How Long Does Food Stay in Your Breastmilk?

How Long Does Food Stay in Your Breastmilk?

How long does food stay in your breastmilk? A mother’s food can affect the taste of her milk but the baby doesn’t notice it. You also might be wondering how many hours the food stays in the milk. This will, in turn, affect how it affects the milk’s nutrition. On one hand, a nursing mom’s milk is healthier than milk formula since it’s a natural source instead of highly-processed milk. However, there’s an old saying that “You are what you eat.” So you might want to know how the food you eat affects your baby’s milk and for how long.

Various studies show that a mother’s milk not only affects the baby’s milk but other factors. For example, it seems to affect the baby’s future food/flavor preferences. So this is one of the reasons you should try to consume healthy foods/beverages while you’re breastfeeding. There’s a chance it could affect whether your little one prefers healthy or unhealthy food in the future. In fact, certain studies show that certain tastes can even have a positive effect on your baby in the present time. For example, one study found that carrot-flavored milk caused babies to like carrot juice later on.

Does a Mother’s Diet Affect Breastmilk?

It’s important to know how a mother’s food affects her milk. Studies show that the food a mother eats affects breast milk. There are various effects besides taste and nutrition. It can even affect which foods your little one prefers later.

One of the keys to good prenatal care is watching your diet. This is especially in terms of foods that could affect your infant’s development. There aren’t just foods you should avoid but also nutrients you should boost including folate and others.

There are fewer limits for breastfeeding mothers. However, you should still make sure you’re eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. That includes lean meats/fatty fish, whole grains, fruits/veggies, and dairy. It turns out the nursing mother’s diet seems to affect the mother’s health more than the newborn’s.

However, it’s still important to make sure you’re eating healthy while you’re breastfeeding. This makes sure you’re getting enough nutrients/energy and passing them on to your baby. It might be surprised how much a mother’s milk can affect her baby’s tastes. Studies show that when the mother eats a wide amount of foods this can cause her baby to do the same later.

In terms of calories, mothers should boost their calorie intake by 300-500 calories/day. This might seem tough to do if you’re on a diet like Keto and Atkins. However, you can deal with the extra calories through methods like exercise. Don’t worry too much about the extra weight until after you’re done breastfeeding.

Besides watching what you eat it’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough water. This can help to boost your breastmilk production.

One area to watch out for is dietary supplements and prescription meds. Make sure to check if they’re safe for breastfeeding. In some cases, drugs get into breast milk and can be dangerous.

How Long Does Food Stay in Your Breastmilk?

Health experts explain that the food a breastfeeding mother eats takes 4 to 6 hours to get into the milk. This fact is worth noting so you’ll know how soon your food affects the food. Then there are other issues like how many hours the food stays in the mother’s milk.

Let’s say you want to ditch certain foods from your breast milk. It might be surprising that the proteins will stay in the breast milk for one or two weeks. If the foods are causing symptoms then they should start improving gradually.

One issue you might be worried about is triggering many food allergies through the food your baby consumes through breast milk. There aren’t any recommendations about this issue from health experts.

The exception is if your little one has already developed symptoms of food allergies. In that case, you should avoid consuming that food.

Various foods are more likely than others to result in allergic reactions. They include:

  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Peanuts

The tough goal is to learn the foods your baby has food allergies too. You can do experiments like allergy testing to find out. Keep a food diary so it’s easier to eliminate foods that aren’t causing food allergies. This will help to determine which ones to ditch from your diet.


There are different ways you can stop food allergies. One of the main ones is to stop consuming dairy. If you want to stop consuming dairy then make sure to start reading all ingredient labels.

It’s worth noting that dairy products can appear with different names. For example, the two main proteins in milk are whey and casein. So if you see the ingredients on a food label it means it’s a dairy product.

Top Foods to Consume While Breastfeeding

  1. Eggs: Chicken, quail, and ostrich are some of the various options you have. Studies show that a high-protein breakfast with eggs, real meat, whole grains, etc. is a much healthier option than refined grains like white bread and white flour
  2. Veggies/Fruits: The USDA recommends that these foods make up half of your daily diet. There are lots of options like leafy greens, root veggies, citrus, etc. It’s important to eat a wide variety so your baby can get different vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, etc.
  3. Dairy: Make sure to avoid dairy if your baby already has a food allergy. In terms of overall nutritional value, it’s better to go with full fat versus low/no fat. Other options besides milk include cheese, cream, and yogurt. Dairy is also a complete protein so you’re getting all the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) needed daily.
  4. Grains/Nuts/Seeds: Whole grains are usually focused on it’s important not to avoid seeds and nuts. When consuming grains make sure to consume whole grains at least half the time. You should also add seeds and nuts to your weekly diet. National Geographic’s Blue Zones project showed that tree nuts were one of the main ingredients consumed by world regions with the longest average lifespans. There are lots of options. Healthy seeds include flax, chia, sunflower, and sesame.
  5. Fish/Seafood: One of the best foods you can eat while breastfeeding or not is fatty fish. This includes options like sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring, and trout. These foods provide a high amount of healthy fatty acids like omega-3. You can also get lots of omega-3s from shellfish like shrimp, crabs, and shellfish. Fatty fish and shellfish are also high in other nutrients. They include protein and vitamins/minerals. It’s recommended to consume fish/seafood at least twice weekly after learning how long does food stay in your breastmilk.

Mom Pamper

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