some babies colicky and irritable.

However, there are people who say this vegetable doesn’t cause babies to feel uncomfortable. They say it’s beneficial because of its polysaccharides, flavonoids and fructosans, among other nutrients.

Broccoli and cauliflower

Eating these veggies can give your baby annoying cramping. In addition, some people say that broccoli and cauliflower change the taste of the milk. However, in reality, babies don’t really notice.


It’s also good to avoid coffee while breastfeeding. It interferes with the baby’s normal sleep phase. This way, babies can get insomnia and feel nervous. Their healthy brain development is interrupted.

8 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Dark meat fish

Avoid eating this type of fish until your baby is a year and a half. By being careful, you can avoid triggering allergies.

Although there are certain foods to avoid while breastfeeding, always keep in mind that every woman is different. Therefore, all bodies react in different ways to different diets.

With the help of your specialist, you can find a great diet for you. In addition, your specialist will take your baby into account. Never make decisions by yourself. You can read all about diets, but make sure to get it approved by your doctor.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Agencia Española de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición. Recomendaciones de consumo de pescado por presencia de mercurio. Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social.
  • Asociación Española de Pediatría. Recomendaciones sobre lactancia materna del Comité de lactancia materna de la Asociación Española de Pediatría.
  • Berger P. K, Plows J. F, et al. Association of maternal fructose and sugar-sweetened beverage and juice intake during lactation with infant neurodevelopment outcomes at 24 months. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Octubre 2020. 112 (6): 1516-1522.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol. Is it safe for mothers to breastfeed their infant if they have consumed alcohol? U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Goran M. I, Martin A. A, et al. Fructose in breast milk is positively associated with infant body composition at 6 moths of age. Nutrients. Febrero 2017. 9 (2): 146.
  • Iacovou M, Gibson P. R, Muir J. G. Dietary changes among breastfeeding mothers. Journal of Human Lactation. Agosto 2021. 37 (3): 566-576.
  • Mayo Clinic. Breast-feeding nutrition. Tips for moms. Abril 2020.
  • National Health System Wales. Breastfeeding and diet. Septiembre 2022.
  • National Health System Wales. Healthy breastfeeding diet.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.