5 Foods and Drinks To Steer Clear Of During Breastfeeding
Updated: Sep 2
After childbirth, one of the first and foremost things that most mothers need is to consume highly nutritious food to regain their energy. Indeed, abstaining from all of your favourite foods in the past nine months has been such a difficult thing to do. But, it’s equally important to restrict your diet just a little longer, sticking to confinement meals that contain the best ingredients for recovery.
In fact, as a woman, your nutrient needs is probably the highest during the first six months of exclusive breastfeeding. That is why you’d want to ensure that you are well-nourished and offer your child the ideal quality of breast milk. If you’re a mum-to-be, use this quick checklist to find out the top five foods to reduce or even steer clear of during the postnatal period, to boost the health of you and your little one!
1. Oily Foods
During the recovery period after delivery, the digestive systems of new mums are particularly weak – causing you to be more prone to contracting diarrhoea and constipation. As such, for a new mum, one major type of food to avoid during your confinement period is oily food (mainly fried foods) which can irritate your intestines further.
2. Spicy Foods
Although spicy foods can be mouthwatering and stand as stress relievers for some, new mums are recommended to abstain from spicy food as much as possible in the postpartum recovery period. Similar to oily food, spicy food induces constipation and may cause discomfort to your breastfed baby. Other abdominal pain and digestive problems might also occur, possibly slowing down the recovery of the uterus if these issues persist.
3. Fish High in Mercury
Generally, fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids – crucial for brain development in babies. However, some types of fish contain high levels of mercury, leading to gastric problems for your baby. Apart from that, acute exposure to high levels of mercury can affect your child’s central nervous system and brain development. During the breastfeeding stage, consider avoiding fish with high mercury content, such as swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.
Whether before or after your pregnancy, it’s also best to remove alcohol from your diet. Especially after childbirth, alcohol can be dangerous as alcoholic substances can pass into your breast milk, affecting your little one’s alertness and ability to suckle and. This in turn, interferes with the baby’s breast milk intake and sleeping patterns. It can also result in a drop in volume of breast milk produced.
5. Caffeinated Drinks
Caffeinated drinks like coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate are generally not harmful when consumed in moderation. However, if you’re breastfeeding, it’s best to avoid them because caffeine can enter your breast milk and babies are highly sensitive to caffeine – their bodies find it more challenging to break down and eliminate caffeine. As a result, large amounts of caffeine can accumulate in your baby’s system and cause them to be irritable or have trouble sleeping.
Being cautious about the foods and drinks you consume during confinement is key to having a safe and healthy postpartum recovery. It can be inconvenient at the beginning, but you’d want to watch your postnatal diet for your body and your new baby’s development.
Seeking a balanced postnatal diet but don’t have sufficient energy to prepare your own meals? Then, Yue Zi Le Confinement Catering is here to help as the sole caterer in Singapore specialising in confinement food. With our passion in curating traditional Chinese confinement meals with an international twist, we have crafted nutritious and sumptuous meals for new mums like yourself. Have a look at our extensive confinement food menu to elevate your postpartum recovery today!