What the breastfeeding mother eats, and has eaten, affects the content of breast milk. Small amounts of different proteins and other nutrients can pass over relatively unchanged from the mother’s food to the breast milk and affect the baby.
Some environmental toxins stored in the mother’s body fat can also be transmitted to breast milk in very small, but measurable, amounts.
Breast milk’s fat content but also its smell, taste and color vary. For example, onions can affect the smell of milk and possibly cause colic. Green vegetables, e.g. broccoli, can affect the color of the milk. It is common for infants to react with a rash or “dot” during breastfeeding without it due to anything in the milk or any allergy. But infants who are very allergic to, for example, cow’s milk protein can react to the small amounts that can pass intact over to the breast milk.
Do not lose weight during breastfeeding
During pregnancy, the mother gains weight because the fetus grows but also because there is a storage of nutrition before breastfeeding. Breastfeeding therefore helps the woman to regain her weight before she became pregnant.
But losing weight while breastfeeding is not a good idea. Dieting releases environmental toxins from your own body fat, which passes into breast milk.
Fish and environmental toxins
In seafood, there are valuable nutrients, including omega-3 fats and vitamin D.
Pregnant and lactating women are therefore recommended to eat fish 2-3 times a week.
Eat sparingly of some fish:
Unfortunately, there are environmental toxins (mercury, dioxins and PCBs) in some fish, so you should not eat more than 2-3 times a year. These include, among others, perch, pike, pike, herring and wild-caught salmon from the Baltic and the large Swedish lakes.
All farmed fish, salmon and salmon fish, saithe, plaice, haddock, mackerel, herring, etc. but also shrimp, mussels and other seafood, 2-3 times a week.
A complete and updated fish list for breastfeeding and pregnant can be found HERE.
Dietary supplements and herbal remedies
When breastfeeding you should be careful about dietary supplements and herbal remedies if you are unfamiliar with the content, and how it can pass into breast milk. Ginseng should not be used by breast-feeding. Different algae may contain too high levels of iodine.
Alcohol and tobacco
Alcohol goes into breast milk but in very small amounts during normal consumption. There is so little that it does not affect the child. You can therefore drink one – two glasses of wine or beer a couple of times a week. But there are other reasons to abstain from alcohol when you are an infant.
Nicotine is enriched in breast milk which means that the concentration of nicotine is higher in the breast milk than in the mother’s blood. If you cannot completely refrain from cigarettes or snuff, then try to reduce consumption and continue to breastfeed. The unique properties of breast milk mean that it is still best for your baby to continue breastfeeding.
Read the expert’s answer to the question of how fast the alcohol goes into breast milk.
The knowledge of how drugs pass into breast milk is incomplete for many drugs. Think about it even when it comes to regular and non-prescription drugs.
If you become ill and medication becomes relevant, tell the doctor that you are breast-feeding.
When you wonder and have questions about any particular drug, you can easily get more information about drugs and breastfeeding at FASS for the general public.
If you have infants, you can get more information at BVC, where you also hand out the script: “Advice on food for you as a breastfeeding person”, which you can also download at the National Food Agency.