Is your baby unsettled with reflux, wind or gas? Then, it might have something to do with what you are eating whilst breastfeeding.
While some babies simply take longer than others to sort out their digestion and wind, it can be caused by a number of things.
It is possible for the foods you eat to disrupt your baby’s digestion if breastfeeding. While avoiding all the foods that could potentially cause your baby to be unsettled is not exactly convenient for you (or healthy), you may want to consider using the trial and error method if you are on the hunt for why baby is so unsettled.
Although the Australian Breastfeeding Association says that there is no need to avoid any foods during breastfeeding, as a mother to a mother, I’ve found that cutting out a few key foods can make baby so much happier, with less explosive diarrhoea!
Check If Your Baby Doesn’t Have Food Allergies
First things first. Some babies can have a dairy intolerance. Although rare, there are a number of signs that your baby could be suffering from a food allergy. If your baby seems extra fussy, gassy, windy or is vomiting, has diarrhoea or a rash, then it could be due to something that you are eating and is being passed onto your little one. Other signs of a food allergy can include runny nose, cough, congestion, bloody or mucous stools or hard stools. However, these symptoms can also mean a number of other problems and thus it is worth speaking to a doctor.
One of the main concerns when it comes to food allergies and breastfeeding is a dairy protein. Your baby could be allergic or intolerant to dairy protein found in common foods such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and butter. One option is to try and cut these foods out of your diet for a couple of weeks and see if this makes any difference. It may, or it may not. Other common food allergies that can impact even a breastfed baby include eggs and peanuts.
One good thing is that most babies are tested for allergies to dairy when they receive their heel prick in the hospital. So if something came up in that test, they will contact you. But you know your baby better than anyone else, so if you are concerned, get checked out and make sure!
Common Problem Foods When Breastfeeding
There is no definitive list of what foods to avoid when breastfeeding. Furthermore, there is no research to actually prove that any food can cause gassiness in babies. However, these are some of the foods that others have had problems with and that could be causing issues such as:
1. Citrus foods
2. Pre-natal Vitamins and Herbal Supplements
Any tablets you are taking during breastfeeding should be cleared first by either your Doctor of Chemist. It isn’t that many vitamins or supplements are dangerous as such, it’s just that there is no regulation or study on their effect on breastmilk.
So check first! Your chemist is a wealth of information and they don’t charge to ask!
You don’t need to totally give up your cup of ‘Morning Joe’ – but you should certainly limit the amount that you have. Coffee, tea and chocolate have all been known to cause fussiness in children. However, as a new mum, these are often required to get through the day!
Plus remember that caffeine is a diuretic so can actually make you dehydrated – and breastfeeding mums need all the hydration they can take to ensure a good milk supply.
Remember it isn’t just coffee that contains caffeine – watch your intake of:
- Tea (it actually has more caffeine than coffee does)
- Medications – some over the counter headache tablets can contain caffeine – make sure you check the ingredients and also ensure you check with your chemist.
- Soft Drink – particularly energy drinks
4. Certain Vegetables and Legumes
Certain spices, such as garlic, curry, cumin and red pepper can be to blame for a fussy baby.
Keep in mind that your diet is only one of the reasons why baby could be unsettled. There are plenty of other reasons why your little one could be struggling with wind and gas and a trip to the pediatrician may be in your best interest, especially if you have tried the over-the-counter medications to no avail.
Your baby could be overstimulated or he could be taking in too much air when he feeds. There is a possibility that you may have an oversupply of breast milk or an over active let down or it could simply be because baby’s digestive system is not developed quite yet. It can take up to four months for the baby’s gut to develop properly. While some babies will sleep perfectly without a burp from Day One, others will not. But, when you are living on only a couple of hours of sleep each night, you will try anything right, even if this means giving up chocolate for a little while!
If you become concerned about any symptoms please seek immediate medical attention – we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice*.
*SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information.
All information provided is correct at the time of publication.