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What to Avoid Eating While Breastfeeding to Keep Your Baby Calm and Sleeping Through the Night

As a new mom, one of the things that might be on top of your mind is how to soothe your baby and ensure they sleep through the night without any interruptions. Unfortunately, babies are often gassy and more prone to discomfort than adults. However, you might be able to make a difference through your diet.


Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to nourish and bond with your baby. While there is no definitive list of foods that all breastfeeding mothers should avoid, some babies may be sensitive to certain foods through breast milk. It's important to note that each baby is unique, and what may cause discomfort for one may not affect another. However, here are some common culprits that some breastfeeding mothers have found may potentially upset their baby's tummy:


1. Dairy Products: Cow's milk and dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream and butter, contain proteins that can be challenging for some babies to digest. In many cases, this is because babies are lactose intolerant and can't digest the lactose in milk.

If you suspect dairy sensitivity, you can eliminate dairy from your diet and observe if your baby's symptoms improve. Alternatively, consider alternative milk like almond milk or coconut milk instead.


2. Caffeine: Maternal caffeine intake has been linked to breastfed babies’ wakefulness and sleep-unfriendly behaviour. High levels of caffeine can make some babies irritable and restless. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and some sodas. Consider reducing your caffeine intake or avoiding it altogether to see if it affects your baby's behaviour.


3. Spicy Foods: While spicy food is not harmful to your baby, it might give them a hard time. Strongly spiced dishes or foods with hot peppers may potentially cause discomfort or irritate a baby's delicate digestive system. If you notice your baby becoming fussy after you consume spicy foods, it may be worth reducing your intake or avoiding them. Be aware of the spicy foods you consume like hot sauce, black pepper, or other spices and not go overboard as this might lead to struggling with sleep and digestive issues for your baby.


4. Gas-Inducing Foods: Certain foods can produce gas in the digestive system, which can lead to fussiness or discomfort in some babies. Common culprits include Bloating Foods

Beans, legumes, and some vegetables also can lead to bloating due to their high fibre content. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can also trigger bloating. Instead of these, consider eating green beans, zucchini, carrots, potatoes and carbonated drinks.


Pay attention to your baby's reaction after consuming these foods and consider reducing them if necessary.


5. Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and their juices, contain acids that may be harsh on a baby's developing digestive system. Some babies may exhibit signs of discomfort or diaper rash when exposed to citrus fruits through breast milk.


6. Allergenic Foods: Foods known to cause allergies in some babies, such as peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish, may occasionally trigger a reaction in breastfed babies. If you have a family history of food allergies, you may want to consult with a paediatrician or allergist to determine if it's necessary to avoid these foods while breastfeeding.


On the other hand, some foods can help prevent gassy babies. Foods high in protein such as lean beef, chicken, and turkey provide essential nutrients for you and your baby. Additionally, fatty fish like salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, which are crucial for your baby's brain development.


Whole grains such as oatmeal, barley, and brown rice are also great for nursing moms. These slow-digesting carbs give you sustained energy to get through those long days and nights while providing essential nutrients for both you and your baby's health.


Some fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and cherries contain antioxidants that can help prevent inflammation. At the same time, bananas can also provide your baby with the potassium and Vitamin B6 they need to develop strong muscles and bones.


Lastly, when breastfeeding, it's essential to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water and other fluids, including milk, 100% fruit juice, or herbal teas.


Remember, it's important to maintain a balanced diet while breastfeeding to ensure you and your baby receive adequate nutrition. If you suspect that a particular food is causing discomfort in your baby, consider eliminating it from your diet for a period of time (usually about two weeks) and then reintroduce it to observe any changes in your baby's behaviour or digestion. Keeping a food diary can be helpful in identifying potential triggers.


Unsure which foods may be causing issues for your baby? Consult with a lactation consultant or your baby's paediatrician. They can provide personalised guidance and support to help identify and address any dietary concerns while ensuring you and your baby maintain a healthy breastfeeding relationship.


Home Studio just a few short minutes away from Worthing nestled into the South Downs of Sompting, West Sussex BN15 0JP. United Kingdom. Worthing Newborn & Baby Specialist Photographer.

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