You were careful about your diet during pregnancy, but now that you’re breastfeeding, do you still have to follow the same kinds of dietary restrictions? Some moms hear that they should avoid all pungent or spicy foods while nursing based on the same general idea behind avoiding sushi and goat cheese while expecting—that baby eats what mom eats. So, is that true? Thankfully, there is no real evidence that mom can’t enjoy spicy peppers or garlic while breastfeeding!
In fact, there has been some evidence that a mother’s garlic-influenced diet will help a distracted baby nurse more. Babies respond to the different breast milk flavors and actually take in more breast milk than this mom myth would have you believe. Even if your mouth is burning after consuming a particularly spicy meal, you won’t need to fear that your baby will taste the same level of heat while nursing; breast milk tends to taste on the sweeter side and does not fully absorb flavor or spice like you might imagine it would.
Exposing your baby to a wide variety of flavors and foods is beneficial in the long run, too. By starting with subtle taste differences via your breast milk, your child will be more prepared for a variety of solid foods once you transition from nursing as your child’s primary food source. Healthy growth and nutrition is supported by a varied diet full of fresh produce and protein, so there’s no need to worry about sticking to basics for your baby’s benefit. Go ahead, indulge in some spice!
What kinds of flavor do you like to add to your meals? Let us know in the comments, new moms!