Breastfeeding is a special time between a mother and her child. However, certain foods consumed by the mother can cause gas and colic in the infant. How can these discomforts be avoided? What are the foods to avoid while breastfeeding to prevent colic in the baby? Let’s clarify.
What causes colic?
Infant colic remains a mystery in terms of its precise origin, leading to various hypotheses. According to some, it may be that the intestine of some babies takes more time to reach an adequate stage of maturation, thus leading to bloating and digestive spasms.
Furthermore, it is possible that excessive air intake during breastfeeding causes bloating and an accumulation of air in the infant’s stomach. For breastfed babies, it is potentially considered that colic is an indirect reaction to components of cow’s milk present in breast milk, particularly when the mother consumes large quantities of milk or dairy products.
In the case of bottle-fed babies, colic could be linked to an allergy to cow’s milk proteins or lactose intolerance. Finally, it is suggested that maternal anxiety, especially among first-time mothers, may contribute to the onset of colic. Infants, being sensitive to their mother’s emotions, could thus express their own concern in response to what they perceive.
Foods to avoid while breastfeeding to prevent colic
Here is a list of foods that can cause colic in infants and would therefore be wise to avoid during breastfeeding:
According to a hard-to-find (or at least very well hidden) study but widely cited on the web, cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts. Note that for our friends at jolymama.com, this is a myth because the baby adapts to its mother’s diet, so take this with a grain of salt.
- Cow’s milk
- Citrus fruits and tomatoes
- Dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream
- Legumes, cabbage, leeks, onions, and garlic
However, each baby is unique and may react differently to certain foods. It is therefore important to carefully observe their behavior after each feeding.
Good dietary practices during breastfeeding
“It is crucial to maintain a healthy and balanced diet during breastfeeding. Additionally, it is recommended to:”
- Consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid restrictive diets.
- Incorporate into your diet foods that were not recommended during pregnancy, such as raw fish, smoked salmon, sushi, tartare, and unpasteurized cheeses.
Consult a healthcare professional
If your baby is experiencing colic, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and establish a treatment plan. It may be necessary to eliminate or reduce certain foods from your diet if they are causing your baby’s colic.
Breastfeeding is a special and unique time between a mother and her child. However, the consumption of certain foods can impact the well-being of the infant, particularly concerning colic. If you notice that your baby is experiencing colic after breastfeeding, don’t hesitate to adjust your diet and consult a healthcare professional.
Remember that every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It is important to stay flexible and listen to your baby’s needs in order to provide them with the best possible environment.
Feel free to share your experience in the comments: Have you noticed a correlation between your diet and your baby’s comfort? What foods did you have to eliminate from your diet?
You can also find our selection of organic herbal teas designed to promote lactation on our website.
For more information on breastfeeding and managing colic, check out this video from La Maison des Maternelles (video in French).
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To go further:
Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation – Colic and the Breastfed Baby National Library of Medicine – Infant Colic: Do Dietary Interventions Have a Role? Do you have any other questions about breastfeeding diet or would you like to learn more about topics related to motherhood? Check out our blog for many more articles and helpful tips.