What foods must I avoid while breast-feeding, must be one of the most common questions asked.

The short answer is: have what you like - as long as you are eating in moderation.

There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule - caffeine, nicotine and strong drink.

If strongly flavoured foods like curries or garlic are part of your normal diet and you continued to eat them while you were pregnant you could, as general rule, continue to eat them while breast-feeding without causing any side affects on your baby.

The problem arises when new parents go out for a meal, taking baby along.

Unsure as to how baby will behave on their first evening out, mom and dad opt for a quick easy meal - the local pizza den.

Chances are baby sleeps through the whole meal, settles beautifully after his late-night breast-feed, only to wake up six to eight hours later - windy, crampy and unhappy.

What has happened is that mom has changed her diet rather drastically. It could be the garlic, the cheese or maybe the combination of what she had on the pizza - whatever it is, it does not go down well with baby.

But if garlic is a part of mom's daily diet, baby is unlikely to react in this way.

In fact it has been found that in such instances mom's milk can even taste of garlic or curry, if that is part of her daily diet.

This mom might very well find that her baby enjoys such foods once he or she is given the option to eat them later on.

However, should baby be unusually crabby and you want to work out whether it is diet related, the rule of thumb is to recall what you had to eat about eight hours before. It may give you the clue you were looking for.

Let's look at the list of foods and drinks that could cause problems like indigestion.

Foods and drinks to be avoided or limited

  • Those containing caffeine, that would include coffee, tea (to a lesser degree), Coke, chocolate drinks as well chocolates.

  • Limit the number of gassy cool drinks. The odd glass of wine or beer is probably fine, but no more than that.

  • Dilute any fruit juice you may have but stop them if your baby shows any signs of nappy rash.

    Fresh fruit in excess could also cause nappy rash but it is still important to have two or three different fruits a day. Limit especially citrus fruits and dried fruit.

  • Vegetables that tend to make you windy if you had a large helping are cabbage, cauliflower, beans and specially baked beans. I hesitate to include broccoli - it really is good for you.

  • Even if your baby is not allergic to diary, don't overdo your intake of milk, cheese and yogurt. Drinking lots of milk does not help you to produce more milk, but drinking plenty of fluids would help.

  • Be aware of strong flavours like garlic or curry unless they are already part of your everyday diet.

    The older your baby gets, the less likely she is to react to the foods mentioned, so you could start experimenting a little. - Purity