Can You Eat Lunch Meat While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can have lunch meat while breastfeeding. However, there are some things that young mothers should avoid eating and drinking. In this article, we will discuss the foods that you should avoid while breastfeeding. As well as the benefits of eating specific foods while nursing.

What Meat to Eat When Breastfeeding

If you are looking for protein foods while breastfeeding, consider eating:

  • chicken;
  • fish;
  • tofu;
  • legumes like black beans and lentils.

You can also eat juicy steak but consider the meat of high quality. Look where to buy Wagyu beef to cook top-level steak.

These foods provide all of the essential amino acids needed by both mothers and infants during lactation. You can also find high-quality protein in dairy products and eggs.

High-fat meats like hard salami and pastrami should be consumed in moderation. And processed lunch meats, such as bologna and ham, should be avoided altogether. They often contain nitrates, which can be harmful to both mother and baby.

Breastfeeding and Listeria

Mothers may be wondering if eating lunch meat is safe because of listeria. Listeria is a bacteria that can cause serious illnesses, including meningitis. However, there’s no risk of listeria infection for breastfeeding women. You may consider using breast pumps for easy producing of breast milk. In fact, most cases of listeriosis occur in pregnant women who are not yet aware they are pregnant.

Can you eat deli meat while breastfeeding? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all pregnant women avoid eating lunch meat. Unless it has been reheated until steaming hot. So any present Listeria bacteria is killed. This recommendation also applies to the breastfeeding mother’s diet. However, the CDC does not recommend avoiding all deli meats. Rather, they advise reheating them until steaming hot before eating them.

Reheating lunch meat including hot dogs will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present in the meat. So, you can feel safe eating lunch meat while breastfeeding.

If you are not sure whether particular lunch meat is safe to eat, contact the manufacturer. They will be able to tell you if the lunch meat has been treated with preservatives. So that makes it safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to eat.

woman nursing her infant child

What Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding?

The following foods should be avoided when nursing a baby:

  • Alcohol;
  • Caffeine;
  • Dairy products (except for yogurt and cheese);
  • Spicy foods;
  • Garlic and onions.

At the American Pregnancy Association site, you can find a list of other foods that should not be consumed when breastfeeding. It includes Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chocolate, coffee, licorice, and more.

What Diet to Follow when Breastfeeding?

The best diet to follow when nursing is one that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. As well as lean protein and whole grains. This will ensure that you’re getting nutrient-rich foods your body needs to produce milk. They will provide healthy sustenance for you.

You can eat soft cheeses, cold cuts, canned light tuna, and beef meat. It’s better to avoid sources of food poisoning for healthy breast milk production. If you’re looking for a specific meal plan to follow, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers an online tool that can help. It’s called My Plate, and it allows you to create a personalized nutrition plan based on your own dietary needs.


Eating lunch meat by nursing women is generally safe. It is important to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Consider reheating lunch meat until steaming hot. If you have any questions about a specific type of lunch meat, contact your health professional.

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