Foods That Make Breast Milk Taste Bad

  • By: Katie
  • Date: April 18, 2022
  • Time to read: 8 min.

If you are a new mom, you may be wondering what foods make breast milk taste bad. It is important to avoid certain foods if you want your breast milk to taste good.

In this blog post, we will discuss the foods in a mother’s diet that you should avoid if you want your breast milk to taste its best.

Does What I Eat Change the Taste of Breastmilk?

When a breastfeeding mother eats foods with strong flavors, like garlic or curry, those food flavors are passed into the mother’s milk. So when baby nurses, they get a little flavor of what Mom’s been eating. And of course, formula-fed babies are not affected by any of these.

In a recent study, mothers were asked to take flavor capsules and it was confirmed that some flavor compounds were then found in breast milk.

The flavor of breastmilk can also change depending on what fruits or vegetables the mother has been eating. Some breastfed infants seem to prefer the flavor of milk that’s been flavored by sweet foods, while others seem to prefer savory foods.

Exposure to Different Flavors

Interestingly, this exposure to different flavors through the mother’s milk might influence your child’s liking of a particular food flavor in the future when she starts to eat solids. And babies begin to smell and taste amniotic fluid while they’re inside your tummies.

In one study, researchers found that babies who were exposed to more flavor variety through breastmilk were more likely to eat a greater variety of solid foods as toddlers than babies who were not exposed to as much flavor variety.

Some foods can also alter your breast milk’s smell and most babies snub tainted milk.

So if you want your baby to be open to trying new foods, expose them to a variety of flavors through your breastmilk! New moms should have a varied diet for health benefits anyway.

Dairy Products

Dairy products can also alter the taste of milk. If this is the case, you should consider eliminating dairy from your diet.

Smoking

What you do also affects how human milk tastes and smells. For example, smoking.

We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but did you know that it can also have a negative impact on breast milk?

Studies have shown that smoking even after your baby arrives can give the baby harmful chemicals that can lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), as well as increased levels of harmful chemicals in breast milk which could get into your baby’s sensitive system.

Additionally, smokers are more likely to experience altered sleep patterns, which can impact breast milk supply and its quality. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise stopping smoking when breastfeeding.

External Factors

Another factor that can affect the taste of breast milk is eating the wrong foods with pesticides and herbicides in some of our produce. Organic produce often tastes better than conventionally grown foods because they are grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides.

These chemicals can change the flavor of breast milk, making it less sweet and more bitter. Eating organic foods is one way to avoid these chemicals and protect your family’s health. Also, avoid any tasks that involve pesticide exposure because it could also lead to human health issues.

What Foods That Make Breast Milk Taste Bad or Different?

It’s a common question that many new moms ask – what can I eat to make my breast milk taste better? While there are no definitive answers, there are some flavors that have been known to change the taste of breast milk.

The maternal diet definitely plays a role in the flavors that are imparted to breast milk. So here are the foods that make breast milk taste bad or different.

Asparagus

asparagus for nursing moms

Asparagus can make your breast milk taste different. However, it is unlikely that your baby will reject your breast milk because of this.

When you eat asparagus, it does not change the color of your breast milk. So there is no need to worry about asparagus-tinged breast milk either.

If you are concerned about asparagus making your breast milk taste different, you can always try boiling it before you eat it. This will help to remove some of the asparagus flavors from your breast milk.

Spicy Food

Capsaicin, the heat-giving compound in spicy food, will make your breast milk taste different. It is a lipid-soluble molecule, which means it can pass through the lipids (fats) in your milk and be ingested by your baby.

Capsaicin is also a volatile molecule, which means it can evaporate and disperse quickly. So, eating loads of your favorite spicy meal right before feeding may not have much effect on the flavor of your milk.

Spicy Food

However, if you eat spicy food regularly, there could be a cumulative effect on the flavor of your milk over time. And your baby might not like the taste of breast milk tainted with capsaicin after eating spicy foods. Read our guide to eating jalapenos when nursing.

Seafood

Seafood for Nursing Moms

A nursing mother should take caution eating fish while breastfeeding. You might not be eating solely eating fish alone (there could be a colorful plastic hiding in its gut) due to other factors affecting a fish’s food supply and animal health such as plastic pollution.

Too much exposure to these toxins can lead to a buildup that can affect body tissues and also breast milk.

Mercury is also a concern with some seafood, and it could potentially change the flavor of breast milk. However, there is no definitive evidence that this actually happens.

So if you enjoy eating seafood, there’s no need to worry about changing the flavor of your breast milk. Just be sure to limit your mercury intake by avoiding certain types of fish. Mercury can affect your baby’s brain development. We’ve done detailed reviews on the following seafood and nursing moms: Calamari, ceviche, crabs, Crawfish, Long John Silvers, Raw Oysters, Shrimp, Smoked Salmon, Sushi and tuna.

Organ Meats

Organ meats are an excellent source of nutrients for both mother and child. They are rich in iron, which is essential for the formation of hemoglobin, and vitamin A, which is important for vision and immune function. Choose ones from sources you trust to ensure that they are free of harmful toxins.

Organ meats, albeit nutrient-rich, can pass on toxins to breast milk. Eating too much organ meat can give a salty taste to your breast milk. If you eat these meats, it’s best to do so in moderation.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can change the taste of breast milk. And in some cases, it can make a fussy and unhappy baby. Some breastfed babies seem to be unaffected by the change in taste, while others may be more sensitive.

Of course, as with anything, moderation is key. Too much alcohol can pose a risk to both mom and baby, so there’s no harm in the occasional glass of wine while you’re breastfeeding.

Medications

Certain medications can cause subtle changes in the flavor of breast milk, while others may change the smell or taste.

However, it’s important to remember that every mother and baby is different. Some babies may be more sensitive to changes in breast milk flavor than others. This means that a baby might not like the breast milk offered.

If you’re concerned about how a medication may affect your breast milk, be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you more information about the potential risks and benefits of taking the medication while breastfeeding.

Water

It’s important to ensure that you’re adequately hydrated. This means drinking enough water throughout the day to keep your body functioning properly. If you’re not drinking enough water, your breast milk will likely reflect that.

That said, the quality of water you’re drinking can also impact the taste of your breast milk. Drinking poor quality water with a lot of impurities, those impurities will end up in your breast milk. This could make it taste different than if you were drinking clean, filtered water.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure that your breast milk tastes good is to drink plenty of clean, filtered water throughout the day. This will keep you properly hydrated and minimize the chance of impurities affecting the taste of your milk.

Other Foods That Can Affect the Taste of Breast Milk

Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta carotene. Vitamin A is essential for the development of the immune system, while beta carotene helps to protect against infection. Both of these nutrients are important for the health of the mother and child.

In addition, carrots contain antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a common problem during breastfeeding, and it can lead to soreness and cracked nipples. Antioxidants can help to reduce inflammation and make breastfeeding more comfortable for both the mother and child.

Some people believe that eating carrots and drinking carrot juice can change the taste of breast milk. Some say that when they drink carrot juice or eat carrot-flavored cereal makes their milk taste sweeter. Others say it makes no difference at all.

Garlic

If you’re constantly throwing garlic into your food, you might be wondering if garlic will change the taste of your breastmilk. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question.

While some breastfeeding mothers report that their breastmilk takes on a garlic flavor after they eat garlic, others say they don’t notice any difference. And still, others find that their baby refuses to breastfeed after mom has eaten garlic. So what’s the deal?

It seems that garlic-flavored breast milk is more of a myth than anything else. While some mothers may notice a change in taste, it’s probably not due to the garlic itself. More likely, the difference in taste is due to the mother’s body chemistry. So if you’re a garlic fan, there’s no need to worry that your breastmilk will taste any different.

And if your baby does seem to be bothered by garlic-flavored breastmilk, try cutting back on garlic-containing foods for a few days and see if garlic-free breast milk makes a difference.

Coffee

A lot of nursing mothers wonder if coffee will change the taste of their breast milk. The answer is maybe. Moderation is key when it comes to caffeine and breastmilk. So your usual morning cup of joe might not have an effect on your breast milk.

However, if you drink large amounts of coffee, your breast milk will likely reflect that change in taste. However, if you moderate your intake, the chances are that your breast milk will not taste any different.

What Makes Breast Milk Bitter?

Lipase is an enzyme in breast milk that helps to break down fats. However, if lipase is present in excess, it can make expressed breast milk tastes bitter and in some cases, it can make milk taste sour.

This bitter or sour taste is caused by the breakdown of fatty acids into short-chain fatty acids, which have a strong unpleasant taste.

If you suspect your breast milk has lipase in excess, you can cook it to inactivate the enzyme. However, this will also change the taste of your breast milk, making it taste completely different.

Take Away on Foods That Affect Breast Milk Flavor

There are a number of foods that can affect the taste of breast milk. So it’s better to keep a food diary. Drinking plenty of water is an easy way to ensure your breastmilk will be tasty and nutritious for your baby.

If you’re worried about other food impacting the taste, try to limit these foods or cook them before consuming them if they cause problems with digestion. The best advice we can give is to experiment and see what works for you and your baby.