Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nursing Mothers Should NEVER.....

From the BBC
Many new mothers have asked me what they need to avoid when they're nursing. Somehow, they seem to think that there is a list of "safe" foods somewhere that will tell them exactly what to eat and what not to eat. Fortunately, there is no such least not one that I've found. There's a good reason for that. Most nursing moms can eat just about anything as part of a well balanced, healthy diet.

Then I have moms telling me they have to stop breastfeeding because they are taking a certain medication. While there really are some medications that are unsafe for breastfeeding moms, many medications are safe. If in doubt about a specific medication you can check here or here for detailed information.

So what exactly DO nursing mothers need to avoid? Here is a list of things nursing mothers should NEVER do:

  • Use Tobacco - Neither you nor your baby need to be around cigarette smoke. In fact, regardless of whether he is breastfed or not, having a parent who smokes actually increases a baby's chances of falling victim to SIDS!
  • Use Illegal Drugs of Any Kind - This should go without saying, but no mother needs to put any kind of pharmaceutical into her body that has not been prescribed for a specific medical condition.
  • Get Stressed - The body reacts to stress by producing adrenaline. Unfortunately, adrenaline inhibits oxytocin, the hormone responsible for milk letdown.
  • Have a Prolonged Separation from Baby - While it is true that you can pump, it is best to avoid any kind of prolonged separation from your baby while nursing because your baby's proximity actually produces hormonal reactions within your body that keep you making plenty of milk.
  • Be around Negative influences - Anybody who is quick to tell you to just "Give that baby a bottle" is a negative influence. If you have people in your life like that, you need to steer clear of them as much as possible. If they are family members, you may need to gently, but firmly, tell them that you are not going to listen to their negativism, and if they want to be around you and the baby, they need to keep negative opinions to themselves. Perhaps this will help a negative relative!
Is there anything you would add to this list?


  1. I was told 'no peppermint'. Any truth to that?

  2. Peppermint oil should be avoided. It is true that peppermint can decrease milk supply. A little peppermint candy here or there is probably okay, but do avoid the essential oil.