How Breastfeeding Mothers Can Prevent Infant Gas with Food

A New Mother Breastfeeding Her Baby

Breastfeeding is one of the healthiest things that a mother can do for her baby because breastmilk is packed with nutrition. However, the nutritional value of breastmilk may be influenced by the foods that a mother eats after giving birth. This means that the foods that a mother eats could affect how her baby feels, especially in terms gas and digestion discomfort.

This article will address the connection between a breastfeeding mother’s diet and gas in babies, as well as which foods can help prevent gas and discomfort to reach the ultimate goal of gas relief for infants.

The Connection Between Mother’s Diet and Infant Gas

It is important for breastfeeding mothers to get a wide variety of foods to provide good nutrition to their babies and expose them to different flavors.  Many moms have noticed that certain foods that they eat affect how gassy their babies become after feeding. This is often noticeable through symptoms like abdominal bloating, frequent burping, hiccups, flatulence, and excessive fussiness.

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Foods to Limit While Breastfeeding

The foods that most mothers cite as gas-causing ones for their babies are broccoli, cauliflower, beans, onions, and Brussels sprouts. In general, these are all very healthy and nutritious foods that are a good part of a balanced diet. But breastfeeding mothers may want to limit their intake of these foods if they seem to lead to a gassy infant.

If a mother eats a diet heavy in fruits, such as melons and peaches, sensitive babies may experience increased diarrhea. And other babies have been known to develop rashes after a mother eats spicy foods with red pepper. Other foods that seem to make certain babies gassy or irritable include dairy products, garlic, and chocolate. If a rash, breathing difficulties, or a change in stools develops, there is a chance that the baby is allergic to a certain food. In general, processed foods and foods that are high in calories and added sugars should be avoided while breastfeeding.

Healthy Foods While Breastfeeding

While these suggestions may seem limiting, there are still many different and delicious foods that breastfeeding mothers can enjoy with confidence. These are some of the most important nutrients that benefit both breastfeeding mothers and their babies, as well as some healthy foods that contain each one.

  • Vitamin B1/Thiamin: Fish, pork, seeds, nuts
  • Vitamin B2/Riboflavin: Almonds, red meat, eggs
  • Vitamin B6: Seeds, bananas, dried fruit
  • Vitamin B12: Shellfish, liver, oily fish
  • Choline: Eggs, beef liver, chicken liver
  • Vitamin A: Sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens
  • Vitamin D: Cod liver oil, oily fish
  • Selenium: Brazil nuts, seafood, whole wheat
  • Iodine: Dried seaweed, milk

Other Breastfeeding Diet Considerations

It should be noted that not every baby has a strong reaction to what the mother eats, and certain infants are more vulnerable or resilient to dietary changes. Mothers should monitor the foods they eat and their babies’ reactions to watch for tell-tale symptoms like spitting up more, rejecting the breast, or being fussier than usual after feeding. At that point, mothers can try eliminating certain foods to see if the response changes. Remember that it typically takes two-to-six hours for foods consumed to affect breastmilk. Over-the-counter remedies like PediaCare Infants Gas Relief Drops can help provide gas relief for infants.

In addition to focusing on healthy foods that don’t cause gas, breastfeeding mothers should also aim to drink at least eight cups of water per day to replace fluids lost during feeding sessions. Physicians also typically recommend limiting caffeine, avoiding alcohol, and taking vitamins to make up for nutrient deficiencies.

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