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10 Foods That Change the Taste of Breastmilk

Breastmilk is not only the best thing for babies, but also for the mothers as well. Also, in addition to its health benefits, it is also great for the environment. First, there is no big effect from waste coming from the dairy industry and it is definitely an ideal green product which means there is no waste for any landfills. Best of all, it’s definitely free. But there will be certain factors that could greatly affect the quality of breastmilk. The food and any intake that a nursing mother eats or drinks can affect the taste of the milk she produces.

While breastfeeding, a newborn can retain memories around these kind of different flavors. So this means that some years later, they are most likely to enjoy a taste they are already familiar with, even when they are still in their mother’s womb or during the time of breastfeeding. There was a study conducted in 2008 where they gave 18 lactating mothers different capsules that had different flavors. The result was flavors from a mother’s diet could enter the breast milk being produced in fairly small or minimal amounts. That is why it is of great importance that mothers should eat healthy kinds of foods when breastfeeding. Here are 10 foods known to change the taste of breastmilk.

10. Garlic

Even when we are the ones eating garlic, we all know that it has a very strong, pungent smell and taste. When a nursing mother eats a lot of garlic in her meal, the pungent flavor mixes with breast milk, thus altering the taste of it. While some babies would not mind the taste of the breast milk, others may become irritable, fussy and cannot sleep well at bedtime. Yes, it can totally upset the baby because if there’s too much garlic intake, plus the combination of other foods, for example, tomato, which is very acidic, it can upset the stomach of the baby.

While now it is proven that it does not only alter the taste of the breast milk, it can upset the baby as well. Also, it depends on how it was eaten and prepared. It is a lot worse if eaten raw like it is used as dressing or dip and either used in side dishes such as garlic bread. The strong aroma of garlic can also be a downside. It is one of the suspected culprits as to why infants experience intestinal gas. For some infants that suffer from colic, the intake of garlic may be one of the causes of it.

9. Pineapple Juice

Drinking pineapple juice during the 40 weeks pregnancy is safe for it helps in inducing labor. There is one instance where a pregnant mother who drank pineapple juice in the morning delivered her baby after 48 hours. But it is also noted that drinking too much with a high content of citrus may also be harmful, not only to the baby, but also if one is not pregnant and is taking too much citrus into her body.

What about for breastfeeding moms who may be drinking pineapple juice? First let us discuss its benefits. Pineapples are considered a natural anti-inflammatory agent that aids in breast enlargement during breastfeeding. Engorgement happens because of the blockage of milk ducts, which normally happens after pregnancy and during the breastfeeding stage. As we all know, pineapples are nutritious because it contains vitamin C and fiber. So think of the amount the baby can get from it. Lastly, regarding the taste of the breast milk? Of course, it will be sweeter. However, always take note of the amount a nursing mom is always ingesting. It was found before that eating too much fruit like pineapple, which happens to have a very high content of Vitamin C can result to an occurrence of rashes of the baby.

8. Beans

Beans are in the form of mature legumes. Legumes, as we all know, are high in iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, and magnesium. It is also a very good source of folate, an important factor for childbearing women. They are very low in saturated fats and of course, a great source of antioxidants. But, about for breastfeeding moms out there… Are these type of legumes safe to eat and what does it really tastes like for the breast milk?

Beans are part of those known foods to keep an eye out for since ingesting these types of food can cause baby to have gas. Gas is being produced when there is an interaction between bacteria in the intestine and with intestinal fiber. So there are certain forms of beans that really tend to cause gassiness for the baby during breastfeeding. Iron-rich beans, for example, black beans, are safe to eat during lactation or while breastfeeding. The taste of beans would probably have the same taste in breastmilk so that’s why if baby doesn’t show any signs if being fussy, then the body is not reacting negatively. Nutrient-dense types of legumes show a lot of beneficial points to the health condition of lactating moms out there.

7. Caffeine Products

The number one source of caffeine is coffee. Is it safe to drink coffee if someone is breastfeeding? The answer might be yes, but it is suggested that one should not overdo it. This means that it is only advisable to consume a small amount of caffeine in a day. When a little amount enters the bloodstream, usually not more than 1 percent, it ends up in the breast milk. Some of the studies show that a moderate intake of caffeine is just fine for mothers who are breastfeeding and that there aren’t any changes in the behavior and activity of most babies. Although, it is being said that every baby is different from another. So better yet to observe the baby if he or she seems to be bothered or becomes irritable when you have a small amount of coffee intake. If the baby gets irritable a bit, it is better to cut off caffeine and try to compare if there’s a difference.

To manage the intake of caffeine, one must know that there are other sources of it aside from coffee of course. We need to be aware of the other sources such as tea, energy drinks, chocolates, coffee-themed or infused desserts and even in herbal products.

6. Peanuts

A mother’s dietary lifestyle must be a concern because of the effects of the food she consumes and passes on to the breast milk content. These days there are reports saying that peanut allergies are rising among children. That’s why lactating mothers should address their concerns about whether or not eating peanuts while nursing is safe for her offspring or even her newborn.

Although peanuts are not specified as a type of food that can cause an allergic reaction from the breast milk, others believe that eating peanuts during the lactation period can lead to peanut allergy. Any members of the family that have known allergies may want to move away from these kinds of foods, especially during the lactation period. Any peanuts in any forms might be a reason for caution. Its taste is sweeter than ever when ingested by the mother and directly distributed through the bloodstream into the breastmilk. The advantage of eating peanut butter gives an extra boost of calories that are needed while breastfeeding. Also once eaten, it makes you full enough not to eat any more foods.

5. Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne peppers and other spicy foods can really cause a change of flavor in breast milk in almost all mothers who are lactating. Although they say that not all mothers experience this kind of change to their milk. Once content of this type of food goes into the breast milk, it can be harsh on the newborn’s digestive system resulting to possible upset stomach, episodes of diarrhea and even vomit. Some other babies might experience excruciating abdominal pain.

However, is it considered safe? They still say yes because nowadays there are some cultures where the mothers cannot live without using this spicy ingredient in their meals. They are so used to eating this spicy ingredient that some say nothing of a presence of a drastic change in their diet and even with their babies. There is not any evidence that their babies are feeling fussy and irritable. So, it is safe to say that whatever reaction your baby shows can be then answered as to whether or not it is safe to eat while breastfeeding.

4. Cinnamon

Another spicy ingredient in some recipes and used to sprinkle in some foods is also a supplement for health benefits. Cinnamon has many beneficial effects on our bodies. The most popular use of this is that it helps diabetics to control their blood sugar levels. It is also used to relieve symptoms like nausea and vomiting, feeling of fullness or bloating and even diarrhea episodes.

The big questions are whether or not it is safe to ingest during lactation and what would be the taste once ingested by the mother? Like any other spice, there would be times when the baby may develop a sensitivity to the foods with spicy ingredients or mainly the spice itself. The normal reactions of babies who are sensitive to cinnamon are that babies will become fussy and irritable during nursing and after nursing. Babies immediately react while nursing and they tend to move away from the breasts of their mother. So for those experiencing this one, try to at least eliminate the spice in your diet. Often times, some babies enjoy the taste of cinnamon and tend to be less picky eaters once they have been introduced to this spicy ingredient.

3. Onion

Some advise nursing moms out there not to eat anything with onion in it. This is because the breast milk would drastically change the flavor to something with a little bit of onion-taste. Onions, once ingested by the mother and distributed in the breast milk will be ingested by the newborn. Some infants may become very sensitive to the taste of it. It could be either that infants will be fussy and have a bloated feeling, leading to endless crying and irritability. A lot of people are fond of adding or putting onions in their food and they might wonder if it’s safe to do so if they are lactating.

Onion is considered a gas-inducing food and that is the reason why certain babies develop gas related problems such as severe abdominal pain, colicky pain, and other stomach disorders. On the bright side of consumption of onions, onions are believed to be full of significant flavonoids. It said to be a good source of important vitamins and minerals, and of course, it makes the food that we eat flavorful.

2. Yogurt/Cheese

Yogurt and cheese are simply dairy products that can be found in any supermarket and grocery store worldwide. Is it safe for lactating mothers to ingest food groups like these? Of course, if the baby doesn’t show any negative reaction towards their mothers eating dairy products, then probably it is safe to say that they can absorb it within their body systems. They would also definitely like the taste of the breast milk as it will boost the sweetness because of the hidden sugar content of some dairy products like yogurt and any form of cheese.

Ever heard of the term lactose intolerance? Well, this could be the downfall side of eating dairy products that can lead to sensitivity. If the baby is sensitive to the dairy products available in the market, then it is out of the question because the infant is lactose intolerant. If the newborn is showing signs of colic and has periods of vomiting, then it is time to avoid eating such products. Needless to say those other symptoms like upset stomach, difficulty sleeping, and eczema can occur if there’s a continuous ingestion of dairy products.

1. Fish

Fish is a very common meat eaten by people. But, for some lactating mothers, there are so many questions being raised. Is it safe to eat fish during lactation? As we all know, fish has many benefits for breastfeeding moms, as well as for their babies. Omega-3 fats found in fish are very important for the maximum development of the infant’s nervous system. Fish is also very low in saturated fat and oppositely, very high in Vitamin D and protein that are very important for the baby’s health and the mother’s. Nursing moms can actually add fish to their meals because of its nutrients and supplements it provides, as well as the acceptable taste it gives to babies through the breast milk, it is still significant to choose which type of fish to eat.

You’ve probably known that some fish contains high levels of mercury that is considered to be contaminants and are very harmful once ingested. It can harm mothers and most especially the baby’s developing brain and nervous system. Mercury can be many forms these days. It can be found in medical areas such as in thermometers and thermostats. Even in fluorescent lights, there is a presence of mercury. So it is best to avoid contact with these materials once becoming pregnant or during lactation.

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