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Thread: Food for Mom - Breastfeeding

  1. #1
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    Question Food for Mom - Breastfeeding

    Hi all,

    Need some help/advise concerning food I can eat during the breastfeeding stages. I've had a MIXED bag of "do's and don'ts" - The nurses, midwives, doctors, pediatricians all have different opinions and as a First/new time mom it is very confusing and overwhelming.

    So basically I want to know what I can eat and what I cant eat?
    Can I eat eggs, red meat, pasta, curries so forth and so on. Should I avoid cabbage, broccoli all green-leafy vegetables as I hear they are likely to cause winds, cramps in baby.
    What about beans in general are they also a no no as they are also considered a "gassy" food. I heard by many I should stay away from citrus juices and pineapple juices as they are to acidic for baby and could cause bum burns(nappy rash) but litchi and apple juices are fine and what about spices that you/I cook with everyday like salt and pepper, thyme and rosemary?????

    As you see I have many many questions and very confusing and mixed answers from the medical professionals, please please help someone anyone. BTW our baby is 4 weeks old today.

    Thanks all

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Food for Mom - Breastfeeding

    Welcome to the forum!

    One of the reasons that so many women give up on breastfeeding is that they are held to completely unreasonable dietary standards. They're supposed to nurse while subsisting on a diet of bread and water- unless the baby hiccups and then they should probably stop eating the bread!

    The only things a breastfeeding mom should routinely avoid are illegal drugs, large quantities of alcohol (the occasional small drink is okay), and large quantities of high-in-mercury fish. Every food on your list is absolutely fine for both you and your baby.

    So let's say you start eating everything on your list and then your baby is fussy, has a gassy day, or comes down with a nappy rash. Should you immediately backtrack and start living on bread and water? NO. Babies are naturally fussy and gassy, and nappy rash is an occupational hazard of a life in diapers. Instead of focusing on transient episodes of fussiness, gas, or nappy rash, you want to look for patterns. If you feel like your baby is ALWAYS miserable or rashy after you eat a certain food, maybe you want to cut back on it a bit, and see if things change. Then you reintroduce the food and see if things change again.

    So, what foods are actually likely to make babies gassy, fussy, and rashy? Not the things on your list. The foods that cause reactions in adults are generally not the ones that cause reactions in babies. If your baby is very gassy and miserable, you might want to consider limiting or eliminating your intake of cow's milk, since it's the top offender. Some moms also find that it's beneficial to limit caffeine intake- though I personally require a couple of cups of coffee in the morning, particularly when the baby is nursing all night long!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Food for Mom - Breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    One of the reasons that so many women give up on breastfeeding is that they are held to completely unreasonable dietary standards. They're supposed to nurse while subsisting on a diet of bread and water- unless the baby hiccups and then they should probably stop eating the bread!

    The only things a breastfeeding mom should routinely avoid are illegal drugs, large quantities of alcohol (the occasional small drink is okay), and large quantities of high-in-mercury fish. Every food on your list is absolutely fine for both you and your baby.

    So let's say you start eating everything on your list and then your baby is fussy, has a gassy day, or comes down with a nappy rash. Should you immediately backtrack and start living on bread and water? NO. Babies are naturally fussy and gassy, and nappy rash is an occupational hazard of a life in diapers. Instead of focusing on transient episodes of fussiness, gas, or nappy rash, you want to look for patterns. If you feel like your baby is ALWAYS miserable or rashy after you eat a certain food, maybe you want to cut back on it a bit, and see if things change. Then you reintroduce the food and see if things change again.

    So, what foods are actually likely to make babies gassy, fussy, and rashy? Not the things on your list. The foods that cause reactions in adults are generally not the ones that cause reactions in babies. If your baby is very gassy and miserable, you might want to consider limiting or eliminating your intake of cow's milk, since it's the top offender. Some moms also find that it's beneficial to limit caffeine intake- though I personally require a couple of cups of coffee in the morning, particularly when the baby is nursing all night long!
    Thanks for the advise, in general my baby is fussy/niggly but as far as I can tell he is not gassy and no nappy rash, I have been struggling with the 'what to eat' question. I have been preparing all my food with only a pinch of salt literally(miss my herbs and spices) what I have been eating since starting breast feeding is - potato, chicken and veg (gemsqash, butternut, carrots and peas) all with only a little salt thats it oh yes the the slice of toast now and then.

    We were at the pediatrician yesterday and told her that baby seems to be in discomfort or has sore because he has alot of the time a look on his face as if he has eaten a lemon(best way I can describe it) and he arches his back and head alot he also clenches his fists, she did a quick examination and seems to think that he has reflux and prescribed meds for him - Nexiam 10mg(sachet) once a day --- any thoughts on this???

    Being our first child and very green parents we have many questions, so will be using this forum alot im sure and hopefully share some of my experiences with other moms.

    Regards to all

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Food for Mom - Breastfeeding

    Regarding herbs and spices, I think it's valuable to think about all those moms living in the South Asian spice belt, and all the ones that have lived there throughout human history. If spices bothered babies that much, how would all those moms and all those babies have made it?

    Whn breastfed babies start solids, they tend to have more diverse and more experimental palates than formula-fed ones. It may be because breastfed babies get used to having tastes of mom's meals come through in the milk. Onions and garlic, in particular, can provide an interesting flavor!

    Based on that sour look and the back arching, reflux is certainly a possibility. I can't comment on the medication your doctor prescribed, but here are some non-medical things that can help babies with reflux:
    - Nurse frequently. Swallowing keeps tummy contents moving downward, and breastmilk has a mild antacid effect due to the calcium in it, and that can soothe a sore esophagus.
    - Keep baby upright after feedings. A lot of babies are happiest held upright in a sling or wrap.
    - Elevate the head of the baby's sleep surface by sticking a pillow under the mattress.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Food for Mom - Breastfeeding

    Understood, thanks --- so basically what you are saying is relax, stop over-thinking the 'what to eat' thing. Dont limit myself BUT observe babys reaction to my food in take. BTW any tips/tricks for sore red and sensitive nipples, my one nipple are taking a pounding as I allow him to feed on demand.

    Kind Regards

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Food for Mom - Breastfeeding

    I heard by many I should stay away from citrus juices and pineapple juices as they are to acidic for baby and could cause bum burns(nappy rash)
    OK, WHAT? Now I have heard everything. I agree with mommal. IN the vast majority of cases, a breastfeedign mother can eat pretty much whatever she wants. Newborn babies are fussy. When there IS an issue, it is almost always dairy. And there are otehr symptoms-rashes, blood in stool...Could it be this nonsense is propogated by the formula companies? (#you are not paranoid if they are really out to get you.)

    As far as reflux goes, this is notoriously over "diagnosed" but yes if baby DOES have it meds should help. If they do not help, most likely baby does not have reflux. I think Dr. Sears www.askdrsears.com has a good online article on reflux (GER.) In fact, I strongly reccomend Sear's The Baby Book as well as The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition) for new (and even experienced) parents.

    BTW any tips/tricks for sore red and sensitive nipples, my one nipple are taking a pounding as I allow him to feed on demand.
    Now THIS is a real problem! Breastfeeding should not hurt nor should breasts 'get a pounding" even if baby nurses frequently, as frequent nursing is normal and needed.

    For sore nipples the best reccomendation i can give you is to contact a local breastfeeding support person- LLL Leader, board certified lactation consultant, (IBCLC) your cousin who breastfed 5 kids, whatever. Someone with experience AND accurate knowledge. Someone who can watch you nurse and offer positioning and latching ideas. If that does not help, get back to us about that.

    Below I am linking my favorite links for latch and positioning and early weeks tips, but again, I strongly suggest in person help.
    Tips with pictures on latch and different positioning ideas (includes side lying) http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

    Laid back position http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Laid back video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Here are two simple pictorials, you want the one on latch. Notice that the mother is in a “slightly” laid back position, looks like on a couch? This is a very “adjustable” position, play around to find how you and your baby are most comfortable. http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

    latch and 'Breast sandwich' article http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar04p3.html (probably only needed if baby cannot latch or latch is hurting mom)

    What is normal in the early weeks with a breastfed baby http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

    Feeding cues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Food for Mom - Breastfeeding

    If baby is latched on properly, breastfeeding should not hurt no matter how often you do it.

    When baby is finished nursing, what shape is your nipple? Is it symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/creased/wedged/ridged/ shaped like a new lipstick?

    Can you describe the soreness? Do it feel burning or itchy?

    Any skin changes to the nipple or areola, perhaps skin appearing dry or flaky? Any blisters or cracks?

    Have you or the baby had a recent course of antibiotics or a recent yeast infection?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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