ADVERTISEMENT

Moms, It’s Totally Healthy To Eat Spicy Food During Breastfeeding

Do nursing moms need to maintain a perfect, restricted diet during breastfeeding? The short answer is NO. 

Updated
Health News
3 min read
Moms, It’s Totally Healthy To Eat Spicy Food During Breastfeeding
i

(World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from 1st-7th August every year to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their children and increase awareness about the importance of breastfeeding. FIT is republishing this story from the archives.)

Disclaimer: No matter what the nursing mom eats or doesn’t, there is no way to conjure up a perfect no-cry baby!

Not breastfeeding for whatever reason doesn’t make you a failure or any less of a mom. But if you do, then trust me, the whole family, in fact the entire neighbourhood will have a say in what should be on the menu for a breastfeeding mum!

The (unsolicited) advice that nursing mothers should banish all spicy, strong flavours from their diet or the baby gets bloated, cranky and gassy has been a very persistent one but not founded in medical research.

New studies now confirm that infants are not so sensitive to the flavours in the mother’s diet. In fact, the distinctive taste from a medley of foods consumed by the nursing mother makes the baby’s palate more adaptable. There are a variety of reasons why newborns get colicky, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the spicy, garlicky dish which the mother relished.
Dr Rekha Vacchani, Gynaecologist

So do you need to maintain a perfect diet during breastfeeding?
The short answer is NO. But you need to understand the science of breastfeeding to make your own thou-shall-not-have list.

ADVERTISEMENT

Newborns Are Wired For Flavours

Newborns can taste all the five primary tastes - sweetness, saltiness (not in the first 4 months), bitterness, sourness and umami, a savory, hearty taste found in meats, milk products, and mushrooms.
Newborns can taste all the five primary tastes - sweetness, saltiness (not in the first 4 months), bitterness, sourness and umami, a savory, hearty taste found in meats, milk products, and mushrooms.
(Photo: iStockphoto altered by FIT)

The food the mother eats during lactation is broken down by her body into protein, carbs and fats and enters directly in the bloodstream. Chances are if you’ve had a normal Indian diet in pregnancy, then your baby has already been exposed to the taste of mirchi, garam masala, haldi, etc. through the amniotic fluid in the womb. This is not a negative thing - it will heavily influence their taste buds as toddlers, making them more receptive to a wide selection of foods.

The variety of flavours you eat while nursing cross from the mammary glands into the breast milk - so instead of trying to limit the nursing mother’s diet, it should be made as varied as possible to enhance the palette of the child.

This explains why early initiation of an array of foods and flavours, right from the womb cuts down on allergy risk in children. Peanut allergy looks like an epidemic of sorts in kids around the world, even as scientists continue to piece together the mystery of how allergies develop, we’re seeing a major shift in prevention methods, from avoidance to very early exposure.

Exactly Why Exposing Infants To Peanuts Cuts Their Allergy Risk

Research has found that early introduction of a variety of allergy-inducing foods, like, peanuts, as early as three-months-old brings down their risk of developing allergies later in life.
Research has found that early introduction of a variety of allergy-inducing foods, like, peanuts, as early as three-months-old brings down their risk of developing allergies later in life.
(Photo: iStockphoto) 

Well, there is mounting evidence which goes to show that exposing children early, very early to peanuts might avoid food allergies later in life. In fact, there is almost an 80% reduction in peanut allergy in children who are introduced to these legumes in the first three to 11 months of life.

The result also falls in line with other studies among which the general trend was – if you expose your baby to something as a child, they’re much more likely to develop a tolerance towards it.

The finding is revolutionary and turns decades of conventional wisdom on its head which propagated completely avoiding peanuts till the age of three.

Also Read: Breastfeeding: The Horrifying Struggles of a Working Mother

What You Necessarily Must Avoid During Breastfeeding

Moms, It’s Totally Healthy To Eat Spicy Food During Breastfeeding
(Photo: FIT)

I am a huge propagator of breast milk.

But it’s hard, takes a few months to get a hang of it and absolutely awful for some. Don’t beat yourself up with a long ‘list of things to avoid’ list. It’s okay to dig into some sinful pleasure from time to time. However, as a mom if you feel your baby is sensitive to a certain type of food, check with a pediatrician for a food allergy.

Also Read: Heart Disease at 8? Alarming Effects of Childhood Obesity!

(Have you subscribed to FIT’s newsletter yet? Click here and get health updates directly in your inbox.)

(Subscribe to FIT on Telegram)

ADVERTISEMENT
Published: 
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Up On Your Health

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter Now.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT
×
×