The benefits of breastfeeding are multiple , since for mothers the breastfeeding period is one of the moments of greatest importance and attention after the birth of the baby, therefore breastfeeding goes beyond just feeding, since it depends on the correct development of the child.

In this sense, mothers should avoid poor nutrition and various foods that can unbalance the feeding and evolution of the nursing baby. That is why, below we will present a list of foods that women should avoid in their diet when they are breastfeeding.

1. Coffee

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide, however its intake must be regulated during breastfeeding, since according to various studies carried out by the BMJ Open magazine (1) , excessive caffeine consumption by the mother can lead to childhood obesity during the growth of the baby.

Tip: If you breastfeed, we recommend that you drink no more than 1 or 2 cups of coffee a day, this will avoid the high caffeine content in breast milk.

2. Alcoholic and energy drinks

Alcoholic beverages should be completely avoided during the lactation period, as indicated by the Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (2) , which ensures that alcohol consumption during lactation decreases the release of oxytocin in the mother . , which delays the release of milk.

In addition, the components that alcohol contains are transferred from the mother to the baby through the milk, thus causing delays in their motor development and significantly altering the baby’s sleep hours.

Note: As for energizers, they are mostly made up of a high amount of caffeine which, as detailed above, can cause irritability and sleep disturbances.

3. Garlic and onion

The inclusion of garlic and onion in the diet of lactating women must be balanced, since the high consumption of these foods can alter the taste of milk , thanks to the high amount of sulfur that they have in their properties that it provides the distinctive aroma of both foods.

4. Citrus

The woman when she breastfeeds should have a good and varied diet, however, if the mother eats citrus fruits in excess , it can cause heartburn in the baby and changes in the taste of milk.

You should know: Citrus fruits have a high amount of vitamin C essential for the proper development of the child, which is why we recommend eating these foods preferably in the morning and in few portions.

5. Spicy

The intake of spicy foods in the diet should be avoided during breastfeeding, because these foods and condiments, like citrus fruits, tend to alter the baby’s stomach function, in addition to changing the usual flavor of breast milk, thus generating in some cases, rejection of the chest by the child.

6. Fish high in mercury

Fish, especially blue fish, are an excellent source of essential nutrients during the development of the fetus and the baby in question, however, according to a study carried out by researchers from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Hospital Dietetics (3) , the mother should avoid consumption of fish high in mercury.

Important: The study reveals that foods such as swordfish, some species of tuna and bonito are a rich source of methyl-mercury or mercury, a compound that can alter the normal function of the baby’s nervous system, both during gestational development and in its evolution after being born.

7. Artichokes and asparagus

Artichokes and asparagus are also considered foods that can cause changes in the taste of milk , thus causing a certain lack of interest on the part of the baby when breastfeeding.

Note: This is mainly because the child is not used to the taste of such foods, which can also cause colic and intestinal gas.


Chocolate contains theobromine , a compound that, when consumed by the mother, is transferred to the baby through milk. This can cause irritability, drowsiness and diarrhea, accompanied by changes in the child’s nervous system.

Tip: We recommend that when consuming chocolates these contain low degrees of purity and in small quantities, also the consumption of this food should be avoided in its entirety during the first months of lactation.

Key Findings

  • Poor nutrition should be prevented during breastfeeding, since this can trigger certain diseases during the development of the baby.
  • The mother should avoid the consumption of foods with a high caffeine content, such as coffee and energy drinks, in addition to alcoholic beverages that can unbalance the motor and cognitive development of the child.
  • The intake of foods such as garlic, onion, citrus fruits, artichokes, asparagus and spicy foods alter the taste of breast milk, thus generating, in certain cases, rejection by the lactating.
  • Fish high in mercury and chocolates contain components that are considered highly toxic for the child , since they alter the normal function of the nervous system and create irritability in it.

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