Cow’s Milk Causes Colic

Colic is an attack of crying and what appears to be abdominal pain in early infancy. Colic is a common condition and is estimated to affect at least 20% of babies during their first few months. Colic usually appears a few weeks after birth and carries on until the baby is about three to four months old. Even though the baby may scream for all he/she is worth, colic is not dangerous or harmful. Experts say colic has no long-term effects and a baby with colic will gain weight and feed normally (1a).

Many times, colic in a breastfed baby can be traced to something in the mothers diet.The worst dietary offender is cow’s milk. Many times, a baby’s digestive tract isn’t mature enough to handle the proteins in cow’s milk which causes a gas builds up in the intestines. When this happens, your baby’s will scream in pain as his intestines go into spasms.Eliminating dairy from your diet can make a tremendous difference in the level of colic your baby experiences.Cow’s milk takes many forms and you need to be vigilant in reading the labels of food you consume (1b).

Many prepared items in the supermarket include some form of milk product. These include, but are not limited to: (1c)

  • Batter Products: Waffles, Pancakes, Cakes, Cookies, Biscuits, etc.
  • Chocolate: Both milk and white varieties
  • Processed Foods: Bologna, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, sausage
    (The exception to this is Kosher meat products because they are milk free)
  • Butter
  • Cheese

When you are trying to eliminate dairy from your diet, allow at least two weeks for your body to be dairy free. If after two weeks, you aren’t seeing a marked improvement, you can safely assume that your child is not sensitive to dairy products.If after two weeks, you don’t see a significant change in your baby’s colic, you can pretty much assume that it isn’t the dairy products that are causing the colic (2a).

The foods listed below can also cause reactions in your baby, but if you are eating a balanced diet and not eating too much of any one of these foods, they are probably not the cause of your baby’s colic. Every baby is different and what may cause a reaction in one baby, may be perfectly fine for another baby. If you notice that your baby’s colic acts up after eating a particular food, there is most likely a sensitivity issue for your baby. Avoiding consumption of this food in the future may be a good idea (2b).

Other potentially colic inducing foods for breastfeeding moms include onions, chocolate, eggs, peanuts, citrus fruits, wheat, corn, soy, tomatoes, strawberries, highly spiced foods, legumes, artificial sweeteners, caffeinated beverages, licorice, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, garden cress, horseradish, kale, mustard greens, radishes, rutabaga, Swiss chard, and turnips (2c).

Citations:

Diet Restrictions While Breastfeeding

Different cultures and individuals believe different foods may harm a breastfed baby. Some women believe spicy foods will harm their baby, while other moms think that eating garlic or chocolate causes colic. Everyone says different, but if it helps, there are no scientific studies that show certain foods are dangerous to the health of your baby.

To feed your baby the healthiest breast milk possible, you need to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups including plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid, or consume in moderation, foods that are high in calories and low in nutrient value such as chips, soda and sweets. Drink plenty of fluids to help maintain your milk supply (1a).

If you have a family history of allergies, your baby may show signs of sensitivity to certain foods. If you suspect your baby may be allergic to a food you are eating, avoid that food for a few days then try eating a small amount. If his symptoms return, avoid that food while you are breastfeeding. A study in the journal Clinical Pediatrics reports breastfeeding actually helps reduce allergies in children up to the age of 15 (1b).

Some women believe drinking beer helps increase their milk supply. This is a myth. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding alcohol during breastfeeding. Alcohol does pass through mother’s milk. If you do decide to drink alcohol, the academy suggests drinking a small amount right after a feeding so your body has time to get rid of as much alcohol as possible before you nurse again. A study in the journal Pediatrics showed infants who were exposed to alcohol in breast milk slept less (1c).

Drinking less than 25 oz. of coffee per day shouldn’t cause any problems for a breastfed baby. Remember, though, caffeine can be found in some sodas, chocolate and some medications. If you are consuming these foods or medications along with coffee, your baby may be getting too much caffeine (1d).

Some babies may be more sensitive than others to certain flavors, spices or gassy foods such as beans, broccoli or cauliflower. If your baby is fussy, irritable or can’t sleep after you eat certain foods, it’s best to avoid them while you are breastfeeding. This will make you and your baby happier and more comfortable.

Citations:

1: http://www.breastfeeding.com/breastfeeding-questions/breastfeeding-food-drink-restrictions.aspx

My Baby is Gassy

No matter what you do, your breastfed baby will be gassy. It’s a part of digestion, it can’t be helped. However, if your baby has excessive gas or is very uncomfortable with it, you might want to look at your diet or at the way you’re nursing him.

Your first thought might be that it was the broccoli, cabbage, garlic, spicy foods, and potato chips that you ate this week, but it’s not. It doesn’t affect your milk. The foods that are most likely guilty of giving your baby gas are dairy products. Other foods too, such as wheat, corn, fish, eggs, or peanuts are capable of causing problems (1a).

If you become suspicious of any food, follow your hunch and remove it from your diet for week. See if it has any affects. If your baby’s fine when you abstain from the food, then try the food again and see how he responds. It might take some sleuthing, but by eliminating one suspect food at a time you might be able to find out what he doesn’t like. You can also talk to a lactation consultant, who can help you evaluate what’s going on (1b).

Foods high in acid content can cause infant digestive discomfort, as well. Citrus-based foods such as tomatoes, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit are highly acidic, and can be monitored in moderation to see if breastfeeding after consuming these foods has any effect on baby (2a).

If you have an abundance of milk  your baby may be suffering from what’s called “lactose overload.” This happens if your baby gets a lot of foremilk, which has less fat to slow down the digestive process. As a result, the enzyme in his system that digests lactose isn’t released quickly enough to do its job.To deal with this, nurse on only one side at each feeding, or nurse twice on one side before going to the other side. However, it’s important that you talk to a lactation consultant to make sure this is the problem before you try nursing on only one side each time. Otherwise, you could inadvertently cause your milk supply to diminish (1c).

Citations:

1: http://www.babycenter.com/404_will-my-breastfed-baby-get-gas-if-i-eat-certain-foods_9233.bc

2: http://www.livestrong.com/article/34344-foods-avoid-breastfeeding-gassy-newborns/

Three Things Everyone Thinks Dramatically Affect Milk Supply

There are three things you will find often repeated as ways to increase your milk supply, but in reality have little to no impact when the mother is already in good health.

Drink more fluids - Although your fluid consumption will increase as you breastfeed keep in mind that you only are replacing the amount your child consumes, which is about four ounces at each nursing session. Forcing yourself to consume extra fluids has no real effect aside from getting you to go to the bathroom more frequently.

Eat a better diet – of course you should eat well, but as long as you are consuming foods that meet your nutritional needs than eating better will not promote increased milk supply. What it may do is provide a better quality breast milk but even that advantage is still dispute by health care professionals.

Get more rest - like eating well making sure you get adequate rest is important to your health, however no connection between the quantity of rest and breast milk production has been found.

Keep in mind that as long as you are in general good health these suggestions will have little impact on your milk production. They are however good guidelines to follow to keep yourself feeling well and in good health.

Safe and comfortable exercising while you breastfeed

When your body belongs to both you and your baby there area some extra steps you should consider following.

Get the milk out before the workout. Treat your baby and yourself to a long feed before beginning your exercise.  This will not only help settle your baby but also make you more comfortable as your exercise.

Support your breasts. Wear a well fitting, cotton, athletic support bra to reduce jostling and nipple friction during vigorous exercise

Prehydrate. Drink a few glasses of water before you exercise, sip water while you exercise, and drink a few more glasses when you are done. Unless you are exercising vigorously for more than an hour and to the point of exhaustion water adequately hydrates your body and lessens muscle fatigue just as well as a sports drink, but water does so without all the extra calories.

Don’t worry if your baby rejects your breast right after you exercise. Wait half an hour and try again.  It may be that your scent has changed during exercise .  Try rinsing or taking a quick shower after you exercise and before you try to breastfeed.

As a teen mother will I get enough nutrition to breastfeed?

The general rule is that if your body can make a baby then your body can produce milk.  Due to the fact that as a teenager you are still growing pay very close attention to your nutrition.   Not only are you feeding a growing baby, you are still growing yourself.  Keep in mind that your baby needs a healthy well fed mother.  Do your best to avoid junk food and work towards a more balanced diet.  Sample foods from the 12 fabulous foods list (and the 12 other great foods list) and you may find some new favorites!

Breastfeeding Vegetarian

Breastfeeding Questions: Will I Provide Enough Nutrition As A Breastfeeding Vegetarian?

A breastfeeding vegetarian should not have any problems producing breast milk and providing enough nutrition for their child. Providing proper nutrition comes down to maintaining a balanced diet regardless of the addition or exclusion of meat. There are several different types of vegetarians and each type works to balance their nutrition slightly differently: Lacto vegetarianism is a vegetarian that consumes dairy products.  Lacto-ovo vegetarianism is a type of vegetarianism that allows for eggs and dairy in the diet. Pescetarian are vegetarians that allow fish into their diet. All three of these types of vegetarians should have no problem with producing breast milk and raising a healthy baby as long as they had a balanced vegetarian diet before pregnancy and breastfeeding.

However if you are following a more strict vegan diet, a diet that does not include any animal products be sure to consult with a nutritionist to make sure that you are consuming a balanced diet for your baby.

Vegetarians should be sure that their breastfeeding diet includes proper amounts of:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Zinc
  • Riboflavin

Read More About Breastfeeding Diet:

12 Fabulous Foods To Add To Your Breastfeeding Diet
12 More Foods To Add To Your Breastfeeding Meal Plan
More Breastfeeding Diet Information
Foods That Might Cause A Fussy Baby
Fussy Foods Test
Six Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
Diet Restrictions While Breastfeeding

What foods might make my baby fussy?

While food sensitivities vary tremendously from baby to bay the following list are the most common foods with reputations for bothering babies:

  1. Raw Broccoli
  2. Brussels Sprouts
  3. Raw Cabbage
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Citrus fruits in excess
  6. Corn
  7. Dairy products
  8. Egg whites
  9. Hot peppers
  10. Iron Supplements
  11. Prescription and over the counter medication
  12. Onions
  13. Peanuts and peanut butter
  14. Prenatal vitamins (with iron salts)
  15. Shellfish
  16. Soy products
  17. Spicy Foods
  18. Tomatoes
  19. Wheat gluten

The good news is that even if your baby does show a sensitivity to these foods as their digestive system matures they will be better able to handle a wider variety of components in your breast milk.

Four step fussy foods test

When breastfeeding, you don’t need to go to dietary extremes to learn what foods in your diet might be affecting your baby.  Use this simple four step fussy food test:

Step 1: Make a Fuss Food Chart - List the foods you think may be problematic and the symptoms and behaviors associated with those foods, such as colicky episodes, bloating, severe constipation, diarrhea, painful night waking, restless sleep, red ring around baby’s anus

Step 2: Ask relatives about foods that cause them problems – Survey members on both sides of the family about foods that have bothered them, be sure to go beyond the common culprits of diary, wheat, egg whites, corn, nuts, soy, and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, radish etc)

Step 3: Eliminate food suspects – One by one eliminate the suspect foods from your diet. (You may wish to eliminate all at once if your baby is really miserable) Be as objective as you possibly can.  Pick out the most obvious signs and symptoms and see if they disappear.   Keep in mind it can take 10-14 days to totally eliminate some foods from your system so you may need wait before seeing results.  If you are eliminating a great number of foods from your diet consult a nutritionist to make sure you are staying healthy

Step 4: Challenge your results – When you think you have pinned down the problem food try eating it again, beginning with small amounts.  If your baby’s symptoms reappear scratch this food from your diet for a few months until your baby is older.  You may not need eliminate a food completely as your baby may simply have a heightened sensitivity.

The good news is that as your baby’s intestines and digestive system mature the need for eliminating fuss foods will diminish.

Will I lose calcium?

You may have heard that a woman can lose calcium when she breastfeeds and increase chances of getting osteoporosis.

The truth is that during lactation the mother’s body takes calcium from her bones and uses it to make milk.  This will happen regardless of calcium intake.  Your body does all it can to increase calcium absorption from the food in your intestines and reduce the amount excreted by your kidneys. However this calcium loss is only temporary.  After weaning your baby your body will return more calcium to your bones than it removed during the time your were breastfeeding, giving you a greater bone density than you had before breastfeeding.  Studies have shown that the incidents of osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life is lower among woman who breastfed when compared to women who did not breastfeed.