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vegetarian diet and breastfeeding

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

We have a 10 week old daughter.  My in laws are staying with me for the next month visiting/helping out.  They are vegetarians from India.  We eat mostly vegetarian in the house.  Before our daughter was born I ate a diet pretty heavy in vegis with some beans, lentils, and whole grains thrown in.  We eat meat maybe once a week when we are out.  We ate a lot of vegis that are cautioned about for breastfeeding moms (crucifers, onions, etc) and beans.  We do eat eggs, but I don't do dairy (lactose intoleratnt).  My questions is what is it okay to eat now.  I am focusing on eating lots of vegis  that are nonirritaing grean beans, peas, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, etc.   I typically don't eat many carbs.  Some whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, barley.  The in laws would have me eat no beans,lentils, fruits, many vegis (potatoes, eggplants, peppers, onions, cabbage, etc.).  Are they rightthat I should worry about so many foods.  They would rather see me eat meat than beans if I feel I need more protein than the one approved lentil on their list.  Our local Indian store is out of said approved lentil (toor dahl).  I don't want to give the baby gas, but it seems this is a bit much.  What beans do people eat that are easiest to digest.  I used to eat a lot of chickpeas and black beans while pregant, are these okay to try out or are there other better choices.  I don't eat soy and really don't want to follow their advice and up the meat intake.  I did that for a few weeks and it did a number on my digestive systems since I rarely eat meat normally.

post #2 of 12

I did not change my diet at all  for breastfeeding ... maybe I was lucky (or DS was!) but he had no extra gas/upset tummy from anything I ate. We typically eat tomato, garlic, onion, beans (all sorts) as the bulk of our meal most times. Brocolli did not bother DS, no amount of spice that I could tolerate was too much for him

I would say 'if it's not broke, don't fix it'! If baby is nursing, not upset, gaining weight appropriately, not getting a diaper rash etc. then eat what you like!  

My son now is one of the few preschoolers we know who will eat Indian food & Mexican food, and he'll even try the spicier stuff that DH likes, but usually prefers to go with the mild/moderate dishes I like.

post #3 of 12

I ate all of those things with no difficulty while nursing.

post #4 of 12

I also ate everything while bf. My theory was eat what I like and if a problem arises, then deal with it.  For both my girls, dairy was a problem, and for my younger dd, broccoli bothered her for the first couple of months.  I would eat what you like and adjust if necessary.  

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by vireoes View Post

My in laws are staying with me for the next month visiting/helping out.  They are vegetarians from India. [...] I don't eat soy and really don't want to follow their advice and up the meat intake.  I did that for a few weeks and it did a number on my digestive systems since I rarely eat meat normally.


I was trying to parse the inventory in Ayurvedic tamasic/sattvic/rajasic terms, but... they're vegetarians and want you to increase meat intake?

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

I know it is odd for the Indian  vegi parentsto suggest meat. Where we live we cannot get a reliable source of the types of lentils they think are okay to eat.  They know I eat meat occasionally, so I guess they figure I am not pure anyway might as well eat lots of meat.  My mom the meat eater is more supportive of us playing it by ear and seeing how the baby reacts before ruling things out.  My mom was more concerned about cruciferous vegitables which we were eating a lot of before the baby was born than the lentils and beans.

post #7 of 12

Well, going back to the Ayurvedic aspect for lack of a better idea, toor dal (split pigeon peas; mine also look to be hulled) are rajasic; so are adzuki beans, oddly enough, and red lentils (masoor dal), it seems. Maybe you could sell the in-laws on the latter? Or at least get them to explain where they're coming from, given the variey of pulses. Red lentils are certainly a lot easier to find.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Interesting... Thanks for the link.  I haven't heard them refer to foods this way, mostly just saying something produces heat or cold.  Although quite a few of the foods they are suggesting come from the list you provided including squash, spinach, and tamarind.   Unfortunately moong is the dal that is found everywhere here and we occasionally get toor and I have yet to see masoor. We have one tiny Indian store that is always running out of stock of things.   Adzuki beans are pretty common though, so that might be a could place to start while they are staying with me, which is for about another month.  My mother in law is helping out by doing most of the cooking so I can spend time with DD.  After that I will be doing all the cooking anyway, so I can experiment as I see fit.  I bet I could make hummus from adzuki beans, I really miss hummus.  Wrap sandwiches with lots of vegis and hummus were  stable for me during pregnancy.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by vireoes View Post

Unfortunately moong is the dal that is found everywhere here and we occasionally get toor and I have yet to see masoor.


Depending on where you are, masoor might be in a regular grocery store just as "red lentils," unless the idea is that they should be unhulled red lentils, etc. The dal nomenclature seems to leave a bit to be desired around the edges.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

We move around a bit, but are currently in Taiwan.  The only lentils I find of any type in the regular grocery stores here are moong (typically with hulls on either split or whole).  I will have to check the western grocery stores and see if they carry any lentils, but don't recall seeing any the last time I was there.  I think the Taiwanese use moong to make sweets with.  Our Indian store only have moong and urad consistently.  Back home in the US I would often find masoor occasionally in grocery stores as you mention, especially natural foods stores.

post #11 of 12

Are there any other ethnic or American groceries around you?  A lot of Indian ingredients (including red lentils and yellow split peas) are also used in Spanish cooking.  I've had luck in the Goya section of our stores here (I know they might not have Goya there, it's just a comparison).

 

post #12 of 12

The hulled red lentils are also used a lot of Middle Eastern cooking, so if you are in an area with Arab grocery stores, you might want to try there...

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