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You Are What You Eat: How Does That Affect My Breast Milk?

Your first night out after having the baby and you enjoyed yourself. Mexican food, salad bar, chocolate souffl√© to be naughty but now you’re up all night with your gassy, fussy, uncomfortable infant. Are the two events related? Possibly!

Some moms who are nursing have no problems while others report that eating certain foods can make their infants gassy. It makes sense – strongly flavored foods can even alter the flavor of your breast milk. If you suspect a certain food is causing your baby’s discomfort, it should help to keep a log of what you eat. You may be able to see a pattern develop. Avoid any suspected foods for a week, long enough to get them out of your system completely, and then slowly re-introduce them back into your diet. Spicy foods are common culprits, especially those that are flavored with garlic, curry and chili peppers. Chocolate can affect baby (bummer!) as well as citrus fruits and fruits that have a laxative affect such as prunes and cherries. Of course, we can’t forget the most likely source – cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion and cucumbers can not only do a number on you but can affect your baby through your breast milk.

If you are down to eating bread and water (which is not a good solution either, both you and your baby need proper nutrition) the problem may not be due to anything you’ve eaten. Your baby’s fussiness may be colic, acid reflux and an immature digestive system. Don’t be afraid to try a natural remedy to help your baby feel better but be sure to do your homework. Not all natural remedies are created equal. Try to find one that is FDA regulated and registered and doesn’t contain baking soda or alcohol.

Finally, drink plenty of water and get as much sleep as possible.

Lifestyle can affect your breast milk on many levels.  First and foremost, it’s important to take care of yourself so you and your baby can enjoy the first months of life.

3 Responses to “You Are What You Eat: How Does That Affect My Breast Milk?”

  • Nici:

    I see that there are no sources cited. Are you just going on a hunch? Despite the commonly held notion, there is no scientific evidence linking the mother’s diet to the baby’s gas or colic, except in the case of baby having an allergy or sensitivity. Please stop promoting myth.

  • Amy:

    Finally a site that acknowledges that what you eat can affect your baby. Great information, other common culprits are gluten, dairy, soy and peanuts (because of mold). I eat almond butter instead. It may seem overwhelming to give up gluten and dairy but if it turns your baby into a happy and sleepful baby it is worth it.

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