Top Five Breastfeeding Food Myths

Misconceptions about breastfeeding are common — even among parents! Here are five of the top myths about what lactating moms can eat and drink. The truth — shared by The Pump Station’s Allison Mahurin, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, RN, BSN — may surprise you!

  • Myth #1: You can’t drink caffeine while breastfeeding. A small amount of caffeine does enter breast milk, but in moderation caffeine is okay. When in doubt, look at your baby for signs of fussiness and choose drinks like tea that typically contain less caffeine than coffee.
  • Myth #2: Drinking more water will help you make more milk. Forcing yourself to drink more water than you want won’t increase your milk supply. Just drink to thirst and make sure to have water within arm’s reach before you settle in to a nursing session.
  • Myth #3: You should avoid foods that make you gassy — they’ll make your baby gassy too! The gas you pass is made in your gut by your friendly gut flora reacting to the undigested food. That undigested food can’t find its way into your breast milk to make gas in your baby’s gut.
  • Myth #4: You need to drink milk to make milk. If that were true, cows would be in trouble.
  • Myth #5: Drinking dark beer will help increase your milk supply. There’s just no evidence to back this up. In fact, drinking too much alcohol can reduce your prolactin level. This is the hormone that helps you make the amount of milk you make. According to the CDC, not drinking alcohol is safest for breastfeeding moms.

To support breastfeeding, a colorful, healthy, varied diet is best. Pick foods that you enjoy, and bon appetit!

Allison Mahurin, RN, BSN, IBCLC, BA is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant who is passionate about meeting families where they are in the breastfeeding process to offer evidence-based support. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and completed her IBCLC certification through UC San Diego. She teaches The Pump Station’s Prenatal Baby Care 101, and Introduction to Breastfeeding classes. She firmly believes in the value of embracing all families, whatever their makeup, and thinks breastfeeding success is defined by meeting the specific needs of each family. Prior to becoming an IBCLC, Allison worked as a nurse in the OR. She has two beautiful daughters, both of whom she breastfed. She also holds a degree in English Literature which she currently puts to daily in pursuit of her other passion – reading.

The Pump Station & Nurtury

Founded 30 years ago by Corky Harvey, RN, MS, IBCLC, The Pump Station & Nurtury offers lactation support items, expert lactation consultants, new parent support groups, and classes at its two L.A. locations in Santa Monica and Hollywood. The Pump Station has also recently expanded to offer Postpartum Doula services.

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