Can I Eat Chinese Food While Breastfeeding?

  • By: Katie
  • Date: April 8, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Do you love Chinese food? Many people do, but some worry that eating it while breastfeeding will affect their baby.

In this guide, we will explore the possible effects of eating Chinese food on your health while breastfeeding. We will also provide some tips on how a breastfeeding mother can enjoy her favorite cultural cuisine without worrying about her little one!

Can a Nursing Mother Eat Chinese Food?

Yes. While Chinese food can be an excellent choice for nursing mothers, it is important to be mindful of what you order. Generally, you should not eat foods with too much salt and MSG in them as well as those that taste too garlicky or spicy dish which can give you a runny nose.

There are other foods that should be avoided when breastfeeding. These include things with MSG, soy sauce, too much oil, alcohol and foods with a lot of salt, sugar and garlic.

Also, most fish contain high levels of mercury so make sure the fish in the Chinese food is not one of those fishes such as tuna.

These can cause your baby to become fussy or gassy. Spicy foods should also be avoided or at least consumed in moderation since they can irritate the lining of your digestive tract and eventually make their way into your breast milk (read our guide to eating jalapenos when breastfeeding).

While the occasional spicy food is a way of exposing baby to different tastes, it should be done safely.

Good Foods to Look Out For

However, there are some dishes that are great for new breastfeeding mothers. Many dishes with lots of vegetables and lean protein are perfect for moms looking to put on weight while still providing nutrition to both mother and child.

Some examples include steamed chicken breasts, broiled seafood and fish fillets made without butter or oil (if you’re watching your weight), steamed tofu, stir-fried green beans or low-salt chicken broth with bok choy noodles.

By avoiding certain ingredients, a breastfeeding mom will successfully avoid any problems when trying Chinese food or any fast food while breastfeeding as well as provide a healthy meal for both yourself and your baby!

Can Chinese Food Upset Breastfed Baby?

Yes, it is possible for Chinese food to upset a breastfed baby primarily due to MSG.

You may have heard of MSG or monosodium glutamate. It’s a flavor enhancer that’s used in many foods, from canned soup to fast-food french fries and is commonly found in Chinese food.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics considers MSG fine to have in a breastfeeding diet, you should still be careful with consuming different foods that contain this ingredient because it might affect your baby.

MSG can cause negative symptoms like headache and heart palpitations in some people who are sensitive to it.

And while it’s possible that MSG can make its way into human milk, there’s no conclusive evidence that MSG causes these symptoms or any other adverse effects in infants or children generally. But it’s entirely possible that it can upset a baby’s stomach.

Does Eating Chinese Food While Breastfeeding Affect Milk Supply?

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a flavor enhancer that’s often added to Chinese food. Though it may make your meal taste better, it can also cause headaches and heart palpitations in healthy adults.

Babies may experience these same effects if they get too much MSG from breast milk. So do yourself and your baby a favor, and think twice about ordering takeout more than once or twice a week.

Salt is another ingredient that you’ll want to be wary of when eating at restaurants serving Chinese cuisine since salt affects a mother’s milk supply by tricking the brain into thinking that you’ve eaten enough to produce milk.

If you’re breastfeeding, then chances are your body will tell you when it needs more sodium than normal—but this doesn’t necessarily mean that high-sodium food in the diet of nursing moms is safe.

You can always ask the chef at the restaurant to use less salt when making your dish if sodium levels aren’t listed on the menu—or better yet, cook up some flavorful dishes yourself at home!

Can Soy Sauce Get Into Your Milk?

As long as you are not allergic to soy and you eat a reasonable amount of soy sauce each day, it is highly unlikely that your baby will be affected by the soy sauce in your breast milk.

The amount of soy sauce that you would need to consume for it to cause a problem would be very large—and by the time you consumed that much, it is more likely that the salt content in the soy sauce would make you sick.

So you shouldn’t worry the next time you eat Chinese food or eat sushi and dip it in soy sauce.

Conclusion

Chinese food is considered safe and can be a great way to get some additional nutrients while breastfeeding, but it’s important to be mindful of the ingredients in each dish.

Some dishes are better than others for new mothers, and by avoiding certain ingredients you can successfully avoid any problems when trying Chinese food while breastfeeding.

How you flavor your food depends largely on your preference but you should consider how it affects you and your baby. If you are worried about how food might affect you and your child, you can always seek advice and answers from a lactation consultant or registered nurse.

FAQ

Can I Eat Chinese Food While Pregnant?

So you’re pregnant and you’ve been told to avoid caffeine and coffee because caffeine is bad for you and your unborn baby, now you’re wondering if it’s safe to eat Chinese food during your pregnancy. Some types of Chinese food are safe for mothers, but others can cause you to become ill if you don’t handle them properly or if they’re contaminated in some way.

The primary concern when eating Chinese food during pregnancy is that pregnant women might become ill from bacteria or other contaminants in the food. This is why it’s important to choose your Chinese restaurant carefully and make sure that the food has been prepared and stored properly. And parents should consult with their doctor to know which foods they should be consuming.