How Long Does Food Stay in Your System/affect Baby?

Updated on May 04, 2008
R.I. asks from Mercer Island, WA
9 answers

I am wondering how to find out how long food I eat stays in my breastmilk, thus when it affects my baby. 1) If I eat at 12pm, when does the food I eat affect my breastmilk? (eg. how many hours later) 2) how long does it affect my breastmilk (eg. will it still affect my breastmilk/baby at midnight)?

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S.P.

answers from Seattle on

Typically what you eat (or drink) will end up in the next feed. So say you had something you know upsets the baby you can always pump and dump on the following feed. I am wondering what foods you are worried about. You really can eat anything you want, even spicy foods. I am a nursing momma and I was more concerned about eating processed foods. Never even considered eating fast food then feeding the baby. Of course try to eat organic as much as possible. Hope this helps. Most important thing is not to quit or give up. You are giving your baby a true gift!

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

It depends on the food and how quickly how body metabolises things. I would check out a website like www.lalecheleague.org
Some babies react to strong odor/flavor foods and others don't, but if you are thinking alcohol be extremely cautious...I didn't drink while breastfeeding while I know some who pumped and dumped the milk.

B.S.

answers from Springfield on

I've done extensive research on this and just to let you know, there is no positive way to determine long food stays in your breastmilk, also there is no proof that avoiding foods will help the baby be less cranky... sadly I found this out the hard way.
Anyway, read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby... it helps with a ton of questions!

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L.L.

answers from Seattle on

A lactation specialist should be able to give you a pretty good answer to that question. You can cal la leche league or perhaps the lactation specialist at the hospital your son was born. Are you wondering for reasons of possible allergies? If so, one thing you might try is simply takign the suspected problem food out of your diet for a while adn seeing if the problem clears up. If it doesn't, you know it is something else.

N.P.

answers from Seattle on

I was told up to 24 hours. Like for example if you eat something that causes gas in your baby that it can take 24 hrs to clear out.
Your childs pediatrician might be helpful too. You can try the lactation consultants at your local hospital too. Hopefully they are better tan the ones I've talked to at my hospital.
Best of luck.

D.J.

answers from Seattle on

Is depend of the type of food, some of them are there within an hour and some of them keeps showing there for the next two weeks. For example to clean your brest milk from cows proteins the doctors consider it "clean" two weeks after you stop taking any products with cows protein.

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H.C.

answers from Portland on

I think if i remember right, it depends on how strong the flavor of food is . For food it may be up to 8 hrs sort of like fasting for a medical test? La Leche League would have info on your questions i am sure.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

R.,
Check with your lactation specialist at the pediatricians office. When I breastfed our first son, if I ate peanuts, he would break out in a rash all over. The doctor had me omit peanuts from my diet and his diet until he was 3yrs.
Over the past 14yrs. every MD and Naturopath I have seen has told me that food stays in our system for at least 3 days. That is the reason for the elimination diet because you can react to something you ate 3 days ago. I would think it is the same for the breast milk, but check with the doctor.
Good luck.

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R.P.

answers from Portland on

I was on the LLL international website and found this article and thought of your request. It addressed your question about half way through. If the link doesn't work search for allergies and the breastfeeding family.
http://www.llli.org/NB/NBJulAug98p100.html

If your wondering about how long drugs/pharmaceuticals stay in your system, ask your doctor about the half-life of the drug in question, S/he should be able to find it in the physicians desk reference. You may be able to find that on the LLLI website as well.

R.

Next question: What NOT to Eat While Breastfeeding