Does giving birth to your baby mean the end of super-careful eating? Not exactly, say experts. We asked Rebecca Charlton, M.P.H., R.D., C.L.E., a clinical dietitian and lactation educator at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, what foods moms should watch out for in their breastfeeding diet.
“You’ll want to continue with some of the restrictions placed during pregnancy to reduce the levels of chemicals, such as mercury, that your baby is exposed to,” says Charlton. That means you should continue to watch your fish intake. And while you can have coffee (up to three cups) and even small amounts of alcohol (one drink), she advises, “Don’t make a habit of it.”
Many cultural food restrictions exist (guidelines for eating hot and cold foods in Indian, Asian and Hispanic cultures, for example), and it’s fine to comply with most, says Charlton, unless it results in not eating from two or more food groups regularly.
Talk to your doctor about your ideal breastfeeding diet to make sure you (and baby) remain safe.