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Foods to Avoid when Breastfeeding To Minimize Colic In A Gas Infant



Almost everything that a breastfeeding mother eats or drinks is transferred to the breast milk in some form. Because of this, breastfed babies may have gas – newborn babies especially, as they do not have the necessary enzymes available to properly digest the complex compounds in some foods that may be passed into the breast milk. If your baby is colicky, you may want to try to reduce or eliminate the following from your diet:

  • Onions

    – the carbohydrates in some onions can cause gassiness in both adults and infants. Reducing the amount of onions you eat may help you to minimize the gas newborn baby may develop due to these carbohydrates.

  • Brussels sprouts

    – like onions, these vegetables contain a complex carbohydrate that can cause gassiness when broken down in the digestive tract. Avoid this vegetable while breastfeeding if possible

  • Spicy foods

    – foods such as peppers can cause colicky symptoms due to the irritation they cause in the digestive tract of infants. Even if you are used to consuming spicy foods during pregnancy, your baby may have an adverse reaction to the spices once he or she is born. Expressing the milk that is produced after you’ve eaten spicy foods may help to reduce the amount of irritants that your baby consumes.

  • Cabbages

    – another carbohydrate that causes gassiness can be found in various types of cabbage. Avoiding these types of foods can help to reduce any bloating or gassiness that your baby may be experiencing. Otherwise, reduce the amount of cabbage you eat, and be aware that your baby may have additional gassiness when you consume these types of foods.

  • Legumes/Beans

    – yet another culprit when it comes to gassiness. Reduce or eliminate these from your diet while breastfeeding. This includes foods such as black eyed peas, butter beans, red beans and other types of legumes/lentils.

  • Caffeine

    – drinks such as colas, coffee, and tea often contain caffeine. While there is no gassiness involved with its consumption, babies cannot readily process caffeine and it can build up over time. This leads to increased wakefulness, fussiness, and an increase in colicky behavior.

  • Alcohol

    – while an occasional drink is not a problem, alcohol can and does pass into breast milk, which can have a host of potentially harmful effects. Avoid excessive drinking while breastfeeding, and if possible, express any milk produced within the two-hour time frame of having an alcoholic drink.

Reducing these types of foods in the diet may lead to a need for additional supplementation. However, as nursing mothers are often advised to continue taking their prenatal vitamins throughout the nursing period, this is usually not a major issue. It is important to realize that anti-gas medications do not make these types of foods any easier to digest; they simply treat the symptoms after the fact.

Therefore, baby gas drops will not help to improve your baby’s tolerance of these foods – it will only treat the gassiness, and not all babies respond to the use of baby gas drops and/or gripe water. If you are a breastfeeding mom and you have a particular sensitivity to some foods, you may wish to avoid them for your baby’s sake as well as your own – these sensitivities may be hereditary, so even if the food is “good for you” it may be causing your baby to have digestive difficulties and colic.


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