What to avoid when breastfeeding
To ensure your baby's optimum health and to make sure he gets the best start in life, it's best to avoid any additives or items that could impact negatively on his health.
This isn't as dangerous as when you were pregnant considering your milk will be filtered before your baby takes a swig, so having a drink here and there isn't a huge deal. Drinking in large doses, however, can cause your baby to be sleepy and unresponsive, and can even interfere with their ability to suck and breathe. If you do decide to have a drink (never more than one a day, and preferably less), do so right after you breastfeed to let the alcohol metabolise for a bit.
Besides the dangers of secondhand smoke (do we really need to explain?), smoking more than a pack a day can cause vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and rapid heart rate in your baby. Speak to your doctor about methods of quitting or call the Quitline on 0800 778 778.
There's no need to cut out completely (one or two cups of a caffeinated drink should be fine), but your baby's tiny system is unequipped to process large amounts of caffeine, causing it to build up in his body.
Along the same lines as the above advice for choosing low-fat and organic foods, a diet high in chemicals isn't a good idea. A good way to avoid unnecessary additives is to avoid processed foods with a long ingredient list.
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot, New Zealand's leading pregnancy and parenting resource.