We are what we eat, and this also applies to your nursing baby. Giving her the best nutrition is what we strive for. Thus, we stay clear of all the foods that might cause harm, like alcohol, too much caffeine, and maybe some sushi. But what we want to get a better understanding of is does spicy food affect breast milk?
If you start researching what you should or should not eat, you will get overwhelmed with conflicting information. And at the same time, it might lead you to swear off several foods. But there is good news: the foods you should avoid while breastfeeding is shorter than you think.
Why is this? Well, it is simple, your body is an excellent factory in producing what is needed to nourish your little one. The mammary glands responsible for producing milk, and the milk-producing cells do all the work in regulating the nutrients for your baby.
You were very aware of the pregnancy cravings after every hour, but you didn’t expect this hunger urges that keep creeping up after nursing your little one. This might lead you to raid your fridge in those ode hours of the night, but all you find is spicy meals. Making you wonder can you eat spicy food while breastfeeding?
Does spicy food affect breast milk?
As a nursing mom, you have to think twice about the items you put in your mouth, and when you finally eat spicy food, you immediately wonder if this will affect your breast milk.
The taste of your breastmilk is a result of what you consume. Thus, the different flavor that you have had in a meal will trickle down to your milk. Therefore, your baby will probably get a new flavor of milk each time she breastfeeds. And this might lead your baby to want more breastmilk because of the different flavor you are offering.
So yes, spicy food affects your breast milk, but in a good way to keep your little one enjoying every gulp. Moreover, the different flavor introduced will make it easy for you when introducing solid foods as she is already interested in different flavor.
Can you eat spicy food while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding does not mean staying clear of all those yummy foods. Thus, when it comes to spicy food, it is perfectly safe to eat while breastfeeding. No evidence has been found suggesting that spicy food could affect your little one.
The introduction of spicy food while pregnant or breastfeeding exposes your baby to different flavor at a very young age. As a result, it makes it easy for your baby to incorporate new flavor in her diet once you get to weaning and finger foods.
Some flavor can be very strong; this is the likes of vanilla, mint and garlic. However, as much as they are strong, they still offer their benefits. For example, it was found that infants who were not previously exposed to garlic in breastmilk feed a little longer when mommy finally got garlic capsules.
We can say that these tiny humans are foodies in the making, so some flavored breastmilk is something they will enjoy. The one thing of concern is not giving your baby spicy food. So go ahead and enjoy your spicy meals; the only thing of concern is probably your reaction to such meals.
Some adverse effects spicy food might have on your baby
We said these tiny humans might be foodies in the making, but this does not apply to all of them. Some might not like the mix of flavor that trickles into your breast milk. As a result, this might lead to a few adverse effects.
- There could be some allergy development.
Allergy development is very rare; this might appear once in a while to your baby. The typical allergy signs could be some rashes on your baby. When you notice such changes, probably do some trial and error to find what she might be allergic to.
2. She might experience some colic pain
3. There might be some increased appetite
Increased appetite is something most mothers want for their little ones. There might be some spice that makes your baby want more and more breastmilk, simply because she cannot have enough of that delicious flavor. So you might be wondering, what is the negative effect of this? Well, if she nurses beyond her capacity, it might lead to puking, or she might get fussy when this delicious flavor immediately changes.
4. She could get gassy
Some babies might get gassy when they drink milk that has traces of spice. If the spice does not settle well with your baby, it could lead to gas formation in her intestine and stomach, making her pass flatulence more than before, gripe water could also do the trick to settle her tummy.
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Benefits of eating spicy food while breastfeeding
With every downside, there should be a positive note to it. Thus, if your baby doesn’t have any negative effects on the spicy meals your having, then there are some benefits to enjoy.
- You will have an easy weaning process
As you get to the age of introducing solid foods, you will need to slowly reduce the amount of breastmilk she takes to ensure her tummy is empty when feeding. But for most babies have difficulty with the new transition, as they find the new flavor to be too strong for them. But if you have been consuming spicy foods, these different flavor have been trickling down to your milk. Thus, this immediately stimulates your babies taste buds. As a result, this makes it easy when introducing solid foods to her.
- Has a stronger stomach
The introduction of new texture, flavor and tastes can be a challenge for most babies. But if you have been consuming spicy foods, you have gone the extra mile in exposing your little one to different tastes. Thus, her digestive system is much more robust in digesting and handling these flavors.
- Able to adopt a better diet
Getting your baby on a good diet of solid food is no easy task, well, for most mothers. Milk has been an easy go-to option for your little one when she wants a quick fix, thus, makes it hard to let go. But spicy foods will help with the weaning process and establish a good healthy diet plan.
- Good in taste recognition
Breastmilk with a hint of a spicy flavor helps stimulate your baby’s taste buds; this will help your baby be skillful in the flavor they enjoy most. As a result, they are more open to trying new foods and flavors during the weaning process.
One last thing, does spicy food affect breast milk?
As a mother, we want to give the best to our little ones, and it starts from the right food choices from when they are young. As you have seen, spicy food is not harmful to your child if she does not present any allergic reactions. So as you enjoy your favorite meals, in moderation, of course, you will need to take note to see if it affects your little one.