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Thread: How much does my diet effect my breastmilk quality?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    72

    Default How much does my diet effect my breastmilk quality?

    Hello all, long story short, I am not the best/healthy eater. I do eat fruits, veggies, and healthy foods. I drink milk and water daily. But I also drink soda daily, eat chips, pizza, fast food occasionally, and we cook with a lot of butter... neither my husband nor I, nor any one of our 3 children are even remotely over weight, but over all, as a family, I know we need to eat healthier. We cook meals for dinner, but usually lunches are quick and easy such as Mac and cheese, hot dogs, pizza rolls, think fast and easy.

    I exclusively breastfeed my 6 month old son, no solids whatsoever yet. Is my breast milk degraded at all due to not eating as healthy as I should?

    First time mama to my bean, born 3/2012. Still . She loves her "me's".

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: How much does my diet effect my breastmilk quality?

    As far as I know, there is no evidence that breastmilk quality is much affected by maternal diet, assuming mom is reasonably well nourished ( in other words, not missing any major nutrients in her diet.)

    However, I think it only makes sense to be smart about your own diet if for no other reason than because you are an example to your children. It is pretty hard to tell your children to limit sugary drinks if they see you drinking lots of them.
    My personal suggestion is that the only thing in your diet that I think is a problem is daily soda. Soda has absolutely nothing to redeem it - it is a complete void, nutritionally-and the sugar (or sugar substitute) and caffeine are potentially unhealthy, especially when drunk quickly in a cold drink as it enters the system so rapidly.

    What I have works for helping my family eat better is baby steps. For example, maybe do not do eliminate soda but save it for special occasions. There are also reasonable substitutes- maybe a caffeine free iced tea sweetened with honey or stevia- that would be much healthier. If you think butter is an issue, many times you can reduce the butter or perhaps try a butter/vegetable oil combo for cooking. That can be delicious.

    If you can afford it, there are now many quick microwavable or oven warmed meals that are made with healthier ingredients and processes. If you cannot afford those, as they do tend to be pricey, there are lots of ways to eat better on the cheap that are still fast and easy. Pizzas and oven fries etc. can be made at home with better ingredients really easily. But again, no need to change everything overnight. I have found baby steps are much less disruptive, meet with less complaint from husband and the changes stick when I do it that way.

    But as far as your breastmilk goes, I do not think there is a big issue. Did you have some particular concern there?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: How much does my diet effect my breastmilk quality?

    with MaddieB. You can live on twinkies and soda and still make good milk- not that you should!

    I also second cutting out the soda- it's often the easiest target for getting rid of junk food in your diet. I find that herbal teas or seltzer/sparkling water makes a good replacement- and if I really need a treat I add some shrub (it's like a sugar syrup mixed with fruit vinegar, surprisingly not gross at all) to the seltzer. I always make a drink that is less sweet than soda, which is always waaaay oversweet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: How much does my diet effect my breastmilk quality?

    Thanks ladies. I had two birthday parties this weekend and only had half a can of 7 up (caffeine free) at party #1. No pop at party #2 whatsoever! Ha ha For me that is amazing. Because I usually drink a 16 oz soda (usually mountain dew or pepsi) a day. I know it's not healthy, but I reeaaaly like it... : ( But pop is the one thing that I feel like I can eliminate and will make me feel better about what I am consuming and passing on to baby. Because that's a lot of caffeine.

    As far as breastfeeding goes maddieb, no problems or concerns. My little guy is 6 months, 18 glorious pounds, and loves his nursies I just wanted to make the composition of my milk was still nutritious and not lacking anything because I don't always eat the best.

    First time mama to my bean, born 3/2012. Still . She loves her "me's".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: How much does my diet effect my breastmilk quality?



    Such a good thing to do. Not just for yourself, but for your kids- they will follow your example. If you don't drink pop and don't keep it in the house, they won't drink it either. I've seen this is action with my own kids. I grew up with soda at birthday parties and as a treat- my dad has an incorrigible sweet tooth and would bring home a liter of 7-Up from time to time. So soda was a part of my life, and remains so to this day- when I am feeling low, I buy a Coke at the checkout line. But my kids? They hardly ever get it because I don't buy it for them, or drink it in front of them, and it's become kind of a social no-no in our circle of friends. Showing up with a bottle of pop gets a kind of "What, was the store out of juice?", raised eyebrow reaction. Not that juice is so good for you, but whatever. Anyway, when my kids do have access to soda, they generally choose something else.

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