The Nursing Food Guide

I will never forget 14 years ago leaving the hospital with my newborn baby and wondering what on earth I was going to eat! I was so hungry!! After having an emergency C-section and 23 hours of labor, learning how to nurse a newborn and having a 4 day hospital stay, it was time for some real serious food! All I could think about was greasy food and fries! I remember having this amazing cheesesteak sandwich, not once or twice, but several times over the next two weeks. I also remember – very well – sitting up all night wondering why my baby wasn’t nursing, or latching on and when he did finally nurse – why was he then gassy all night long! This is MOTHERHOOD? Wow. Not quite what I had expected. And so I found myself two weeks later sobbing at the office of my Pediatrician. I couldn’t carry the baby, I was far too sore. I could barely nurse and I hadn’t slept in 500 years it seemed. I also remember the best words I ever heard someone say and they were ” are you ok?“. She – the Pediatrician – who was to care for my new baby – asked if I, was ok. No, I was not ok. I told her about the gassiness, the fussiness and why on earth is my baby not eating and sleeping so soundly.

She did the best thing that has not only happened for me as a Mother, but as a newborn photographer 14 years later. She gave me the list. The nursing list of foods to avoid. Not only did this list work, it really worked! I followed it line by line and when I strayed, we were up all night – it was just that simple. The only thing I could stray from was chocolate from time to time. Tomatoes? Forget it! It just wasn’t worth staying up all night. Pizza is quick to eat, but then when your baby is gassy all night long, somehow that pizza didn’t look too good. Soda – forget it! Dairy – no way! What did work? Yummy pasta with oil, wheat bread and light butter, mashed potatoes and amazing steak! All of these things kept me healthy, fed and my baby not only nursing but sleeping better then any baby we had ever met. All of our friends used to comment on how well our babies slept and they still joke that our kids didn’t see the moon for years – because they slept so well! I tested the list of course. I had to know if it was the food or luck of the day. I was quite convinced as some days my son was perfect – all was well – and other days when I tried to eat berries or gassy vegetables things were a hot mess! So the good news is, we had an easy remedy! It was only about 3 months on this adjusted diet until things were smooth sailing. Little by little I introduced new foods and nursed along the way.

Now 14 years later I pass this list on to every one we meet. This list has made it around the world and goes to every single newborn client before they come to our studio! We ask them to skip the berries, hold the tomatoes and please pass on the Mexican 48 hours before their session! Does it work? 99% of the time and I have the clients to prove it! Now, every baby is different yes. In my own experience this list was gold for all 3 of my kids, and when all else failed we loved Gripe Water. My clients tell me over and over it saved them too and they slept much better. Are babies fussy? Of course. Gassy, sure? Will this list work for every baby – no. But it works for some and to me, that’s worth passing it on.

Some people will say they ate anything and everything and it didn’t affect their babies. That’s super awesome. It wasn’t the case for me and many times its not the case for many other Mamas. Food has changed over the years and much of it affects us as grownups – now imagine a teeny tiny new digestive system. If nothing else, I ask my clients to eat healthy, take care of themselves and know their bodies and their babies cues. If you have a grunty, gassy baby, find out why. For photographers, when I teach them, I encourage them to educate their clients – talk to them and help pass it on.

So…if you are a photographer, pass it on to your clients.

If you are a Mom – try it, you just might get a good nights sleep!

Oh and the list!… it is. Psst, pass it on.

Ana Brandt is a photographer in Orange County California.
A happy Mama of three children, now 9, 11 and 14 her kids can now eat everything on this list!

In our studio we suggest Moms feed babies at our studio before a session.
Whether you are a nursing Mama or formula feeding, we do everything we can to  make your baby comfortable;
such as swaddling, sushing, white noise and heaters!

We always recommend consulting with your Pediatrician.

  1. OMG! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this information! I never breast fed so I had no idea that there was this much to food for the nursing mom. I knew there were some things, but not like this. I wish I knew this when I started photographing babies and encountered sessions that went to the extreme of difficult. I don’t give up, but in those situations, I was dying and now, looking back and finding out about this, I wonder if that was the problem. You are an angel for passing this information on. Thank you! 🙂

  2. Jennifer

    18 December

    I didn’t realize that 3 of my kids are the same ages as yours! I have 4 kids: 8, 10, 13, and 14 🙂

  3. Jennifer

    18 December

    and thanks for the list, I did have a list from my lactation consultant, but it wouldn’t have occurred to me to include it in the information for newborn clients. Duh moment! LOL

  4. Ana Brandt

    18 December

    Mine are all turning – Evan just turned 13 – so girls are turning 9 and 11 – so they are all two years apart and will be 9-11 and 13 – time flies!

  5. Paula Showen

    14 March

    Thank you so much for this information! I will make sure to credit you when I post this! This is very valuable information for my clients!

  6. chandra

    18 August

    Thank you for sharing this Ana! I just had a mother tonight asking me what was ok to eat. This is WONDERFUL! You never cease to amaze me with your generosity!

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