Like with most myths, those affiliated with breastfeeding diets are baseless at best and all they do is create confusion for breastfeeding mothers. Most of these myths surround the food intake and how it affects the milk production but some also touch on possible effects that your diet could have on the baby.
There is no perfect breastfeeding diet
At the end of the day, the body will produce milk that meets the needs of the baby with or without your nutritional input. Looking for a perfect diet is, therefore, futile since, in essence, your baby is already getting the perfect milk to meet his/her consumption needs. Some diets could increase the quantity of milk produced but at best, the aim of a breastfeeding diet is to replenish your nutrient and energy reserves as the baby spends them.
Your breastfeeding diet doesn’t have adverse negative effects on the baby
Some people hold that certain foods affect the baby differently. For instance, cabbage is claimed to make the baby gassy while nuts in the diet are said to give the baby a nut allergy. All this, however, is false. When producing the milk, the body filters all the nutrients so that the baby gets only what is essential. In essence, therefore, what you eat is not what the baby gets. For instance, the baby does not get the nuts but the calories and vitamins in the nuts and there is little possibility of that causing an allergy.
All fish is bad
Not all types of fish are bad and they should, in fact, be included in your breastfeeding diet. Fish are nutritious and provide essential fats and oils, most notable being Omega-3 fats. Some fish, such as salmon, may have high mercury content, which could be harmful to the baby. That is why you need to avoid or reduce your intake of such. Of course, if the fish are grown in optimum and non-toxic conditions, you can have them.
Herbs are bad for a breastfeeding diet
The myth here is that herbs can stop or increase the flow of milk. Scientifically, there has been no evidence supporting the claim. The only thing that some spicy herbs are known to do is alter the flavor of milk to become spicier. However, that does not have any dramatic effect on the baby, the milk or milk production.
In the end, all you have to do is eat healthy so that you can replenish your nutrients and energy. A healthy diet could improve the quality of milk by providing more nutrients, but there’s little evidence that any of the myths associated with a breastfeeding diet are true.