Onion during Breastfeeding: Myths and Facts


Can Eating Onion Make Breast Milk Taste Bad For Baby?

Though onions have a pungent smell and an intense taste, they are widely used in the households and have a plethora of medicinal properties. But, are they safe during breastfeeding?
Well, onions are undoubtedly one of the food ingredients that add to the taste of a recipe. New lactating moms are usually worried about their diet due to the doubtful known theory that the taste of their breast milk may change and the baby won’t like it. There are many myths related to eating onions during breastfeeding. Some of the top myths about eating onions during breastfeeding include:
• Eating onions and garlic can change the breast milk’s taste
• Eating onions by nursing moms can harm babies
According to some research and the advice by some paediatricians, avoiding some foods including onions during breastfeeding is good. The theories related to eating onions by nursing moms are not 100% true but the foods like garlic and onions do have an impact on the breast milk. The below questions will clear the mist.

Can Onion Cause Gas in Baby?

Paediatricians suggest not eating gas-inducing foods during pregnancy. Even some green veggies like onions, garlic and cauliflower may cause colic and affect the baby within 2 hours of breastfeeding. The same happens after the consumption of caffeine and some dairy products that contain allergens.

Can Onion Flavour the Breast Milk?

If not all, some amount of your diet changes the taste of your breast milk. There is a mixed opinion about this theory among the paediatricians. A baby can easily detect the taste of the foods like garlic and onions in the breast milk but that doesn’t mean they are going to reject it for this reason. Some babies like these intense tastes as the breast milk doesn’t taste like regular milk. Some medical practitioners don’t support this theory at all but there are enough research and case studies to let us think about it.

Do Raw Onion and Cooked Onion Have the Same Effect on Breast Milk?

Considering the ingredients which are main culprits behind the change in taste and making milk cause gas in babies, the raw onion is surely to be avoided but cooked onion may have less impact. Nursing moms should prefer cooked veggies over raw ones. Cooked onions, garlic and other foods with intense tastes may not affect the taste of the breast milk severely and they are good for the health of the mom and the baby.

First 40 Days of Breastfeeding and Mighty Onion: My Way

If not for whole 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, I did not have onion during first 40 days. Not only because its doubtful but I used to have mainly gruels and kanjis, simple sabji chapatti. According to Indian tradition approach to healthy breastfeeding diet, onion is one of to-be-avoided foods. I preferred avoiding it. But after 40days, I did include the cooked onion in diet. Till 6 months, I totally avoided raw onion.

If your baby’s pediatrician has not asked you to cut down on any specific food yet, there is no need to worry about its side effects. A nursing mom can eat almost all the healthy foods unless the child shows any symptom of rejection during breastfeeding. Onions are safe for lactating moms but they must be well-cooked.
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About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.

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