Breastfeeding mothers need to be mindful of their diet and avoid certain fruits because they can directly affect the health of their babies. Despite the need to avoid certain fruits, nursing mothers are encouraged to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to avoid negatively impacting their newborn’s health. Additionally, a healthy diet is essential for breastfeeding mothers to have a healthy milk supply and to ensure that babies get plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Thusly, researching which fruits to avoid while breastfeeding is important to prevent confusion.
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The reasons why some fruits are harmful to breastfeeding mothers or babies can range from allergies to mild discomfort. Some fruits are known to cause digestive problems in babies or cause milk supply to fluctuate in the mom. Knowing which fruits to avoid while breastfeeding is essential to maintain a healthy feeding schedule for your baby.
Check with your pediatrician to determine the best nutritional path while you’re breastfeeding to have a better idea of which fruits to avoid. Below we’ll discuss the main fruits to avoid while nursing to ensure that you and your baby are happy and healthy.
Is fruit safe to eat while nursing?
Yes, fruit is safe to eat while breastfeeding. Fruits contain potent antioxidants and vitamins that breastfeeding moms can’t always get from other food groups. Moms should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes all food groups, including fruits. There are a few things breastfeeding moms need to keep in mind when selecting fruits to eat. First, it’s essential to know which fruits to avoid. Some fruits will cause problems with your milk supply or cause unpleasant side effects in your baby. Do your research to ensure you’re eating suitable fruits. Second, make sure that you eat fruits in moderation. Fruits should never make up the majority of your diet, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Instead, focusing on eating a healthy diet with various foods, including protein, vegetables, and whole grains, is essential.
Which fruits should you avoid while breastfeeding?
Fruits that you should avoid while breastfeeding will cause your little one to experience gas, fussiness, diarrhea, or constipation if you enjoy them while nursing. Not all of the fruits you should avoid are considered dangerous, but they can cause quite a bit of discomfort in your baby. Below are five fruits you should avoid while breastfeeding and why you should abstain.
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You should avoid eating cherries while breastfeeding although it can be tempting. Cherries are the perfect topping, but it’s best to leave them off your sundae. After your baby is born, their digestive system continues to develop, so it has a hard time processing certain compounds in cherries.
Cherries taste sweeter than many other fruits because they have higher levels of fructose. However, fructose is not suitable for infants. According to a 2017 study from the University of Southern California, high levels of fructose in a mother’s breastmilk can contribute to metabolic disorders and make infants more likely to be overweight as infants and when they are children. Fructose also isn’t always adequately digested, especially in infants with underdeveloped digestive systems. Eating cherries while breastfeeding leads to gas and colic symptoms in nursing babies. Cherries are nature’s laxative, which can be passed to your baby.
It’s best to avoid cherries while breastfeeding, except acerola cherries. Acerola cherries look like cherries and are called cherries, but they are berries. They are referred to as cherries because of their cherry shape. Acerola cherries are known for having a high level of vitamin C, which can boost your baby’s immune system. There are no current side effects of moderate acerola cherry intake, including acerola juice or powder. However, there are also not many studies on using acerola or eating acerola cherries while nursing. Because of that, it’s best to practice moderation with acerola cherries.
It’s best for mothers to avoid eating prunes or drinking prune juice while breastfeeding. Prunes have a laxative effect because they are packed with sorbitol and fiber. Small amounts of sorbitol are found naturally in breast milk. Unfortunately, no studies indicate whether sorbitol is one of the sweeteners that passes into breast milk. It’s currently believed that sorbitol is not passed onto a nursing baby in large amounts because it is not absorbed in a high rate by mothers. Because of that, it’s unlikely that your baby will consume a lot of sorbitol unless you eat large amounts of prunes while breastfeeding. Prunes are also packed with soluble and insoluble fiber, which is how they help regulate digestion and why they have a laxative effect if you eat too many.
You should abstain from eating citrus fruits while breastfeeding because they can change the taste of breast milk. Researchers debate whether or not mothers should avoid citrus while breastfeeding, but having high levels of citric acid is linked to discomfort in both the moms and babies. For example, 2019 research from Wageningen University shows that bitterness from a mother’s diet transfers to breast milk. Citric acid can change the flavor of breast milk and impact babies’ desire to drink.
- Oranges: Eating oranges while breastfeeding can reduce breast milk supply because of the surplus of Vitamin C.
- Lemons: Enjoying lemon water while breastfeeding leads to indigestion and can change the flavor of breast milk.
- Grapefruit: Grapefruit is high in Vitamin C, which should only be consumed in the appropriate amount, or else mothers risk interfering with their milk production.
- Limes: Limes are teeming with citric acid which can lead to a gassy baby and mother.
- Pineapple: Pineapple causes gastrointestinal distress in infants that are sensitive to citric acid.
Some infants will not like the taste of citrus fruit if it changes the flavor of breast milk. The disinterest will cause them to be fussier during or after feeding. Furthermore, some infants love the taste and will nurse faster, which results in them getting gas. Discontinue eating citrus fruits if you notice changes in your baby’s bowel habits and consult a doctor to determine if citrus is the cause.
Kiwis are not classified as citrus fruit but have a high level of citric acid. Citric acid can upset a mother’s stomach, and affect the flavor of a mother’s breast milk. The change in flavor will result in some nursing babies not liking the new taste. Moreover, kiwi has high levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin B. Breastfeeding mothers risk deterring their milk production if they get too much Vitamin C and Vitamin B. Mothers that are getting a sufficient amount of Vitamins B and C from other sources should avoid kiwi to prevent affecting their babies’ food source.
Soursop, or Guanabana, is a tropical fruit from the Americas and the Caribbean that you should avoid while breastfeeding. Soursop is currently illegal to import into the United States because it’s an invasive plant and can be fatal. The seeds of soursop fruit are highly toxic and should never be eaten. Soursop fruits produce a large number of toxins if they are not ripe. Eating an unripe fruit can release toxins into your bloodstream, resulting in lower blood pressure, sickness, and death. Ripe soursop fruit is safe to eat, which is why many people in other countries still enjoy soursop and it is often found in herbal teas and remedies. Some people choose to eat the soursop fruit to benefit from the cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, but it’s not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to the potential risks and side effects. Soursop can lower blood glucose and blood pressure, and a limited amount of research says it can impair fetal growth in pregnant women. It’s best to stay safe and avoid soursop, including tea made from the leaves, while pregnant and breastfeeding.
Which fruits can breastfeeding mothers eat in moderation?
Breastfeeding mothers can eat some fruits in moderation because they’re not as likely to harm nursing babies. Some fruits are safe to enjoy in moderation because eating large quantities can be unhealthy or the fruit can lead to allergies. Additionally, others have inconclusive data to back up whether they are safe for breastfeeding mothers and moms should monitor their consumption to be safe. The following are examples of six fruits you should eat in moderation while breastfeeding because their benefits outweigh their disadvantages.
Nursing mothers can enjoy mangoes in moderation. Mango is high in Vitamins C, and A, and improves iron absorption. Eating mango in moderation helps nursing mothers maintain healthy levels of vitamins and minerals. Mango has a high sugar content despite the beneficial aspects. Mangoes deliver large doses of fructose, sucrose, and glucose to your baby through breast milk. A 2017 study from the University of Southern California recognizes fructose as a secondhand sugar that will make breast milk sweeter. Your little one develops their palette when they are babies, so it’s essential to ensure they are not exposed to consistent sweetness via secondhand sugars. Introducing large amounts of sugar early on is also linked to higher body weight in infants, setting the stage for childhood obesity later in life. Doctors recommend that breastfeeding mothers eat a diet low in fructose, making it essential to enjoy mangos in moderation while breastfeeding.
Strawberries are safe to eat in moderation while breastfeeding and can offer plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Breastfeeding women are more likely to be iron deficient, making strawberries an essential part of a healthy diet. One cup of strawberries is packed with almost .7 mg of iron, which can help you get closer to the recommended amount of 9 mg daily. Although there are benefits to eating strawberries, the popular fruit can cause issues for your baby. Strawberries cause gas in infants because they change the flavor of your breast milk. If your baby doesn’t care for the new taste, they’re more likely to fuss during and after nursing. However, it’s likely not due to the strawberries’ composition. Additionally, Strawberries are known for causing an allergy in a small number of people. If your baby is allergic to strawberries, it may develop a rash after you eat strawberries. In this situation, eliminate eating strawberries from your diet. You should follow this rule any time your baby develops a rash after you eat or drink a specific food.
Grapes can be part of a healthy diet while breastfeeding. Lactation experts recommend eating grapes while breastfeeding because they’re packed with antioxidants, and just one cup of grapes provides 6% of the recommended Vitamin C. It’s essential to eat grapes in moderation because of their high-calorie content. One cup of grapes has almost 100 calories, so sitting down to binge eat grapes isn’t going to keep you healthy. Instead, enjoy 1 cup every couple of days and enjoy other healthy foods the rest of the day. Wine fermented from grapes retains its antioxidant properties, but the presence of alcohol makes wine dangerous while breastfeeding in sufficient quantities.
Breastfeeding mothers can eat peaches in moderation. Eating too many peaches is known to cause gas because peaches have a specific type of sugar called polyols. When there are an excessive amount of these sugars in the gut, they don’t play well with the bacteria in the stomach, leading to gas, bloating, and cramps. Polyols may make it into breast milk. A 2006 study from the University of Parma sampled several female breastmilk samples and noted that some samples had significantly higher levels of polyols than others. It was then concluded that it was more than likely due to their diet. That means that too many peaches may give your breastfed baby gas. Instead of eliminating them, stick to a diet that doesn’t allow more than 2 peaches per day. If you notice a reaction in yourself or your baby, cut back to one a day.
Eating plums while breastfeeding is okay if it’s in moderation. Plums have a high level of citric acid, but they are not considered citrus fruit. Plums are another food that is packed with polyols. When bacteria ferment this sugar in the gut, it can quickly cause gas and bloating. Plums can cause gas in breastfed babies, too.
Enjoy plums in moderation instead of eliminating them from your diet. Eat only 1-2 plums daily. If your diet consists of other foods with a lot of polyols, such as peaches, make sure that you only eat one daily food. For example, eat a serving of peaches one day and a serving of plums the next day. Moderation is vital to preventing gas in your breastfed baby.
Prickly pear is safe to eat in moderation while breastfeeding. Some doctors and websites recommend avoiding prickly pear while pregnant because it’s thought to prevent the blood from clotting properly, which can be dangerous. However, the anti-clotting properties of prickly pear cactus don’t mean that you should avoid it entirely. Prickly pear cactus is also packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. This fruit can also help lower blood sugar.
The major downside of prickly pear cactus is that there are not many studies on its impact on pregnant or breastfeeding women. Thusly, there is a plethora of controversial information available about its safety. The discourse on the subject is why we recommend that you enjoy prickly pear in moderation. Enjoy prickly pear once weekly while breastfeeding or pregnant to enjoy the health benefits, such as antioxidants and fiber. Limiting your consumption of prickly pear will allow you to avoid the downsides of eating too much prickly pear, such as your blood sugar dropping too low.
What is the best fruit for breastfeeding?
The best fruit for breastfeeding is beneficial to the baby’s health, and the mother’s health and milk supply. Eating fruit has many health benefits for nursing mothers and babies, such as essential vitamins and minerals, however, there are some that are exceptionally good for you. The following fruits have the green light according to our research on the best fruit for breastfeeding.
Bananas are an excellent addition to your diet while breastfeeding. These delicious snacks are packed with potassium, which can help you maintain fluid levels, encouraging an ideal breast milk supply. They’re also high-calorie foods, making them a great snack when you’re too exhausted to make something to eat.
One banana provides the following benefits.
- 0 grams fat
- 17% of the Vitamin C you need
- 3 grams fiber
- 20% of the Vitamin B6 you need
Bananas are also a great source of folic acid. The next time you’re hungry, reach for a banana.
Eating apples while breastfeeding is a great way to increase your milk supply. One medium-sized apple provides almost 8 mg of calcium. When breastfeeding mothers don’t get enough calcium, it leads to a low milk supply.
Apples give you the following benefits.
- 17% of the fiber you need
- 195 mg potassium
- 14% Vitamin C
- 5% Vitamin B6
Apples are a great way to grab a snack on the go. For a protein-rich snack, enjoy some apple slices with peanut butter on them.
Enjoying watermelon while breastfeeding is a healthy snack choice. Mild dehydration can lead to a low milk supply, so eating fruits full of water, like watermelon, can help keep your breast milk supply consistent.
Enjoying one cup of watermelon gives breastfeeding moms the following.
- .9 grams of protein
- 20% Vitamin C
- 11 mg calcium
- 172 mg potassium
- 1% Folate
- 7% Vitamin B5
It’s important to note that watermelon has almost 10 grams of sugars, such as fructose and glucose, that can make their way into your breast milk. So, it’s best not to binge eat watermelon daily.
It’s safe for breastfeeding moms to eat cantaloupe without harming their babies. Cantaloupes have a high water content, like other melons, such as watermelons. These melons are comprised of 89% water, making them a great snack to stay hydrated.
One cup of cantaloupe also provides the following.
- 106% Vitamin A
- 95% Vitamin C
- 1 gram fiber
- 16 mg iron
- 7 mg calcium
Cantaloupe helps provide the calcium and hydration you need to ensure that your breast milk supply stays consistent. On top of that, it gives a beautiful blend of vitamins and nutrients to keep breastfeeding moms and their babies healthy.
Dates are a superfood and among the best fruits for breastfeeding moms to eat. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients to help keep moms and babies healthy and can increase your milk supply. Below are just a few of the wonderful benefits of dates for breastfeeding moms.
- Dates encourage your body to release more prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that signals your body to produce milk. A 2021 study from Mahidol University in Bangkok demonstrates that dates appear to increase milk supply.
- Dates promote oxytocin, which is a hormone that can help the uterus return back to its average size after you have a baby.
- Dates are high-calorie fruit, with two dates having 133 calories. It can be easy to accidentally consume too much of this delicious fruit, but in moderation, high-calorie foods can be a good thing. Breastfeeding women tend to burn more calories than other women, so you’ll need a few dates to keep your energy up.
- Dates also provide 2% iron, 19% copper, 7% potassium, and 6% magnesium.
Dates are great for giving your baby’s health, energy, and milk supply a healthy boost.
Persimmons are one of the best fruits for breastfeeding. Persimmons are bursting with benefits for both you and your baby. Eating one persimmon while breastfeeding gives you the following.
- 118 calories
- 6 grams fiber
- 55% Vitamin A
- 22% Vitamin E
- 30% manganese
Persimmons have a high sugar content but are digested slowly due to their low glycemic index, unlike other sugary foods. Therefore, persimmons are beneficial for nursing mothers by lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Blueberries are ideal to eat while breastfeeding and they’re a nutritional powerhouse. These high-calorie fruits will keep you full as the day goes on, making them an excellent choice for moms on the go. In addition to that, one cup of blueberries provides.
- 24% Vitamin C
- 0 grams fat
- .7 grams protein
- 2 grams fiber
- 4 mg calcium
- Antioxidants to fight free radical damage
- Less sugar than other fruits, such as persimmons
Blueberries are known as lactagogue fruit, which is a fruit that can help increase your milk supply. Eating blueberries can help you reach your goal if you need some help producing more milk.
Dragon fruit is excellent to include in your diet if you’re breastfeeding. This exotic fruit is especially beneficial to mothers with postpartum digestive issues because it’s packed with fiber to help keep bowel movements regular. Aside from plenty of fiber, one dragon fruit will give breastfeeding moms.
- No fat
- Almost 2 grams of protein
- 13 grams carbohydrates
- No sodium
- No cholesterol
- Antioxidants that prevent damage from free radicals
- 17% DRI magnesium
- 4% iron
Eating dragon fruit while breastfeeding delivers vitamins, such as Vitamins C and E, to you and your baby. It has prebiotic properties that help promote gut health, too. While this beautiful fruit might not help stimulate milk production, it is a great fruit to keep you and your baby healthy.
Cranberries are one of the best fruit choices for breastfeeding. According to a 2022 study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, women who took cranberry while breastfeeding had higher levels of antioxidants than they did before. Other benefits of cranberries while breastfeeding includes.
- Cranberries are 90% water, making them an excellent option for breastfeeding moms that need to stay hydrated
- 22 grams carbohydrates
- 4.6 grams fiber
- Plenty of antioxidants
Cranberries are mostly water, carbs, and fiber. This makes them an excellent choice for nursing moms that need to keep their energy up. These fruits have small amounts of vitamins and nutrients, but they do not have enough to serve as a way to get a lot of vitamins. One thing to watch out for while taking cranberry while breastfeeding is that cranberries are not usually eaten raw because of their tart taste. So, most people drink cranberry juice. Cranberry juice usually has a lot of sugar to balance out the natural tartness of cranberries, so read nutrition labels carefully before buying cranberry juice.
Avocado is among the best fruits to eat while breastfeeding. Vitamins such as A, K, D, and E, need fatty acids for your body to absorb. That’s where avocado saves the day. Each avocado contains fatty acids that help your body absorb the vitamins from other foods and supplements. However, that’s not all. Eating a medium-sized avocado while breastfeeding will do. Avocados will have the following benefits.
- 240 calories
- 3 grams protein
- 13 grams carbs
- 0 cholesterol
- 10 grams fiber
- 22% Vitamin C
- 14% Vitamin E
- 28% Vitamin B5
- 20% Folate
- 18% Vitamin K
Avocados are a powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients that are great for you and your baby. They can give you the calories you need to stay full and the carbs necessary for more energy. The fatty acids ensure that your body absorbs the plethora of vitamins in an avocado. On top of that, avocados have folate, which encourages the growth and development of your baby. Remember how crucial folic acid was when you were pregnant? It’s still essential for nursing moms.
Which fruits can cause gas in breastfed babies?
It’s common for fruits high in fructose to cause gas in babies. Fruit causes gas in nursing babies because they have difficulty digesting fructose which makes it into breast milk. Other sugars can also give babies gas. Fruits high in fructose and other sugars include.
Consider trying low-fructose fruits if you notice that your baby doesn’t handle fructose well. Some low-fructose fruits that are less likely to cause gas include.
Which juice is best for breastfeeding?
Apple juice is the best juice for breastfeeding. Apple juice has calcium to encourage a consistent milk supply in addition to Vitamin C, iron, calcium, folate, and fiber. This makes it great to boost your immune system, promote development in your baby, keep your bowel movements regular, and encourage a healthy milk supply.
Nursing moms must read nutrition labels when purchasing juice, including apple juice. Most fruit juices have added sugar to make them sweeter. Ensure you’re buying organic juice without added sugars to enjoy the healthiest juice for yourself and your baby.
How to safely satisfy a sugar craving while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding moms can safely satisfy a sugar craving by choosing a fruit that is beneficial to nursing mothers and babies. It’s surprisingly common to have sugar cravings while you’re breastfeeding. In non-breastfeeding women, this can be caused by vitamin deficiencies, stress, and exhaustion. However, sugar cravings also go hand in hand with the hormonal changes during the postpartum period when your body adjusts to no longer being pregnant. It’s essential to make sure that you healthily address sugar cravings. First, ensure you’re getting as much rest as possible. A lack of sleep can increase the hormone ghrelin, which causes hunger. Secondly, check that a vitamin deficiency isn’t causing sugar cravings. Schedule a doctor’s appointment to ensure you do not lack specific vitamins from your diet.
You’re likely experiencing sugar cravings due to your hormones and changes in your body if none of the above are true. Enjoy some healthy fruit on our green list to address these cravings healthily. It’s critical to avoid overindulging in fruits that are on the red or yellow list because that will not be healthy for you or your baby.