I Gave Up Something I Love to Breastfeed

Christie Haskell
52

baby with rash I adore tea. I love the smell, the taste, I would drink dozens of cups of it daily. I spent $50 in Chinatown in Seattle on fresh green tea leaves (which look like a jar of weed on my counter) and I don't spend that much money on much of anything! I LOVE TEA.

My daughter Aurora, however, doesn't. She has sensitive skin, but when I drink tea, and she nurses, well, she breaks out in a rash all over.

Before I knew it was tea, I tried to cut things from my diet to rule out common culprits. Dairy, soy, I changed soap and detergent. I talked to many people about it, and everyone seemed as baffled as I was. I did a lot of testing too, but it always came back to tea.

Typically, a breastfeeding mom doesn't need to change her diet, contrary to popular belief. Obviously, my current tea-ban isn't nearly as bad as some moms have it, but for me, it's pretty sad. At least I still have my coffee! For the moms who have to cut out dairy and soy, the most common culprits of everything from rashes to reflux, it's NOT easy. They are in a lot of foods, and if you're not already cooking a lot from scratch with fresh ingredients, it can be really daunting. Fortunately, there are lots of resources for moms who need to be soy and dairy free, and many more items in average grocery stores now, too.

However, me cutting out my beloved tea (or for moms who need to cut other things) is so worth it. My daughter has got the best immune system I can possibly give her. Aurora has the ideal protection against obesity, leukemia, and a slew of other things, because she's been fed the way nature intended mammals to be, and I figure if it means I have to give up something I love, it's totally worth it to me.

Considering she's going to live to be over 90 years old, and hopefully I will too, a couple years out of our lives in extra effort or missing out really don't seem like much anymore. I know things can be a lot harder for other moms, and sometimes their problems are so large that they have no choice but to take a different route, whether it's donor milk or formula, but when it is something in your control, one or two years really isn't that much of a sacrifice.

But once she decides to wean, I'm definitely drinking nothing but tea for a solid week -- half of which I'll be in the bathroom peeing, but it'll totally be worth it.

Did you have to cut out anything you loved to breastfeed?

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