Foods to Avoid When You Are Nursing


Whether you have a chronically gassy baby, or just need your newborn to sleep extra well, you’ll want to read this list of foods to avoid when you are nursing. Be sure to follow this guide leading up to your newborn photo session so we have both a relaxing experience and great pictures!

Since becoming a newborn photographer, I have learned so much about newborn safety along with all kinds of tips for how to better enjoy (or just survive) those first exhausting weeks. I don’t pretend to be a medical professional. But, I will happily share the tricks I’ve learned with my newborn clients. I wish I knew what I know now when my 3 kids were newborns!

My third baby was my most difficult. She had constant tummy troubles and nothing seemed to help. I knew to avoid super gassy and spicy foods if I didn’t want to cause her more distress. But, I didn’t realize that I was still eating quite a few problematic foods.


We’ve all been in situations where we’d be willing to do just about anything to get our baby to sleep. If you have a colicky baby, you’ll probably want to adopt this new diet until your little one’s sensitive tummy has matured a bit. Her self-soothing and sleep habits will probably improve quite a bit after the first 6-12 weeks, as well. But, even if you do not have a super fussy baby, I want to encourage you to follow these food recommendations at least 48 hours before your newborn photo shoot. We don’t need your itty bitty sleeping the entire time, but her comfort makes a huge difference during those three hours.


So, what foods should you avoid while nursing to help your newborn rest easy?


The first one is obvious. Avoid eating or drinking anything with caffeine. Sadly, this includes coffee, tea, sodas, and chocolate. Caffeine will transfer to your baby via your breastmilk and impact his sleep.

Spicy Foods

Not only do medications, alcohol, and caffeine reach your baby through breastmilk, but the foods you eat can change the taste of your milk. So, spicy foods don’t only run the risk of making your baby gassy, but if your baby doesn’t like the taste of your milk after those jalapenos, she might not nurse as well. Babies who experience acid reflux or GERD may be especially sensitive to spicy foods.

Allergenic Foods

Just like you need to be careful introducing foods that are common allergens to your baby once they start solids, you’ll want to be cautious with those foods while nursing. If you decide to eat these foods while actively breastfeeding, introduce them slowly so that you know if one of them might be to blame for your baby’s discomfort. Here are some common allergenic foods to avoid:

  • Nuts
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Shellfish
  • Soy

Acidic Foods

I knew to avoid foods that made me gassy, but there were several acidic and gassy foods that hadn’t occurred to me. Common acidic foods to avoid include tomatoes and citrus fruit. Even apples can be problematic. Common gassy foods include beans and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. Unfortunately, that list is much longer, but if you keep a food log and introduce them slowly, you can identify problem foods for your baby.

In home newborn lifestyle session in Manhattan KS
foods to avoid

I want to give credit to world-renowned newborn photographer and educator, Ana Brandt, for researching and sharing this detailed list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding a newborn. She swears by this list and encourages all newborn photographer’s to share it with their clients.

“We ask them to skip the berries, hold the tomatoes and please pass on the Mexican 48 hours before their session!” – Ana Brandt


You might be thinking, “are there any healthy foods that I CAN eat???” You’ve just delivered a baby, your body is healing, and creating the only sustenance your baby will have for possibly the first 6 months of life. You are most likely STARVED.

Here are some yummy foods you can indulge in without upsetting your nursling’s tummy:

  • Pasta (with oil…remember to avoid tomato sauces)
  • Potatoes and Sweet potatoes(go light on the butter)
  • Brown rice
  • Steak
  • Wheat Bread
  • Chicken, Fish, and Tofu all also help with milk production
  • Oats (great source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They can also help relieve constipation, lower blood sugar levels, and help fill you up)
  • Bananas (the potassium helps nursing mums maintain their fluid and electrolyte levels)
  • Avocados
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Kiwi
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Greens (such as spinach)
  • Zucchini

The most important thing, is to drink LOTS of water!


After 9 months of tip toeing around all kinds of recommendations and warnings to keep your baby safe in utero, I know more food restrictions is the last thing you want to hear about. But, it’s worth it. There are endless health benefits to breastfeeding your baby, especially during those first few months while their immune system is extra vulnerable. I also know that if you have a colicky baby, you’ll want to do anything and everything to soothe that tiny tummy. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as switching to bottle feeding (formulas come with their own risks). Unless you are a rare, lucky one, it’s going to be difficult whichever path you choose. Hang in there, Mama! You are doing great and you’ll be on the other side of this rough spot before you know it. And I wrote that right before my 11 year old daughter walked in from school, screamed at our dog for being too happy to see her, then spat out, “You’re one to talk,” when I told her yelling doesn’t help. Sigh. And I’m not even a yeller (anymore). Onward and Upward!

Enjoy some more sleepy baby pictures and beautiful mamas nurturing their itty bitties to help you focus on the magic of it all. You’ve got this!

Find more breastfeeding blogs posts here

More newborn photo session tips here