Foods that cause Colic in Breastfed Babies: An Important List!
If you’re a breastfeeding mother, you may have heard that there are some foods that cause colic in breastfed babies. While there is no definitive list of foods that cause colic, here are some of the most commonly cited culprits.
- Dairy products especially cow’s milk
- Spicy foods
- Certain legumes
- Junk food
- Some nuts
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Caffeinated drinks
- Soft drinks
- Energy drinks
In this article, we’ll focus on these foods that cause colic in breastfed babies. We’ll also discuss the tips for preventing colic as well.
Foods that cause colic in infants
As any new parent knows, colic can be a real nightmare. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to help reduce the incidence of colic in your breastfed baby. One of the most important things to do is to be aware of certain foods that can cause colic. While it is true that almost all babies will experience some degree of gas and bloating, there are certain foods that have been known to trigger more severe episodes of colic.
So if you are breastfeeding, it is best to avoid these foods altogether:
1. Dairy products especially cow’s milk
Colic is a condition that can affect breastfed babies. It is characterized by periods of fussiness and crying. Some researchers believe that colic may be related to the baby’s immature digestive system. Others believe that it may be caused by a reaction to certain proteins in cow’s milk.
Although it is said that if the mother drinks more milk, her breast milk supply also increases. However, there is some evidence to suggest that cow’s milk proteins can cause colic in breastfed babies. One study found that eliminating dairy products from the mother’s diet reduced the incidence of colic in breastfed infants.
Dairy products are a common trigger for colic. This is because they contain a protein called casein, which can be difficult for babies to digest. When babies consume milk or other dairy products containing casein, it can cause intestinal discomfort and lead to colic symptoms.
2. Spicy foods
Any parent who has dealt with a colicky baby knows that the experience can be trying for both the child and the adults involved. Though the precise causes of colic are not fully understood, it is generally thought to be related to stomach pain. Spicy and hot foods are often blamed for causing colic in breastfed babies, as they can be passed through the mother’s milk.
However, there is no evidence that spicy and hot foods are a direct cause of colic. Instead, it is more likely that they are a common trigger for an already sensitive stomach. As such, parents of colicky babies may want to avoid spicy and hot foods, as well as other potential triggers such as caffeine and artificial additives. By avoiding these foods, they may be able to provide some relief for their infant.
3. Certain legumes
Legumes such as soy and kidney beans are one type of food that breastfeeding mothers should be aware of, as they can cause colic episodes in breastfed babies. These legumes contain oligosaccharides, which are a type of carbohydrate that is difficult for the baby’s digestive system to break down.
As a result, these carbohydrates pass through the intestines undigested and can cause excessive gas, leading to a colic episode. If you are breastfeeding and notice that your baby seems to be experiencing more colic episodes than usual, it may be worth trying to avoid legumes such as soy and kidney beans.
4. Junk food
While most babies are able to tolerate small amounts of junk food in their diet, there are some foods that can trigger colic in breastfed babies. Foods that are high in sugar, artificial additives, and saturated fat are all known to cause colic. In addition, foods that are fried or greasy can also trigger colic.
For this reason, it is important for mothers who are breastfeeding to avoid junk food and maintain a healthy diet. By doing so, they will be able to provide their babies with the best possible nutrition and reduce the risk of colic.
5. Some nuts
Many babies who are breastfed can experience colic. This is usually caused by the baby’s digestive system being unable to process certain foods that the mother has eaten. To avoid causing colic, it is important for breastfeeding mothers to avoid eating certain foods, including nuts. Some of the most common types of nuts that can cause colic include peanuts, almonds, and walnuts. These nuts can irritate the baby’s digestive system and cause a build-up of gases, which can lead to pain and crying.
Onions are gassy foods and when they are consumed, they can cause gases to form in the breast milk. When a baby drinks this gassy breast milk, it can cause them to experience colic. While there is no sure way to prevent colic, avoiding gassy foods like onions may help reduce the occurrence of colic in breastfed babies.
7. Cruciferous vegetables
According to some researchers, certain vegetables may lead to colic in breastfed babies. These vegetables, known as cruciferous vegetables, include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. These vegetables contain a compound called raffinose, which is a type of sugar that is not easily digested by the human body. As a result, this compound can cause intestinal gas and bloating in both adults and infants.
In addition, the action of certain enzymes in such vegetables can lead to the production of more gas. For these reasons, it is thought that these vegetables may play a role in causing colic in breastfed babies. The gas can also cause other problems such as burping, bloating, and flatulence.
If you think that your baby is sensitive to such vegetables (like cabbage, brussels sprouts, etc.), you should avoid them. You can also try cooking the vegetables before eating them. Cooking will help to break down the sugar and reduce the amount of gas produced.
8. Caffeinated drinks
Caffeine is a stimulant that can have adverse effects on the human body, particularly in young children. Despite this, caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee are still consumed by many people on a daily basis.
While caffeinated drinks are generally safe for adults, they can cause colic in breastfed babies. Caffeine passes into breast milk and can cause the baby to become irritable and experience difficulty sleeping. In severe cases, caffeinated beverages can also lead to dehydration in infants.
As a result, it is important for mothers who are breastfeeding to avoid consuming caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee. However, if you do choose to drink caffeinated beverages while breastfeeding, it is best to do so in moderation and avoid giving them to your baby directly.
Any medical professional can tell that alcohol is one of the leading causes of colic in a breastfed baby. When a mother consumes alcohol, it passes through her breastmilk and into her baby’s system. This can cause the baby to experience irritability, restlessness, and crying. In some cases, it may even lead to gastrointestinal problems.
While there is no definitive evidence that alcohol is the cause of colic, many experts recommend that a nursing mother avoid drinking altogether as a way to reduce the risk of colic in the baby. Additionally, mothers who are concerned about the possibility of alcohol causing colic may want to consider following a special diet that eliminates all potential triggers.
10. Soft drinks
One of the key breastfeeding diet tips is to avoid aerated drinks. Sodas and other carbonated beverages can cause colic in a breastfed baby. The gas bubbles in these drinks can build up in baby’s tummy, causing pain and discomfort. In some cases, the bubble might even burst, leading to more serious problems. Therefore, it is best to avoid aerated drinks when breastfeeding.
If you must have them, drink them during a feeding so that baby can burp and release the gas bubbles. Alternatively, you can try drinking sparkling water instead of soda. Sparkling water doesn’t contain the same amount of gas as soda, so it is less likely to cause colic in your breastfed baby.
11. Energy drinks
Energy drinks are becoming increasingly popular, but their role in causing colic in breastfed babies is often overlooked. These drinks contain caffeine, which can act as a stimulant and irritate the lining of the stomach. This can lead to increased crying and fussiness in babies. In addition, energy drinks can interfere with a baby’s sleep and feeding patterns.
If you suspect that your baby’s colic is caused by energy drinks, you should talk to your doctor about anti colic diet changes that can help reduce your baby’s symptoms.
In some cases, smoking may play a role in causing colic in a breastfed baby. Babies who are exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to develop colic than those who are not. Additionally, the chemicals in tobacco smoke can pass into breast milk and make their way into the baby’s system.
If you think that your baby may have colic, it is important to talk to the baby’s doctor. They may recommend an elimination diet to rule out other potential causes of the baby’s symptoms.
Tips for breastfeeding mothers to avoid colic
A balanced diet keeps foods that cause colic in breastfed babies in a check. Leafy greens and lean proteins are easy to digest and full of nutrients. Fewer than 3% of mothers who eat a balanced diet have babies with colic, while up to 40% of mothers who eat an imbalanced diet have babies with colic.
In addition to eating a balanced diet, there are a few other things mothers can do to reduce their baby’s risk of colic.
- Avoiding exposure to smoke and other pollutants
- Making sure the baby is getting enough air
- Keeping a regular feeding and sleeping schedule
- Avoiding overstimulation
- Giving the baby plenty of time to burp
- Keeping the nipples clean
- Nursing in a calm environment
- Offering both breasts at each feeding
- Watching for signs of hunger
- Avoiding stress themselves
Following these tips can help any mother reduce her baby’s risk of colic, and ensure that both mother and baby are happy and healthy.
All in all, If you think your baby may be experiencing colic due to food sensitivities, please consult with a dietitian. They can help you create a meal plan that will help you.
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