What gives baby gas breastfeeding food

What You Can Do To Help Your Gassy Breastfed Baby

What You Can Do To Help Your Gassy Breastfed Baby | Medela

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  4. 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.

What's causing gas in my breastfed baby?

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We’ve all heard the sayings, “breast milk is the best milk,” “it’s the ultimate baby food,” and “breast milk is liquid gold.” Experts agree; breast milk is the gold standard for infant nutrition. It provides your baby with the calories, fats and nutrients needed for growth, and also secures important immunities to protect from illness. No other infant feeding substitute can measure up to breast milk.

If breast milk is the “foundation of life” and so great for my baby, why is he so fussy and gassy? Is he allergic to my milk? Could he be allergic to my milk? What am I doing wrong?

These are common questions and fears amongst breastfeeding mothers. Some might even give up on breastfeeding out of fear that their milk is the cause of their baby’s tummy problems.

Let’s consider some reasoning behind your baby’s fussiness and gas. Gas is a normal part of the gastrointestinal (GI) system, and we all have gases in us from time to time. For breastfed babies, gas might be caused by eating too fast, swallowing too much air or digesting certain foods. Babies have immature GI systems and can frequently experience gas because of this. Pains from gas can make your baby fussy, but intestinal gas is not harmful.

Many mothers become concerned about how their diet contributes to their baby’s gas and fussiness. There is limited scientific research proving that certain foods in a breastfeeding mother’s diet cause intestinal issues in their babies. Some babies might react to particular foods in mom’s diet, but this doesn’t mean there’s a special list of foods out there for moms to avoid while breastfeeding.

Most babies tolerate the food consumed by their mothers, but it’s important to keep a close eye on patterns. If you notice that each time you eat something your baby becomes fussy, try avoiding the food for a while and see what happens. Many mothers have reported foods such as kale, spinach, beans, onions, garlic, peppers or spicy foods cause infant gas, while many babies tolerate these foods just fine.  

While most foods won’t cause GI issues in breastfed babies, we do know that any foods containing cow milk protein are the most commonly reported food substance to cause gas and fussiness in infants. Some babies might experience a temporary intolerance to dairy from mom’s diet, but most will begin to tolerate cow milk proteins once they get older and move out of infancy.

If your baby has a true allergy to milk proteins, you might notice symptoms including dry/irritated skin, rashes, colic, persistent gas, fussiness and green stool with mucus or blood. If your breastfed baby is diagnosed with a true milk protein allergy, your healthcare provider might recommend a restricted diet while breastfeeding.

What can I do to help my baby with gas?
  • Make sure your baby has a good latch so he doesn’t swallow too much air.
  • Burp him throughout the feedings to help get rid of the gas.
  • Try not to let your baby overfeed or feed too quickly.
  • Keep track of when your baby is gassy and look back at your diet. Try to learn which foods work and don’t work for you and your baby, and remember, each baby is uniquely different.
  • If you have further concerns regarding your baby’s feeding, infant gas or increased fussiness, be sure to discuss these with your baby’s pediatrician and/or a lactation consultant.

Each year during the first week of August, over 120 countries across the globe come together to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. During this week, public health organizations work to publicly encourage breastfeeding in an effort to improve the health of babies around the world. This year’s theme is “BREASTFEEDING: Foundation of Life.”

To learn more about Texas Children’s Lactation Support Services, Milk Bank (Lab) Services or breastfeeding services offered at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, please follow the respective links.

What drinks can be taken while breastfeeding

The author of the article Keshishyan Elena Solomonovna


June 30, 2022

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Breastfeeding is very important for the health and development of the baby. For sufficient milk production, experts recommend drinking enough fluids. What can be included in the diet, and what drinks should be avoided?

With some drinks, substances harmful to the child's body can get into milk, so it is better to learn from experts about healthy drinks for HB and about the norms of fluid intake. FrutoNyanya specialist Tatyana Kovtun analyzed the most popular drinks and made a list of what you can drink with HB and what you should avoid.

Recommended drinks

  • Water
    It is considered the main drink for nursing mothers and is the best thirst quencher. But you need to pay special attention to the quality of water: you should not drink raw water from unverified sources, especially if the city has problems with the purification of tap water. The filter helps to remove harmful impurities, and boiling destroys harmful microorganisms.
  • Fruit drinks, juices and compotes
    Many are interested in what kind of juice can a nursing mother. Juices, fruit drinks and compotes should be included in the diet and be sure to pay attention to the well-being and reaction of the baby. You can drink juices for baby food or make your own freshly squeezed juice - apple, carrot, pear, etc.
  • Special drinks for pregnant and nursing
    A wide variety of specialty drinks are available in stores today. They consist of natural ingredients and support the body of a woman during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Controversial drinks

  • Coffee
    Can I drink coffee while breastfeeding? In general, it is not prohibited for nursing mothers. If she is very tired or cannot give up the habit of drinking coffee, then it can be consumed - but better in the morning and not too concentrated. It is necessary to monitor the reaction of the baby - whether there is an increased excitability or allergic reactions. Decaffeinated coffee can also be consumed, but in moderation—in fact, it does contain some residual caffeine.
  • Tea
    Tea, like coffee, can make a child irritable and cause trouble falling asleep. Therefore, tea lovers should drink it in the morning and not brew too hard. Different types of tea may contain different amounts of caffeine, so many people doubt: is green tea allowed for a nursing mother? It also contains useful substances and can be consumed, but be sure to monitor the amount.
  • Cocoa
    Cocoa in moderation can also be consumed while breastfeeding. The main thing is to observe the reaction of the baby.
  • Milk
    Is it possible to breastfeed milk? It is widely believed that it is beneficial for lactation. But in fact, cow's milk is highly allergenic and should not be consumed in large quantities if there is a risk of developing a food allergy. If the mother and baby are healthy, and there are no cases of food allergies in the family history, then fermented milk products and drinks - ryazhenka, yogurt without additives - will be a good addition to the daily diet of a nursing mother. Kefir during breastfeeding is also possible to include in the diet.
  • Herbal decoctions
    Any herbs can have contraindications and side effects, so you should first consult with a specialist. Chamomile tea with HB is often recommended to improve lactation, but it must be administered carefully: allergic reactions to chamomile are possible.
  • Mineral water
    Carbonated mineral water sometimes negatively affects the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, its composition may not be suitable for a nursing mother and baby. Therefore, before drinking mineral water, you should consult a specialist, especially in the presence of chronic diseases.

Illicit drinks

  • Carbonated drinks
    Sweet carbonated drinks with HB are not recommended. They may contain dyes, preservatives and a lot of sugar, which can adversely affect the health of both the woman herself and the baby. Carbon dioxide increases acidity and leads to disruption of the digestive tract.
  • Energy drinks
    Energy drinks contain a lot of sugar and caffeine, as well as substances potentially dangerous for the baby, so nursing mothers should avoid them.
  • Alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beer
    Breastfeeding and alcohol are incompatible. Even low-alcohol drinks, such as beer, should be excluded with HS. If a nursing mother drinks alcohol while breastfeeding, it can cause great harm to the baby. Even non-alcoholic beer contains some ethyl alcohol, fusel oils, and potential allergens. If a woman is going to drink alcohol, you need to express milk in advance and use it at the next feeding. You can breastfeed only after the complete removal of alcohol from the body.

Knowing which drinks are possible with GV, and which ones need to be abandoned for a while, it will be possible to strengthen the health of the child.

Video: what drinks to choose for a nursing mother

In this issue, we will talk about the intricacies of the diet of a woman who is breastfeeding. Elena Solomonovna says:

  • about drinks to avoid during lactation
  • Can I drink coffee
  • is it possible to drink alcohol and energy drinks
  • how much liquid can a breastfeeding mother drink

Author of the article Keshishyan Elena Solomonovna

Pediatric neonatologist, pediatric neurologist, doctor of medical sciences, chief pediatrician of JSC Ilyinsky hospital

All expert articles

Breastfeeding and child's bite depend on each other

Breastfeeding not only gives the child a sense of security, helps to maintain an emotional connection with the mother, but also contributes to the proper formation and development of the baby's dental, respiratory and digestive systems. The child absolutely differently sucks mother's breasts and other objects (bottles, nipples).

Shakhnoza Usmanova

Osteopath. Dentist-therapist. MD, DO, CST-D, BCST

The sucking process begins with the tip of the tongue moving upwards and continuing with a “swaying wave” movement from front to back and from top to bottom. This powerful muscular dynamics contributes to the development of the dentoalveolar system, the muscles of the floor of the mouth, the tongue with its surrounding muscles, and the mimic muscles.

When breastfeeding, sucking has a significant mechanical effect on various respiratory, digestive, anatomical structures. At this time, the lower jaw drops, resulting in a decrease in pressure inside the mouth, which creates an influx of milk. Milk enters the esophagus through swallowing, coordinated with the movement of the tongue. The mother's nipple adapts completely to the baby's mouth.

When breastfeeding, the ratio of the upper and lower jaws equalizes by the end of the first year of life, which ensures the correct position of the tongue at rest and its functioning. And the correct kinetics and position of the upper and lower jaws contribute to the full physiological functioning of the human respiratory and digestive systems.

In the long term, breastfeeding causes the correct formation of the facial part of the skull, prevents the development of dentoalveolar anomalies, malocclusion and ENT pathologies.

The bottle sucking mechanism is completely different. The nipple does not have the same anatomical resistance as the breast, it does not adapt to the baby's mouth. A child sucking on a pacifier strains the muscles of the temporomandibular joints and cheek muscles much more.

Under these feeding conditions, almost all chewing and facial muscles take part, the tongue gets used to the lower position and at rest, too, which contributes to the narrowing of the upper jaw and the delay in the development of the middle third of the facial skeleton and the base of the skull. This changes the space of the oral cavity.

Learn more