What Foods to Avoid When Breastfeeding Baby with Reflux

Sharing is caring!

Is your breastfed baby suffering from acid reflux? It can be so stressful to see your baby go through this, even though it is a common problem with newborns. If your baby is having acid reflux, there are lots of things you can do to improve their condition such as changing feeding position, burping after feeding and being aware of food to avoid when breastfeeding.

Acid reflux usually happens when the acid in the stomach moves back into the esophagus or the food pipe, resulting in the irritation of the lining of the food pipe and heartburn. But many new moms do not realize that if you are nursing it can also be a problem for your baby. The good thing is it is not as dangerous as it sounds.

If your baby has reflux after nursing, you may need to consider eliminating the food or drink that you consumed within a few hours or so before nursing.

Keeping a food journal of everything you eat and drink with the date and time you consumed it can be very helpful for pin pointing the foods that may be triggering your newborn’s reflux.

Remember what you eat or drink, will affect your baby. So, a well-balanced breastfeeding diet is important for your health as well as your baby’s health.

In most cases, there is no need to medicate your baby for reflux. Diet changes will provide great results for your baby and you. After all, it is very disturbing to see your baby in distress. By removing acid foods, foods that trigger reflux, and overeating you will see the desired results quickly.

Make sure to pin this post for later!

{Disclosure: This post contains affiliate or referral links. Read more about that here.} 

List of Foods to Eliminate to help control your baby’s reflux

There are some foods that commonly can cause acid reflux for breastfed babies. It can be hard to “give up” some of these foods so it’s important to focus on what you can eat while breastfeeding, just as much as the foods to avoid.

While many of these foods are good for you normally, while breastfeeding it can be helpful to eliminate these foods to aid in relieving your baby’s acid reflux.

The advice included in this article is meant for informational purposes only. Please consult your care provider before making any changes to your diet.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain citric acid, malic acid and trace amounts of oxalic acid. People who have acid reflux triggered by these acids may well have acid reflux from eating tomatoes, their by-products, such as pizza or ketchup, or drinking tomato juice. That’s a lot of acid!

Tomatoes may not cause you to have reflux, but it may be the culprit that is causing your baby to spit up after nursing.

Coffee, Tea, and Carbonated Beverages

These drinks are all caffeinated and should be avoided while nursing. They also contain different amounts of acid which may cause you distress to your baby’s tummy. They may be high in sugar as well.

Want to learn more about what foods to eat while breastfeeding? Sign up for our email list below to get a free Breastfeeding Food Guide printable PLUS breastfeeding friendly meal ideas and diet tips delivered to your inbox. 

  • Includes best foods to eat to increase milk supply
  • Includes foods to avoid while breastfeeding baby with reflux, gas and colic.
  • Know exactly what to eat to make more milk and keep your baby happy!

Alcohol

Beer, wine, and liquor can relax the lower esophageal sphincter. Alcohol also stimulates the production of stomach acid. Many alcoholic beverages can be high in sugar as well. It’s best to avoid alcohol while nursing if you baby has acid reflux.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits contain more acid than other fruits that may lead to reflux. They also relax the lower esophageal sphincter. Enjoy other fruits while nursing.

High Fat Dairy

Try to substitute high fat milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products for low fat options. Try coconut, oat, cashew or almond milk if cow milk is not tolerable for your nursing baby.

Mint

There is a big debate about mints such as peppermint and spearmint products. In some people it seems to cause heartburn and acid reflux. So, to be on the safe side, do not chew mint gum or eat mint foods while nursing.

Peppermint is known to be among the herbs that decreases milk supply also.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods are a part of everyday life for most people. But eating spicy foods such as chili and peppers may cause reflux for your nursing baby.

Consider eliminating spicy foods while nursing and see if it helps your baby’s reflux.

High Fat Foods and Fried Foods

Foods high in fat such as fried chicken, milkshakes, sauces, cakes, and other rich foods should be avoided when nursing. These foods worsen acid reflux and can cause weight gain because of high in calories.

Check out 5 ways to lose the postpartum belly here.

Red Meat

Red meat is high in acid and fat content that can cause reflux. Do you need to totally avoid red meat? No! Just consider substituting fatty cuts for leaner cuts of meat while you are breastfeeding your baby with reflux.

Processed Grain and Flour

Most of these foods are classified “junk food”. Some included are breads, hamburgers, cakes, cookies, and there are many more. Avoid these foods, they may cause reflux or gas for your nursing baby.

Look into making your own healthy breastfeeding snacks like these.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions are known to cause heartburn or acid reflux in some people. Your baby may be one those people. So be careful consuming these when you are breastfeeding and test out eliminating this food if your newborn’s acid reflux persists.

Cruciferous Vegetable

Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage may cause gas in many breastfed babies which can lead to reflux for your baby. You may want to eliminate these as well if they effect your nursing baby.

Chocolate

Chocolates contain cocoa and theobromine, which are known to increase the acidity in the stomach. This is a hard one to give up, but you may have to forgo chocolate bars, hot chocolate, chocolate milk, and other chocolate products until after nursing if your baby is suffering from reflux.

Don’t worry, this time of having to watch what you eat does not last long. Generally by 6 months most babies out grow their digestive sensitivities to food you eat while breastfeeding and you can go back to a normal diet.

It is always best to consult your baby’s pediatrician if reflex continues. But changing your diet, controlling your weight, avoiding irritating foods, and generally taking care of yourself will in turn, keep your breastfeed baby healthy too.

More Breastfeeding Resources

Here at Birth Eat Love our goal is to make healthy eating easier for busy Moms during postpartum and breastfeeding. 

Homemade breastfeeding snack recipes – this ebook has some great recipes that are low in sugar and dairy free for boosting milk supply.

Wondering what foods you can eat that will help increase your milk supply? This post has 11 real foods that you can eat today to make more milk and includes recipes, supplements and product suggestions. 

Do you have a colicky or super fussy breastfed baby? There are some foods you may be eating that could be making your baby uncomfortable. Read about a few foods to avoid while breastfeeding here

Looking for breastfeeding recipes that can help support your milk production? Here are 9 breastfeeding soups that you can make in the slow cooker or instant pot.

Interested in making freezer meals so you can have easy dinners? Check out this freezer meal ebook that has 12 recipes specifically designed to support breastfeeding and postpartum recovery. 

Tired of trying to decide what to eat while breastfeeding? Reduce the thinking and stressing about meal time with this simple breastfeeding meal plan

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *