2 Common Fruits You Should Avoid While Breastfeeding

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While breastfeeding, women are often advised to eat plenty of fruits to maintain a nutritious diet. However, not all fruits are beneficial for lactating women. Thus, some fruits to avoid while breastfeeding are citrus fruits, cherries, and prunes. Although they may not cause direct harm to the mother, they can induce undesirable reactions in the baby.

Scroll through this article to learn more about the effects of these fruits on babies during lactation and why they should be avoided. This post also offers some safer alternatives to these fruits so that you don’t miss out on the essential nutrients they provide.

In This Article

Fruits To Avoid While Breastfeeding

When you are breastfeeding, you aren’t as rigid about your diet as you were during pregnancy. However, a proper and a healthy maternal diet is highly desirable as it has a direct effect on your breast milk. Many a time, there is a possibility that your infant may fall ill, develop sensitivities, or contract allergies due to your improper diet. Infections and microbes remain in your breast milk and pass into your infant’s body. While your postpartum diet is all about making sufficient quality and quantity of milk, you should follow some dietary restrictions and avoid some types of foods to ensure your and your baby’s safety.

Doctors typically advise breastfeeding moms to include two bowls of fruits in their daily diet, as fruits are rich in essential minerals and other nutrients. Fruits help provide extra nourishment to your baby through your milk. However, not all fruits have similar advantages, especially when you are breastfeeding. Remember that your baby’s health will directly depend on your diet.

Here we list some fruits to avoid while breastfeeding for you and your little one’s well-being.

1. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits may affect the baby’s digestion through breast milk

Image: IStock

Juicy, tangy and incredibly tasty is how you would describe most citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are some of the most popular fruits, and they form a major part of your fruit basket. However, as a lactating mom, you need to monitor your intake to see if citrus fruits are affecting the baby’s digestion through your breast milk.

Citrus fruits include fruits like lime, kiwi fruits, strawberries, pineapples, oranges, and grapes. Many-a-time, citrus fruits lend a pungent flavor to your breast milk. Some babies might object to the taste of it, and get fussy while consuming it. Other babies may vomit. Sometimes, your baby may also develop diaper rash as a result of the citrus content in breast milk. Citrus fruits contain many acidic compounds and can lead to irritation of the gastrointestinal tract (GI) in children.

2. Cherries and prunes

Cherries are fruits to avoid while breastfeeding

Image: IStock

Apart from citrus fruits, make sure you don’t consume any cherries, prunes, or berries. Cherries may sometimes create gas problems for your little one. Moreover, it is quite common for newborn babies to suffer from gas due to their newly developing digestive system.

protip_icon Quick fact
The laxative effect of prunes, due to their phenolic compounds, sorbitol, and water-soluble fiber, makes it avoidable during breastfeeding (1).

If you notice that you or your baby may have a sensitivity or any of the above symptoms, give up on the citrus fruits, cherries, and prunes immediately before you consult a pediatrician. However, if you are breastfeeding, make sure you consume a healthy diet. Remember to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or questions about your breast milk production.

What Fruits To Eat?

Mango can help you maintain the Vitamin C levels in your body

Image: IStock

Now that you know what fruits to avoid during breastfeeding let’s understand what options that leaves you. Well, to replace citrus fruits, include fruits like mango and papaya, which will help you maintain Vitamin C levels in your body, without the obtrusive citric acid and its nasty side effects.

Paulina Allure, a mother of two, describes how she includes mango in her healthy smoothie while breastfeeding. She explains, “I start off with a smoothie, and I add in some oat milk, which is my favorite type of milk. Of course, some almond butter, which I add to every smoothie, and some flax meal, hemp seeds, and spinach. And then lastly, add in some frozen mango, which just makes this sweet and slushie and just a really good smoothie (i).”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can a breastfeeding mother determine if a fruit is affecting her milk supply?

A breastfeeding mother may be able to determine her milk supply by checking her baby’s diapers. If the baby has six or more wet diapers per day with clear or very pale pee and four or more yellow, seedy poops per day, then most likely, the baby is getting sufficient milk. If there are fewer wet diapers or darker pee, it may mean that the baby is not getting enough milk. If the mother is still unsure, she can call her doctor for further advice (2).

2. Can certain fruits interfere with the absorption of nutrients or medications while breastfeeding?

Certain fruits, including pineapple, watermelon, pawpaw, and apple, contain anti-nutrients such as saponins, alkaloids, tannins, phytates, oxalate, phenols, and HCN. However, the toxic levels of these anti-nutrients are unknown, and the levels found in these fruits are within safe limits. In addition, anti-nutrients such as phenolic compounds also have proven health benefits. Thus, consuming these fruits is encouraged as they contribute to good nutritional status and overall health (3).

3. How can I tell if my baby is having an allergic reaction to a fruit I ate while breastfeeding?

Babies can develop allergies to the food that the mother eats. If you suspect your child is allergic to the fruit you have consumed, you should look for symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stools, colic, poor growth, eczema, and constipation (4).

4. Is it safe to eat canned or processed fruits while breastfeeding?

It is safe to consume canned and dried fruits while breastfeeding, but you can prefer fresh fruit over it as canned fruit is stored in sugar syrup that can cause sufficient unhealthy weight gain (5).

Nursing mothers should eat plenty of fruits to get sufficient nutrition. However, not all fruits are suitable to consume during this time as they might adversely affect the baby. Thus, it is better to exercise caution while taking citrus fruits, cherries, and prunes. A baby’s digestive system may not tolerate these fruits well when they pass through the breast milk. Therefore, consuming these fruits may irritate the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. So, you may talk to your doctor about the temporary exclusion or avoidance of these from your diet. Also, you may speak to them about consuming other fruits like mango and papaya to compensate for the nutrition.

Infographic: Healthy Fruits To Include In A Lactating Mother’s Diet

Fruits are a healthy source of nutrients and minerals required by breastfeeding mothers. However, it is essential to know what fruits to include in your nursing diet to ensure no allergic reactions in you or your baby. The infographic below lists fruits that can be safely consumed during breastfeeding.

common fruits to consume when breastfeeding (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • To prevent adverse reactions in the baby while breastfeeding, it’s recommended to avoid consuming citrus fruits, cherries, and prunes.
  • Citrus fruits have been associated with digestive problems, fussy behavior, vomiting, and diaper rash in breastfed babies.
  • Cherries and prunes can also cause gas in babies, so it’s advisable to stay away from these fruits as well.
  • Safe alternatives to citrus fruits, cherries, and prunes are mango and papaya, which provide vitamin C without negative effects on the baby.
Fruits to Avoid While Breastfeeding_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Prunes vs. Psyllium for Reducing Constipation.
    https://badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/prunes-vs-psyllium/
  2. Breastfeeding FAQs: Supply and Demand (for Parents).
    https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/breastfeed-supply.html
  3. Phytochemical and anti-nutritional studies on some commonly consumed fruits in lokoja, kogi state of Nigeria.
    https://www.oatext.com/phytochemical-and-anti-nutritional-studies-on-some-commonly-consumed-fruits-in-lokoja-kogi-state-of-nigeria.php
  4. Breastfeeding a Baby With Food Allergies.
    https://www.chop.edu/pages/breastfeeding-baby-food-allergies#:~:text=Even%20a%20baby%20who%20has,eating%20while%20you%20are%20breastfeeding
  5. Breastfeeding and Diet.
    hthttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottle-feeding/breastfeeding-and-lifestyle/diet/
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Mindy Cockeram
Mindy CockeramLCCE, CLEC
Mindy Cockeram is a childbirth and breastfeeding educator with 11 years of experience. She currently resides in Southern California, where she teaches at a non-profit hospital. Her career began after the birth of her second child when she changed career direction and trained as an antenatal teacher with the National Childbirth Trust in London, England.

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Jessica Albert is a passionate writer who seeks to connect with her readers through wit and charm. Her work aims to invoke curiosity and keep the readers engaged through and through. She has two years of experience working with magazines and e-commerce establishments as a content marketer and editor.

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Rohit GarooBSc, MBA
Rohit Garoo is a writer-turned-editor with over 9 years of experience in content writing, editing, and content marketing. He did his bachelors in Science at St. Xavier's College, Hyderabad, and masters in Business Administration at Osmania University.

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Shinta is a biotechnologist who is highly intrigued by science and technology. She holds a master's degree in Biotechnology from Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences and a PG Diploma in cellular and molecular diagnostics from Manipal University.

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