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Foods You Can Eat When Breast Feeding

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

I was making hospital rounds today and talking to all of the new moms (and dads) about their newborns.  I love talking to new parents about the importance of having healthy meals to support breast feeding! I even had a young dad asking “what foods should I avoid cooking for my wife while breast feeding?”  How cute is that! Can we clone him?!

After breast feeding my 3 children, I have decided that you can really eat whatever you want!  I know some people swear that certain foods you eat will cause a breast fed baby to have gas. But think about it, bottle fed babies and breast fed infants all have GAS!  None of the formulas contain broccoli, or cauliflower or beans or tomatoes and bottle fed babies have gas too. It is just a fact, newborn babies are gassy for the first several months as their digestive tracts mature. And yes, it is stinky too!

So… I told this dad, “good for you for cooking for your wife.  Make her healthy, well balanced meals and throw in a few of her favorite foods.”  I would not change anything unless you can definitely correlate that a food ALWAYS makes your baby more uncomfortable (and that is so hard to keep track of). Eat what you want (in moderation) to be healthy and happy.  I have no data but feel certain that happier mothers must in some way have an effect on a  baby, so at least enjoy mealtime.

When I had a colicky baby (previous post), I tried eating only broth and bland foods, and with me equally miserable and starving…this stressful situation only got worse.

Final words, if I was going to try eliminating anything from my diet while breastfeeding to try and help “relieve “a gassy baby, it would be excessive dairy, as there has been some data on this.

Remember, everything in moderation. I’m willing to bet that by the time your baby is 4 months old (the magic age) you are not even worried about what you are eating, as you are having too much fun laughing with your baby!

What foods (if any) bothered your baby while breast feeding? I would love your comments.  Leave them below.

That’s your daily dose for today. We’ll chat again tomorrow.

Related Posts on www.kidsdr.com

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7 Responses to “Foods You Can Eat When Breast Feeding”

  1. Brandy says:

    I was so glad to see this post. My son is two months old & has had a very sensitive stomach. I can always tell when I’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with him! Dairy is the worse: sour cream, cottage cheese & any cream soups. Some vegetables bother him too. I feel bad when I’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with him & the next morning he is crying because of his belly. I will say that his doctor told us to put caro syrup in his bottle(I go back to work in 3 weeks) twice a day & that has really helped!

  2. Dial Doctors says:

    I noticed spicy foods made my son fuzzy. I love Indian food so I figured I would have it but the thing is I had it 3 days straight! My son wouldn’t sleep and he cried all night long. I usually recommend ‘testing’ your baby after a spicy meal because every kid is different. Some patients have said that fried foods also lead to unhappy babies. It is trial and error until you figure out what your kid might like.

  3. robratil says:

    The exception to above would be dairy. My son had a severe dairy allergy and once elliminated from my diet his gas was much better.

  4. Maria says:

    I’m breastfeeding my second child and I’m eating everything I wish for -the most important for me is my chid to feel good and you are right if u are happy and relax you passing this feeling to your baby. Just I want to give advice to the new moms – breastfeed your child this is the best for it and the baby feel good and safe whenever drinking your milk. It’s enough when you see your baby how sweet and happy is when you breastfeeding and when look to your eyes you can read how grateful is it. If you worry and from any reason your milk stop just the Pumpkin will help you – it’s just a vegetable but believe me making miricals. You can boil it and bake it with sugar on the top or you can boil it and after that put it in milk and boil it a little with suger and vanilla – become a lovely desert. Enjoy your time with the babies this is the most lovely moment of the motherhood to build the link between each other

  5. Jennifer duett says:

    I have a two in a half week old baby that is gassy. It is frustrating and trying. I have been told by 10 different people what to do, and you get to the point where you don’t know what to do. I have tried not eating certain foods, which I hate. Because I love food, especially broccoli. I have tried the gas medicine (malcone), gripe water, and cutting foods out. I have not cut dairy out completely, but I have lower my intake. I love eating ice cream at the end of the day, that’s my treat after a long day. Now I see why moms give up on breastfeeding because you don’t know what to do. Will cutting out dairy matter that much? When do babies grow out of being gassy? Please help me with some more ideas. I’m almost to the point of quiting breastfeeding. When he tends to be gassy he wants to eat more. Should I feed him or let him cry because I know it’s just going to make him more gassy?

    Jennifer

  6. Julia Mom says:

    I am only a future Mom, but my friends keep telling me that breastfeeding too long is bad, because of food restricitions. For example, my neighbour wo is brestfeeding can not eat cottage cheese (strange!), strawberry, all citrus fruit. Her child has rash instead of gases. It seems strange to me. Maybe all the matter is how much you will eat these products.

  7. Sarah says:

    I have a 15 mo old son that I am still breastfeeding, though no longer exclusively. He went through a period where he was very gassy, around 3-6 weeks. He is my first baby, and this gassiness really scared me. I could not figure out what foods contributed to the gassiness, though greasy foods and soda seemed to add to it. (I hadn’t had soda the entire time I was pregnant, and I was so happy to have some soda after baby was born, even though it was non-caffinated.) My mother showed me an old wives’s way of helping the baby relieve the gas. She takes a bar of soap, with rounded edges, and presses it gently downward on the posterior wall of the baby’s rectum. Hold for a few seconds. My mom swore to me over and over that it worked, and I didn’t believe her. One day my son was crying his little heart out and was miserable, and I was frazzled and decided to give it a try (what the heck, right?). Well, it worked. A minute or so after I used this technique, my son let out a large toot. What a big gas bubble that must have been! I used it several other times when my son’s tummy felt uncomfortable, and it really helped quite a bit. My theory is that the baby doesn’t have very good control over the sphincter muscles, and has difficulty pushing out the gas. The little nudge from the soap helps the bubble come out. I have also read that laying your child on his back and moving his legs in a bycicling motion can help move out the gas bubble.

    I promise this will pass. Most likely the gas is not from anything you are eating, but his own underdeveloped digestive system. The best thing you can do is to keep breastfeeding, which communicates comfort and love. Soon he will be tooting all on his own, and even sooner he will be getting big and be too busy to be satisfied with cuddles from mom!
    Good luck!

    Sarah

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