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Korean J Pediatr 2017 March;60(3) :70-76.
Published online 2017 March 15.        doi:
Maternal food restrictions during breastfeeding
Goun Jeong, Sung Won Park, Yeon Kyung Lee, Sun Young Ko, Son Moon Shin
Department of Pediatrics, Cheil General Hospital and Womens Healthcare Center, Dankook University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding Author: Son Moon Shin ,Tel: +82-2-2000-7078, Fax: +82-2-2000-7778, Email:
Copyright © 2017 by The Korean Pediatric Society
Purpose: This study investigated self-food restriction during breastfeeding, reviewed the literature showing the effect of maternal diet on the health of breast-fed infants, and explored the validity of dietary restrictions.
Methods: Questionnaire data were collected from breastfeeding Korean mothers who visited the pediatric clinic of Cheil General Hospital & Womens Healthcare Center from July 2015 through August 2015. The survey included items assessing maternal age, number of children, maternal educational attainment, household income, degree of difficulty with self-food restriction, types of self-restricted foods, dietary customs during breastfeeding, and sources of information about breastfeeding.
Results: The questionnaire was completed by 145 mothers. More than a third (n=56, 39%) had discomfort from and usually avoided 4–5 types of food (mean, 4.92). Mothers younger than 40 years had more discomfort (odds ratio [OR], 12.762; P=0.017). Primiparas felt less discomfort than multiparas (OR, 0.436; P=0.036). Dietary practices were not influenced by maternal educational attainment or household income. The most common self-restricted foods were caffeine (n=131, 90.3%), spicy foods (n=124, 85.5%), raw foods (n=109, 75.2%), cold foods (n=100, 69%), and sikhye (traditional sweet Korean rice beverage) (n=100, 69%). Most mothers (n=122, 84.1%) avoided foods for vague reasons.
Conclusion: Most mothers restricted certain foods unnecessarily. Literature review identified no foods that mothers should absolutely avoid during breastfeeding unless the infant reacts negatively to the food.
Keywords: Breastfeeding | Lactation | Attitudes practice health knowledge | Health care surveys | Infant
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Acute viral lower respiratory tract infections in children  2009 March;52(3)
Subclinical rickets in breastfed infants  2007 December;50(12)
Severe hypernatremic dehydration in a breast-fed neonate  2007 January;50(1)
A Survey on Mothers' Perception of Breastfeeding  1999 August;42(8)
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