Foods that make babies gassy nursing
What You Can Do To Help Your Gassy Breastfed Baby
What are some common culprits behind your baby's gassiness? Learn the signs, foods that may cause gassiness in your baby, and how to soothe and relieve his or her symptoms.
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As a new parent, it can be stressful and upsetting to see and hear your baby cry. That’s especially true if you've checked off all the usual suspects— dirty diaper, empty belly, discomfort, or over-tiredness —and you still can’t seem to soothe your little one.
Gas is something that many newborns experience, and it can be painful for them! It isn't always the first thing that parents remember to consider, since it's not something easily visible.
Signs Your Breastfed Baby is Gassy
If you suspect excess gas could be the culprit causing your baby’s fussiness, there are several signs that may indicate you are correct:
- Burping. It’s possible your baby has swallowed too much air while nursing or crying for a long period.
- Spitting up. While spitting up is perfectly normal, gas that’s trapped in the stomach can push breast milk back up and cause your baby to spit up.
- Bloated tummy. This could be a sign that gas has built up in your baby’s stomach.
- Flatulence. Every baby toots, but if they’re doing so excessively, it could mean they have excess gas.
- Arched back, legs drawn toward the tummy. The discomfort from gas pains will make a baby try to adjust to alleviate it.
Gassy Baby Causes
Gas in a breastfed baby is not uncommon and can be attributed to several factors:
- Gulping while feeding. If your milk let-down reflex is strong, your baby may gulp your milk to keep up and swallow extra air in the process. If that’s the case, your little one may do better nursing in a more upright position, so he or she has better control over milk intake and flow.
- Introducing a bottle. If your baby is used to the breast and you begin feeding with a bottle, it may take some getting used to at first. As a result, he or she may swallow too much air while eating.
- Constipation. When your baby is constipated, they may have gas trapped in their tummies that they’re having a hard time releasing.
- Crying. If your baby has been crying for a long time, they may be gulping in air in the process.
- Mom’s diet. Food that you’ve eaten can make your baby gassy as well. Certain foods such as dairy, soy or wheat may contribute to gassiness in your little one. Keep a food journal of what you eat to see if you can pinpoint the culprit in your diet.
Foods That Make Breastfed Babies Gassy
Though a baby’s gas is not commonly linked to mom’s diet, there are certain gas-inducing foods that could give both a breastfeeding mom and her baby gas. These include:
- Fiber. Foods like bran, beans, and whole grains.
- Fruit. Citrus fruits, prunes, plums, peaches, or apricots.
- Vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts.
- Garlic. Garlic-seasoned foods like pasta dishes or garlic bread.
- Dairy. Yogurt, ice cream, or milk products.
- Carbonated beverages. If they make you burp, they could make your baby gassy too.
It’s not necessary to give up all your favorite foods when pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Health experts recommend only making dietary changes if you see a direct connection between something you’ve eaten and your baby's gassiness.
Additionally, if you’re still breastfeeding after your little one begins solids or finger foods, it’s easier to detect what food might be the culprit and then eliminate it.
Relieving Gassy Babies
There are several effective ways to help relieve your baby’s gas pains and soothe them. Try a combination of these to find what works best for your little one.
- Burp twice. Try to coax two burps out of your baby instead of just one.
- Sit upright. Hold your baby in an upright position while burping. This makes it easier to expel gas.
- Tummy time. Laying your baby on their tummy will help to push gas out.
- Bicycle exercises. Put your baby on his or her back and move their legs in a pedaling motion, similar to cycling on a bike. This helps with constipation as well.
- Massage the tummy. A gentle massage can help move gas out.
- Adjust baby’s latch. Make sure your baby is latching correctly to avoid swallowing too much air.
Don't worry, mama - Gas is typically a normal occurrence and most babies experience gassiness from time to time! With some minor adjustments, you can soothe your little one and help them get through the discomfort of gas.
Foods to Eat or Avoid When Breastfeeding
Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on June 26, 2022
It’s a good source of protein. Some, like salmon and tuna, also give you omega-3s, which your body needs. But what about mercury and other contaminants? You can have cooked seafood twice per week. Each serving can be up to 6 ounces, which is the size of two decks of cards. Choose types that are lower in mercury, such as salmon, tilapia, and trout. Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, which have high levels of mercury.
Love hot sauce? Most babies can handle it and other fiery foods in your diet. But if your little one is gassy or colicky and gets diarrhea every time you sprinkle red pepper flakes over your pizza, cut back on the heat for a few weeks to see if that helps.
They’re full of flavor. But some herbs may affect how much milk your body makes. For instance, eating a lot of parsley could curb lactation. And too much sage and peppermint may cut your milk supply. For some nursing moms, even peppermint-flavored toothpaste and candies are a problem.
It’s rarely a problem. But see how your baby does. Tell your pediatrician if your tot gets skin problems, has trouble breathing after breastfeeding, or has other symptoms.
As refreshing as your cup of chai or Earl Grey may be, it has some downsides. It’s got caffeine, which can affect your sleep – and your baby’s. It may also make it harder for your body to absorb iron, which you need for energy. If you drink hot or iced tea, try not to sip it when you eat foods that are rich in iron, such as lean meat; dark, leafy greens; and fortified breakfast cereals.
What if you aren’t allergic, and you want to prevent your baby from developing an allergy? Sorry, but there’s no proof that you can do that by skipping specific foods. Cutting certain foods out of your diet may make the skin condition eczema less likely for your little one. Ask your doctor or pediatrician for advice.
Breastfeeding can make you thirstier than you usually are. If that’s the case, drink a glass of water every time you breastfeed. But no matter how parched you feel, don’t go for regular sodas or fruit drinks, which give you calories without nutrition.
It's best for your baby if you don't have any booze at all. But if you do choose to drink, don’t breastfeed until the alcohol has completely cleared your milk. For 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor, wait at least 3 hours. Pumping doesn’t speed that up.
Common culprits include beans, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Bloating, burping, and passing gas are normal. But if your baby is gassy or has colic, avoid these foods for a few weeks to see whether they relieve the symptoms.
Both have caffeine. You’ll also find it in energy drinks and cola. If you’re lost without your latte, limit yourself to 2-3 cups per day of the brewed kind. Or you could switch to decaf.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
6) Getty, iStock
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
La Leche League.
The American Academy of Pediatrics.
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Flatulence in children: help and treatment
Increased gas formation is a problem that accompanies almost all babies in the first weeks of life. This is due to the fact that the baby's body is just being formed. Adapting to life outside the mother's belly is not an easy task.
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Intestinal flatulence is often confused with baby colic. From a medical point of view, there is no “equal” sign between these phenomena, from a practical point of view, they are, in general, one and the same. When a child is worried about flatulence, he becomes naughty, cries loudly, kicks his legs and refuses to eat. The baby is worried about sharp pains in the abdomen. Premature babies suffer from them more often than those born at term. Their digestive system is even more immature, and the musculature of the walls of the stomach and intestines is very poorly developed. Like colic, bloating begins to bother babies from birth, but significantly decreases (or completely disappears) by 3-4 months, when the child gets stronger.
Causes of flatulence in infants
Aerophagy. This is the name of the swallowing of air during feeding. The child may take the nipple or breast incorrectly, cry during feeding, rush, the mother may hold the bottle incorrectly. As a result, the baby “grabs” air, which enters the intestines and causes the formation of gases. Therefore, it is very important to establish the correct feeding process.
Immaturity of microflora. The baby is still very small, his body is just learning to work, the microbiocenosis (microflora) has not formed. Flatulence will pass with age. If the problem is tormenting an older baby, pay attention to the child's reaction to complementary foods or changing the mixture. If the baby is unwell, consult a doctor to alleviate his condition.
Diet of a nursing mother. Gas in the baby's intestines can be caused by foods that the mother ate. A nursing woman needs to be more careful about her diet. It is worth using dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, cabbage, yeast bread, pastries, nuts with caution. It is better to avoid carbonated drinks altogether.
Delayed bowel movements. Under such conditions, gases accumulate, this gives the baby more and more discomfort.
How to help a baby with flatulence?
Help the baby empty the intestines. Effective massage of the tummy (make circular movements around the navel clockwise), gymnastics (press the baby’s legs bent at the knees to his tummy, then straighten them), a warm bath will help (it’s good to add a decoction of chamomile or string). If mild methods don't work, you can use an enema or a gas tube. Remember that you need to act very carefully!
With flatulence, children's teas with medicinal herbs - fennel, chamomile, dill, anise and cumin help. You can buy dill water in the pharmacy in the drug production department (keep in mind that it is stored in the refrigerator and no more than 10 days).
To prevent gas formation, make sure that the baby eats in a calm environment, not distracted, not in a hurry. Before feeding the baby, it is useful to put it on the tummy for 5 minutes (this is a kind of massage). After the baby has eaten, hold it with a “column” so that excess air comes out with a burp.
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The body of a newborn is only adapting to the new conditions of extrauterine life, and normal microflora has not yet formed in its intestines. That is why in the first months of a child's life, his parents often have to deal with uncontrollable crying, which seems to never end. Colic begins in newborns at the age of 2-4 weeks. The good news is that they usually run out by 3 months of age.
How to understand that a baby has colic:
- Sudden and piercing crying. If your baby usually calms down when you take him in your arms, rock him, talk affectionately, stroke his back - this does not help here. The only thing that will alleviate the condition of the baby is the passage of gases.
- The baby arches its back and presses its legs to the stomach. Colic is always a cutting, sharp pain.
- The child may turn pale.
- Sometimes the baby releases gases.
All of these symptoms usually begin shortly after feeding.
Common causes of colic in children:
- Incorrect feeding technique (breast or bottle). Together with mother's milk or formula, a child can swallow a lot of air, which causes bloating.
- Excited state of the baby. A child can catch air not only during feeding, but also with a long cry. This is characteristic of children "with character", demanding, loud.
- Incorrectly selected formula for babies on artificial nutrition.
- feeding mode. Sometimes, in order to find the most suitable mode for your baby, you need to experiment. Of course, it is better to do this after consulting with your doctor.
- Mom's food. Colic during breastfeeding can very often be caused by the fact that the mother does not eat properly. There are a number of foods that cause colic in babies, and to make life easier for both the baby and the parents, it is enough to exclude them from the mother's diet.
Foods that cause colic while breastfeeding:
1. Spicy, smoked and salty dishes
2. Black yeast bread
3. Whole milk
4. Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard
6. Raw vegetables and fruits
7. Carbonated drinks
8. Coffee and chocolate
How to help a baby with colic
First of all, calm down yourself. When the baby is torn from screaming and nothing can calm him down, the mother, of course, also “turns on”. Be patient and convey to the baby your calmness and confidence that everything will pass soon. The main thing is that you are there when he needs it and help him.
- Place your baby on your stomach, in your arms, or in the crib more often.
- Put something warm under your baby's belly.
- After at least 15 minutes have passed after feeding, massage the tummy. Do not forget to lubricate your hands with cream or cosmetic oil. Stroke the tummy in a clockwise circular motion.
- Prepare a reasonably hot bath for your baby. This will help him relax.
- Do gymnastics, pressing the child's legs, bent at the knees, to his tummy.
Often, problems with colic in newborns and older children can be solved if a nursing mother drinks teas with fennel, cumin, anise, lemon balm. They help a lot with excessive gas formation.
Be attentive to your baby and also check out our expert article on spitting up in newborns.
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