Gassy Foods When Breastfeeding

Many breastfeeding moms wonder if their diet has something to do with gas forming in their baby’s tummy. Breastfeeding experts suggest that no specific food consumed by mothers has been scientifically proven to cause stomach upset in their nursing babies. However, they advise mothers to eat a balanced diet and observe if there are any foods they suspect may cause gas in their infants. There are certain foods that you should avoid when breastfeeding a baby who is already gassy.

Can Eating Gassy Foods When Breastfeeding Cause My Baby to Be Gassy?

Your baby may be sensitive to some foods in your diet and these might cause an upset stomach. These foods include dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, cream, pudding, and other milk products), peanuts, corn wheat, eggs and fish. Some foods such as cabbage, broccoli, spices and garlic are known to be gas formers in the mother’s digestive system, which may also affect the baby through breastmilk.

There is no need to avoid all these nutritious foods if you suspect your baby has food sensitivity. Instead, try to identify which particular food may be the culprit and avoid eating it for a week, then observe what happens. It may take more than a week before your body is cleared of the food eaten, but your baby may improve within days.

You may try introducing the food again to your diet and observe how the baby behaves. It may take a keen observation to rule our food sensitivity by eliminating one type of food at a time but it may help find out which one is causing discomfort to the baby. You may also ask a breastfeeding expert or lactation consultant to help you on this matter.

Experiences of other moms about gassy foods when breastfeeding:

“My daughter would pass smelly gas and she screamed every time, as if in pain. I asked her doctor what to do and she advised me to avoid taking coffee and dairy products. I did this for a week and she began to improve with only a little fuss every now and then. So I tried to take coffee and dairy again, thinking that maybe it was not my fault that she had smelly gas. But no, she started crying again and passing smelly gas. That’s it. I had to avoid these foods while I was breastfeeding her. Sometimes I also used medicine to relieve her, but only before bed if she needed it.”

                                                                                                      posted 11/05/20012 by babylove

“I believe that all babies are different. In some families babies may be sensitive to milk and dairy products. Just like my daughter and all my nephews and nieces, who are sensitive to milk. Some of them were gassy and some vomited all the time when their breastfeeding moms took dairy products. My daughter would refuse to breastfeed whenever I took milk, even if it was lactose-free or soy milk. My doctor says that many babies who are intolerant to milk are also sensitive to soy. I also noticed that eating strawberries or eggs have the same effect – it would make her gassy. However, I have a lot of friends who can eat anything and it does not affect their babies. The good thing is that I lost a lot of excess weight after being on a strict diet.”

                                                                                                         posted 1/19/2012 by milklover

What Foods Should I Not Eat When Breastfeeding Gassy Babies?

While gassy foods when breastfeeding is out of the picture, you can alwasy make other healthy choices for your baby.

1. Dairy Products

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Breastfed babies who have symptoms of gassiness, runny nose, skin irritation, constipation or diarrhea may have a food sensitivity or food allergy. The most common culprits are cow milk, soy, corn, wheat, peanuts and eggs. Symptoms usually occur 4 to 24 hours after they breastfeed. If you suspect your baby has food allergy, try to eliminate some foods from your diet for a few weeks until your system is cleared. Ask your pediatrician for a diet plan and treatment if needed for baby’s food allergy.

2. Legumes

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Some moms believe that high-fiber vegetables in their diet cause gas in their infants. These include broccoli, pepper, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and legumes. However, lactation experts have varying opinions on this point and some claim that traces of carbohydrates from these foods may be passed into breast milk, causing gas, while others believe that these remain in the mom’s digestive system and do not get into their milk. If you have noticed that these high-fiber foods are linked to your baby’s distress, try eliminating these foods temporarily and observe if their symptoms improve.

3. Spices

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Garlic, cumin, red pepper and curry are common gas-formers and can upset the stomachs of breastfed infants. However, spices are widely used in many cultures by breastfeeding mothers. Many health experts believe that there is not one specific food or spice proven to cause gas in all babies, but some infants may be sensitive to spices more than others.

4. Acidic Foods

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Acidic foods can cause digestive discomfort in infants, too. Citrus foods such as strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, and grapefruit have a high acid content. Mothers must monitor their intake of acidic foods to see if their babies are affected after breastfeeding.

5. Caffeine

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Caffeine is not necessarily associated with gassiness. However, caffeine can lead to irritability in breastfed infants especially in those who are suffering from gas or discomfort. Some foods and beerages contain caffeine, including soda, coffee, tea, and chocolate. Try to limit your caffeine intake by drinking only two 8-oz servings a day while breastfeeding to avoid infant discomfort and irritability.

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