Is it safe to eat sushi/raw cheese/spicy food while breastfeeding? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 02-25-2011, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok this isn't the first child I have breastfed, but this is the first time I have wondered about this. With my second son I ate whatever while BF-ing, but I came across some threads online that said a breastfeeding mama shouldn't eat sushi or spicy food, and that Listeria could possibly be transferred to baby through breast milk?

 

I'm currently BF-ing my 2-week-old and really would love some sushi, feta cheese, and Thai food lol. Is it safe? Do you guys eat it?


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#2 of 23 Old 02-25-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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I eat it. Never heard of otherwise. 

 


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#3 of 23 Old 02-25-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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Spicy foods - yum! eat.gif

 

Here is a great webpage http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mom/mom-foods.html

 

The only reason I avoid some sushi is the mercury in fish such as tuna. Salmon and veggie and fish roe and mmmmmmmmmm... sushi eat.gif

 

And this is from a really good medical page talking about how Listeria is not passed through breastmilk :

"Foodborne infection — Some foods, such as deli meats, soft cheeses, refrigerated meat spreads, and other items are not recommended during pregnancy due to the risk of ingesting a bacteria known as listeria. Listeria can cause a mild illness in adults and a serious or life-threatening infection in infants who are infected during pregnancy. However, women who are breastfeeding do not need to avoid or limit these foods; listeria cannot be passed through breastmilk."

(Bolding mine)

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/patient-information-maternal-health-and-nutrition-during-breastfeeding#H11

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#4 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies!!! :) I would love to hear from more moms who eat these things, it would make me feel better!


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#5 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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I'm waiting to have my first baby, but my best friend didn't restrict her diet while breastfeeding, and she loves Tabasco and spicy foods and sushi and all sorts of cheeses.  She currently has a healthy 2 1/2 year old who breastfed to almost 2 years old.


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#6 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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I see no reason not too other than mercury...I stayed away from it all through my pregnancy and the first 6 months or so....DS is 11 months old now and I've only had a bit of it twice...just because of the high amounts of mercury in the fish though...not because of it being raw.  So I just want to limit what can transfer over and yes, the mercury can transfer over...so just limit the amount is what I would suggest.


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#7 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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By the way....mercury is in all the fish that's freshwater....not just tuna....tuna just tends to have higher amounts.  Mercury is in Salmon too...wish it wasn't.


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#8 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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I'm breastfeeding and I just eat a normal, healthy diet. We eat fish about once a week (so I probably only have tuna once every few months) and I love spicy food. It's never seemed to bother my daughter at all. The only thing I limited was dairy/soy for the first few months.

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#9 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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Hi there mama!
We only eat raw cheese and dairy in our home.  It's totally safe to do.  Sushi would be fine as well.  I wouldn't stress so much.  Your body probably needs those nutrients.  Just stick with more salmon than tuna etc and no shark ;-) enjoy!thumb.gif


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#10 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 06:16 PM
 
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here is a great guide to fish/mercury: http://www.toronto.ca/health/fishandmercury/pdf/guide_eat_fish.pdf

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#11 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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Women in India breastfeed , women in Thailand breastfeed, and spicy foods are common in those cultures.   Oh, now i am hungry for a Spicy Tuna roll from Himawari's ....I have eaten sushi only once since the baby has been born (LO is 6 mo old)   But if DH werent working so much - I would be eating it more often! 


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#12 of 23 Old 02-27-2011, 05:32 AM
 
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Original poster, I would avoid it only because your immunity isn't likely to be what it normally is so soon after giving birth. If you can wait a month or so, you should be back to normal, IMO. But that is just how culturally, we do it. Mother is given the mildest food possible during the first 3 weeks or so, and for another 3 weeks, slowly introduce foods back in.

 

Isn't feta cheese pasteurized in most places these days, though? That should be fine to eat, I would think!

 

Motherhendoula, women in India are not given any spicy food in the first weeks postpartum. If anything, the diet is stricter than for pregnant moms.


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#13 of 23 Old 02-27-2011, 06:08 AM
 
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Other than the mercury in fish concerns, the PPs answered it.  All those things are safe while BFing.  I can't wait to eat smoked salmon again.  I want an everything bagel with cream cheese & salmon delivered to me at the hospital.

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#14 of 23 Old 02-27-2011, 10:36 AM
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If you want more confidence in the safety of it, just think of this mama over  here in Cape Cod...

Last night for dinner and something I love to eat regularly is homemade buffalo wings and homemade blue cheese dip!!! I use blue cheese that is made with raw milk and my wings are very spicy!!

My favorite food and I ate the wings through pregnancy (not blue cheese, sigh) and I think in part that is why DD LOVES spicy food. 

 

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#15 of 23 Old 02-27-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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It is fine to eat most things while breastfeeding.  More concerns arise with alcohol rather than foods.  Limited portions of any foods are great.  Your baby will be fine with your choices in food.  It is when you are consuming large portions several times when it is more of a concern. I would still recommend eating foods containing mercury only once per week as it can pass thru breastmilk. 

 

Foods that you were cautioned on when pregnant aren't as much of concerns while breastfeeding. I would only use caution if you notice that your newborn has stomach issues within 24 hours of eating those items.  Keep a journal of fussiness and gassy babies.  Note the food that you ate that day and the day before.  You may notice foods that are more suseptable to creating upset tummies for your baby. 

 

Otherwise, eat to your heart's desire.

 

Because you are breastfeeding, your baby has something called a breastfeeding gut.  Your baby's immunity is building up along with each feeding.  Your baby is able to fight off colds and sicknesses because of the immunity that you are passing to baby. 

 

*Many harmful substances can be passed thru breastmilk.  Please avoid alcohol and medications unless perscribed by your doctor.  You may ask them at what level of harm does that medication range within their L1-L4 chart.  L1 is not harmful, whereas L4 is very harmful.

 

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#16 of 23 Old 02-27-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Please avoid alcohol and medications unless perscribed by your doctor. 


This is not evidence based. Occasional alcohol intake while breastfeeding has not been shown to affect the baby. The big issue with alcohol is a drunk parent, not alcohol in breastmilk.

 

I'd write more but nak.

 

eta: sadly, most MDs are also woefully ignorant about breastfeeding and medications.

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#17 of 23 Old 02-27-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Just chiming in here.  I'm BFing my 2nd and have never avoided soft cheeses, only unpasteurized ones while pregnant, but not even that while nursing (though I don't eat them regularly or anything).  I did avoid sushi while preg with DS1, but ate it pretty regularly while preg with DS2 because I really craved it a lot, and decided that as long as I either made it myself fresh or ordered it fresh only at reputable restaurants, I'd be safe.  Never had any issues or problems.  I'll even admit to an occasional glass of a good wine while BFing, and I simply HAD to have some (admittedly weak) homemade eggnog at Christmas while pregnant with both sons. As for mercury in fish, I only buy wild-caught tuna (and fish less than once a week), and only eat canned on occasion (once a month or so).  I think we worry too much as a society.  Yes, we should try to avoid potential toxins and should eat healthier, especially while nourishing our children, but honestly I think the fluoride in our drinking water is probably more harmful than mercury in the fish we eat on occasion.  And give me a big, fat sushi roll (yummm) any day over a sugar-laden box of french fries.  And really, who ever heard of anybody getting sick on some yummy soft cheese in our day and age?  Besides, what's a better filter for your child's food than YOU?  Just my 2 cents. 

 

I have to go nurse the baby now, so HTH.  :)


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#18 of 23 Old 02-28-2011, 06:03 AM
 
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i avoided those foods actually. 

 

i avoided everything i avoided during pregnancy for the first few months, maybe 6 months and i avoided sushi for the first year. 

 

spicy food which i LOVE because had a reaction with dd. 

 

sushi = because i was paranoid about its affect on ME. what if i became so sick that i could not bf my child. 

 

however unpateurised cheese i avoided during pregnancy but ate them with gusto after birth.

 

i recall my ob talk about japanese women in his practise. he practised in japan for a few years. because sushi was such a part of their diet for so long, nothing ever happened to them while pregnant to ever stop eating sushi. 

 

wonder if the same would apply to my dd. sushi has been a big part of her diet since she was 18 months old. 


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#19 of 23 Old 03-02-2011, 06:26 AM
 
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I ate sushi while pregnant, so that's not a concern of mine.

 

Re: alcohol-many midwives suggest drinking a good stout beer to HELP with let down (Sammy Smith's Oatmeal Stout was actually formulated originally for lactating mothers). 

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#20 of 23 Old 03-02-2011, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthy Mama View Post

I ate sushi while pregnant, so that's not a concern of mine.

 

Re: alcohol-many midwives suggest drinking a good stout beer to HELP with let down (Sammy Smith's Oatmeal Stout was actually formulated originally for lactating mothers). 



that is so cool.

My MW actually suggested a Guinness (yuck) stout if I was having let down issues and everything else was as it should.

Never needed it but I laughed when she suggested it.

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#21 of 23 Old 03-03-2011, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post





that is so cool.

My MW actually suggested a Guinness (yuck) stout if I was having let down issues and everything else was as it should.

Never needed it but I laughed when she suggested it.



Lol love this!! thumbsup.gif

 


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#22 of 23 Old 03-09-2011, 06:19 AM
 
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Tuna live in the ocean, so they are not freshwater fish, but unfortunately most water is contaminated with mercury, oceans, rivers and lakes.  This link gives a good run down of mercury amounts in various fish: http://www.americanheart.com/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3013797  Salmon is actually pretty low on the contamination list, and I would feel ok with eating it.  Look for wild caught Alaskan Salmon, as they are the most sustainably fished.

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#23 of 23 Old 03-09-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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Overall, salmon is low...because they include the wildcaught Alaskan in the numbers...other sources of salmon, however, is rather high...and is where most restaurants get there inventory. :(


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