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Diet of a nursing mother - facts and myths

Diet of a nursing mother - facts and myths

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In Poland, right after delivery, women hear not to eat citrus fruit and be careful with chocolate. Bananas are censored. No spicy meals, only bland and weakly spiced dishes. Cooked, not fried. At home, we avoid bloating dishes so that the child does not get colic. When the baby is irritable, he cries more, it probably hurt him something that mother ate. Skin rash? A mother's elimination diet is recommended, excluding popular allergens. Is that right Or maybe the diet of a nursing mother is another tool that makes life difficult for young mothers?

Most nursing mothers are unnecessarily on an elimination diet - a fact

In Poland, there is still an opinion that a nursing mother should follow a special diet. Such recommendations come from midwives and doctors. We also hear them from more experienced mothers. Meanwhile, the fact is In most (but not all) cases, the diet of a nursing mother is not needed. It is exaggerated, without any serious reasons.

A young mother breastfeeding can eat anything. She is not bound by the rules she followed during her pregnancy.


Because breastfood is not made directly from meals but from blood. When we eat dinner, it is broken down into elemental ingredients in the digestive system - proteins, sugars, fats. Proteins are divided into amino acids, fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol, complex sugars into simple ones. All these components pass from the small intestine into the bloodstream. With the blood, they can travel throughout the body, including the mammary glands and breast milk.

Proteins from consumed food products have the same structure as the actual product. In other words, scientists have proved that Milk or gluten proteins pass through the digestive system into mother's milk.


Mother's milk samples were tested. Women who had no celiac disease or any other form of gluten intolerance were selected for the study. Gliadin (gluten protein) at a concentration of 178 ng / ml and specific anti-gliadin antibodies were found in all samples. Researchers compared gliadin levels with other ingredients and found it was higher than other antigens in food. Equally significant, gliadin in mother's milk was not degraded, which influenced the formation of antibodies. This study proves that mother's milk is a rich source of gluten (source: Chirdo et al. Presence of high levels of non-degraded gliadin in breast milk from healthy mothers. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1998 Nov; 33 (11): 1186-92.)

It is worth noting here that knowledge about the presence of allergens in mother's milk is constantly enriched.

When I personally experienced a problem with gluten intolerance 4 years ago, visited gastroenterologists were of the opinion that gluten does not pass into milk. Meanwhile, my observations contradicted it. Like the experience of many mothers that I met later.

In addition to the above study, another was carried out on a large scale, which exposed another myth, proving that breastfeeding does not protect against celiac disease. The duration of exposure to gluten does not matter either.

There is also the other side of the coin. Scientists have found that even those highly exposed to food intolerance and allergies can benefit children by encountering various allergies in the early months of life. This can protect them from developing allergies. However, if it is to develop, it cannot be prevented.

Diet of a nursing mother. Anxiety and crying are not always a symptom of an allergy - a fact

Getting started with a baby can be difficult. Children cry a lot, and adults tend to look for the causes of infant discomfort. It's understandable, everyone wants to help their child. The problem is that many parents see behavioral patterns where they are not.

It works more like this: the baby is restless, extremely irritable one day. The parent puts forward a thesis - it's definitely because of this pizza for dinner. It's my fault. I won't eat it again next time.

In the meantime, to really say that it hurt pizza, you should eat it repeatedly, each time checking the reaction of the child.

For this reason, most allergists, when considering the introduction of an elimination diet, recommend excluding the ingredient for at least two weeks, then re-introducing it and checking how your child will react. If symptoms recur, hypersensitivity may be suspected. However, if you do not see a difference in the appearance or behavior of the child, it is not advisable to exclude the ingredient from the diet.

Sometimes an elimination diet is needed - fact

The diet of a nursing mother should be a normal diet. Studies have shown that even women who eat rice alone, a little vegetables and sometimes meats provide all the nutrients they need. A poor diet works against them, babies lose nothing on it. Of course, this is not an incentive to eat low-value products.

Due to the fact that proteins that are popular allergens are excreted in milk, in some situations the diet of nursing mothers is essential. It is estimated, for example, that the risk of milk allergy in breast-fed babies is approximately 0.5-2% (source), and in formula-fed babies from 2-5%.

The diet of a nursing mother is not a MYTH. Sometimes it is necessary. Put in storage - however, it is quite unnecessary.

When breastfeeding, you cannot eat spicy foods - myth / fact

When you eat chillies or garlic that is intense, your child will not eat it with you. It receives digested nutrients along with the milk. What you can convey is the characteristic smell and taste of garlic, for which sulfur compounds are responsible. Most babies do not protest and appreciate new flavors. Some, however, refuse to eat.

It should be emphasized, however, that the degree of penetration of flavors and aromas is very low and only the baby's really high sensitivity allows them to be sensed. For most children this will not matter.

You cannot drink alcohol while breastfeeding - fact / myth

Drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited during pregnancy. Even a little alcohol harms my baby's stomach.

And how is breastfeeding?

Here the answer is not clear.

After drinking a glass of wine or one drink Wait 2-3 hours with feeding. For younger infants who suck milk often, it is usually impossible for a young mother to drink alcohol. However, if a woman feeds longer, e.g. in the case of older children twice a day - drinking wine or a drink from time to time is absolutely possible.


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