What foods give baby gas when nursing
What You Can Do To Help Your Gassy Breastfed BabyWhat You Can Do To Help Your Gassy Breastfed Baby | Medela
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- Signs and Solutions For Gassy Breastfed Babies
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 that may cause gas in breastfed babies
When you breastfeed, the foods you eat also nourish your baby. That means a well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein is good for both of you. Eating a range of different foods may even help your baby enjoy a wide variety of flavors for years to come.
However, if you have a very fussy and gassy breastfed baby, you may wonder whether certain foods in your diet – especially those that tend to make you gassy – are to blame. Here's what you need to know about foods that may cause gas in breastfed babies.
Food sensitivities and gas in breastfed babies
Some moms swear that when they eat foods such as dairy products, broccoli, cabbage, bananas, eggs, or garlic, their babies are gassy and fussy for up to the next 24 hours. While there are few quality studies on the topic, the evidence suggests that a small number of babies may be sensitive to dairy products in a breastfeeding mother's diet, resulting in excessive gas.
The research on infant sensitivity to other foods is less clear – although you may find that symptoms such as gas and colic improve when you avoid eating certain foods that you've linked to stomach troubles in your baby.
Keep in mind that people of all ages get gas, no matter what they eat. Gas is simply a part of how the digestive process works. It happens when gut bacteria break down food in the intestine, as well as when you swallow air.
Infants tend to have more gas than older children and adults, and that's normal. Babies' immature digestive systems aren't yet efficient at breaking down the food they eat. Because they're still getting the hang of eating, they also swallow more air – and what goes in one end comes out the other. Plus, babies don't hesitate to let it rip when they're gassy.
If your breastfed baby doesn't seem bothered by gas, there's no need to adjust your diet. Usually, breastfeeding moms can eat a wide range of foods without problems. Foods to avoid when you're breastfeeding (or limit) typically include high-mercury fish, some herbs, alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate.
Food allergies in breastfed infants
A small number of breastfed babies – about 2 to 3 percent – have a true allergic reaction to a food in Mom's breast milk, usually a cow's milk allergy.
It's possible that other allergenic foods in a breastfeeding mom's diet – such as eggs, wheat, fish, peanuts, and other nuts – could cause an allergic reaction in babies, although there's not much quality evidence.
Babies with a food allergy usually have not only gas but severe colic, skin rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing that lasts a few hours after they eat. If you notice any of these symptoms in your baby, call your doctor right away, since severe food allergies can be life-threatening.
If anyone in your close family has a food allergy, talk to your doctor about whether it's a good idea to avoid certain foods while breastfeeding.
Foods that may cause gas in breastfed babies
The most likely culprit for a gassy breastfed baby is dairy products in your diet, which include:
- ice cream
- any prepared food that contains milk products, casein, whey, or sodium caseinate
Other potentially allergenic foods – including eggs, wheat, peanuts, soy, fish, and tree nuts – might cause gas and other symptoms. However, the few studies that have been done have come to conflicting conclusions. There's no guarantee that eliminating these foods from your diet will help with your baby's gas.
Anecdotally, some moms say other foods that commonly cause gas in adults, such as broccoli, cabbage, beans, cauliflower, garlic, or spicy foods, make their breastfed babies gassy or irritable. You may find that your baby's gas improves when you eliminate a suspect food from your diet.
Does broccoli cause gas?
Some people get more gas when they eat cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli. This is because the stomach and small intestine don't entirely digest certain carbohydrates, notably fiber, found in broccoli. When these carbs reach the large intestine, they get digested by gut bacteria that in turn produce gas.
Just because broccoli causes gas in you, however, doesn't mean it necessarily will in your breastfeeding baby – so there's no reason to avoid it just in case. The fiber that causes gas in you doesn't pass into your breast milk. And there's no good evidence suggesting that cutting broccoli out of your diet will reduce gas and fussiness in your baby.
That said, some moms have linked broccoli to gas in their babies. If you do notice that your baby seems gassier and fussy every time you eat broccoli, you may want to try eliminating it from your diet to see if your baby's gas improves.
Know that once your baby starts eating solids, they may have gas when you feed them broccoli for the same reason you do. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to expose your baby to many flavors, including broccoli, as often as possible when they're little. That way they'll learn to enjoy these healthy foods at a young age. Start with very small portions and gradually increase the amount you serve, which helps reduce or even eliminate noticeable gas problems for many people.
Does cabbage give you gas?
Cabbage is another high-fiber cruciferous vegetable that can cause gas in adults and babies who eat solids. Again, the fiber reaches the large intestine intact, where it's broken down by naturally-occurring gut bacteria that produce gas.
Just as with broccoli, there's no reason to systematically avoid cabbage while you're breastfeeding just because it gives you gas. But if your baby seems gassy and fussy every time you eat cabbage, you may want to avoid it to see if your baby's stomach troubles improve.
Do bananas cause gas?
Fruits including bananas, apples, peaches, pears, and dried fruits can cause excessive gas, especially in people with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). That's because these fruits contain fructose, a type of sugar their GI systems poorly digest. Fruits with high-fiber skin, like apples and pears, tend to cause more gas than bananas.
Research shows that fructose can pass through breast milk. And children can have IBS, especially if a parent has the condition. IBS causes other symptoms beyond gas, including abdominal pain as well as constipation and/or diarrhea. If your baby has these symptoms and you're concerned it's IBS, talk to their doctor. They may suggest an elimination diet for you and possibly probiotic drops for your baby.
Do eggs cause gas?
Eggs are actually less likely to cause gas than many other foods. However, when they do, the gas tends to be stinky.
Egg allergies, on the other hand, are one of the most common food allergies in children and can occur as early as infancy. Children who are allergic to eggs have other symptoms, including skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or trouble breathing, in the hours after eating.
Research suggests that breastfed infants are unlikely to experience food allergies from allergenic foods that their moms eat. But if you think your baby has a food allergy – and especially if they have any other symptoms after you eat eggs or other allergenic foods – talk to their doctor.
Does garlic make babies gassy?
Garlic commonly causes gas for people with IBS and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). It's a high-FODMAP food, meaning it contains certain sugars – in this case, fructans – that people with these conditions have a hard time digesting, causing gas and other GI symptoms like constipation and diarrhea.
There's no evidence proving that the gas-causing properties of garlic make it into your breast milk. But you may want to consider eliminating garlic from your diet if it seems to cause tummy troubles in your baby.
Strong flavors like garlic can make your breast milk taste and smell different, although this usually doesn't make babies fussier. In fact, research has found that babies whose moms eat garlic extract tend to feed for longer and prefer more flavors in breast milk, which may ease the transition to solid foods.
What to do if your breastfed baby is gassy
For the most part, baby gas isn't something to be concerned about. In the vast majority of cases, a little gas is completely normal and doesn't bother most babies. Chances are you can eat what you want without upsetting your baby's tummy.
However, you may want to try one of the following tactics if your gassy breastfed baby seems to be uncomfortable or colicky, cries for no discernable reason, or consistently has a challenging witching hour.
Check for latching problems
Many newborns struggle to find a good breastfeeding latch. If your baby isn't latching on well, they'll swallow more air, resulting in gas. A poor latch may also make your nipples sore, bruised, red, or cracked. If you think your baby might not be latching properly, talk to their doctor and consider visiting a lactation consultant.
If you have an abundance of milk, your baby may be suffering from lactose overload. This happens if your baby gets a lot of foremilk, which has lots of lactose, and less hindmilk, which is high in fat to slow the digestive process. As a result, the enzyme in your baby's system that digests lactose becomes overwhelmed and can't do its job. Babies with lactose overload may also be fussy at feedings and have loose, green, explosive stools.
To ensure your baby is getting enough fatty hindmilk, allow your baby to nurse for as long as they want on the first breast. Your baby may only nurse a little – or possibly not at all – on the second breast. It's a good idea to talk to a lactation consultant to make sure oversupply is the problem before you try nursing on only one side, so you don't inadvertently cause your milk supply to drop.
Keep the air out
The more air your baby swallows during feedings, the gassier they'll be. Try to feed your baby before they start crying, because babies swallow air when they're upset. Also burp your baby after (and even during) every feeding.
Talk to your pediatrician about probiotics
Gas is partly a byproduct of certain bacteria in the intestines. Some evidence suggests that giving breastfed babies probiotics to feed healthy bacteria in the gut can help ease colic (which is commonly thought to be linked to gas). Talk to your doctor about whether it might be helpful to give your baby infant probiotic drops.
Try an elimination diet
Still concerned that your baby might have a food sensitivity? You don't need to severely limit your diet (which can lead to nutritional deficiencies, especially when you're breastfeeding) or avoid all foods that are gas-forming for you.
Instead, take notes on your diet and your baby's gassiness and look for patterns. Then eliminate one potentially problematic food at a time for two to three weeks to see what happens. If your baby is sensitive to that food, you should see an improvement within a week. (Though babies with true food allergies will need at least a month for symptoms to resolve.) After a week, try the food again to see how your baby responds.
If you decide to eliminate one or more foods from your diet, talk to a registered dietician and/or a lactation consultant. They can evaluate the situation and help ensure you're meeting your nutritional needs. In most cases, you should be able to return to your normal diet when your baby is around 6 months of age.
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.
Dry initial milk formula adapted by Valio Baby 1 NutriValio for feeding children from birth to 6 months Read more
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.
3.58 12Power supply
Medical Institute. Pavlova, specialization - pediatrics
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Bloating in a newborn baby can be a real problem for the whole family - this is the cause of anxiety and crying of the baby, stress and lack of sleep for parents. Why does flatulence occur in newborns, how to help them and how to avoid this trouble in the future?
Causes of flatulence in children
Intestinal flatulence in children is due to the accumulation of gases, the discharge of which is difficult, accompanied by rumbling, pain. Why does bloating occur? Gases in a newborn are frequent companions of the most complex processes of adaptation of the body to life outside the womb.
Flatulence in an infant occurs when the intestines are full of frothy masses. This substance bursts the intestines from the inside, covers its walls and fills the intestinal lumen, preventing the absorption of food and disrupting the digestive process. All this causes pain and discomfort in the abdomen, which hardens and swells. At the same time, the baby becomes restless, begins to jerk his legs sharply, trying to press them to himself. Bloating in newborns may appear in the first month of life and continue to torment them for up to three to four months. The reasons may be different.
Food that is not appropriate for the age and maturity of the child's gastrointestinal tract can cause flatulence - change in milk formula, overfeeding, premature introduction of complementary foods, unbalanced nutrition;
However, often the causes of bloating in newborns lie not in the food they eat, but in the fact that gases enter the intestines due to screaming, crying, improper feeding, in which air is swallowed along with milk or formula.
Another important cause of bloating is the overexcitation of the child, restless behavior, his unstable emotional state for any reason.
It should be borne in mind that for a child who is breastfed, what his mother eats is very important, since the use of certain foods can cause flatulence in a child of 1 year, not to mention newborns. Foods such as fresh fruits, juices, legumes (peas, beans), white cabbage, walnuts, condensed milk, brown bread, kvass, sweet pastries often cause flatulence in children.
It has been noticed that premature babies suffer from flatulence more often, which is due to the immaturity of their digestive system, which has not yet finished forming: the stomach of a newborn is located slightly higher and more horizontal than in adults, the muscles of the walls of the stomach and intestines are less developed, which makes it difficult to move food.
Flatulence in a newborn may also occur due to lactase deficiency, dysbacteriosis, allergy to cow's milk proteins.
Flatulence: symptoms in children
Flatulence manifests itself in a one-month-old baby in the form of eructations, flatus, loud crying due to pain. As a rule, the child begins to cry sharply and pull his legs up to his chest just a few minutes after feeding. Most often, these attacks occur in the late afternoon, it even happens that at the same time. The child's belly swells, outwardly it seems more round, and to the touch it is firm.
This may be accompanied by constipation. Why the baby cannot go to the toilet - read here.
Treatment of flatulence in children
To relieve bloating in newborns, treatment is carried out by various methods.
There are a number of medicines based on decoctions of herbs (cumin, fennel, dill, coriander), designed to help get rid of gases in one way or another, as well as carminatives, antispasmodics to relieve intestinal spasm, drugs that activate intestinal motility, drugs against dysbacteriosis with the content of lacto- and bifidobacteria. In order to determine the drug treatment, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
To somehow alleviate flatulence treatment in newborns, you can also try to use folk methods:
warm the baby's tummy: by placing a hot hand on the bare stomach, or by placing the baby on your stomach, or by covering his tummy with a warm diaper or heating pad;
massage the belly with circular strokes around the navel, applying light pressure;
do gymnastics - the child's legs bent at the knees are pressed alternately against his stomach and straighten again;
give the child a warm bath with a decoction of chamomile and string;
try tight swaddling of the abdomen.
What to do if your baby has colic, read here.
You can also use a rectal catheter, which is a thin gas tube. It is gently inserted into the child's pre-creamed anus by 1-2 cm.
There are also general guidelines that will help newborns pass gas more easily.
It is advisable to lay the baby on the stomach for 5 minutes before each feeding. This can be done at any other time during the day - this is how the stomach is massaged, the abdominal muscles are trained.
Clockwise stroking of the abdomen should also become a regular ritual.
After each feed, hold the baby upright for 10-15 minutes until he burps air and food reaches the stomach.
In everyday life, avoid tight swaddling to allow the baby to move freely with its legs.
Attach the baby to the breast correctly so that air does not get inside with food. Watch your diet when breastfeeding. The general rule is that those foods that cause bloating and soft stools in mom provoke flatulence in the baby.