BREASTFEEDING: FOOD AND DRINKS THAT MAKE YOUR BABY FART
For the first three months of their lives, babies’ digestive systems are very sensitive and undeveloped. So, farting, trapped wind, pooing or being constipated can be very upsetting and painful …and often results in sleepless nights for both baby AND parents.
If you are breastfeeding, here is a list of foods you might want include or avoid initially. But don’t worry, it isn’t forever. In two to three months, things will have developed much more and you may be able to incorporate some of these foods slowly.
This one isn’t rocket science! After several middle-of-the-night nursing sessions, the first thing you may think of in the morning is a comforting cup of coffee. But bear in mind the caffeine in coffee and tea does end up in breast milk, and because it is a stimulant it can make napping difficult for both you and your little one. It’s also in chocolate, various energy drinks and soft drinks. The best thing you can drink, particularly in the early stages of breast feeding, is plain water… and lots of it.
Avoid any fizzy drinks. They contain artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, which just like giving your baby a coffee. Plain water is best. Sorry girls, even Irn Bru is off limits.
Hang in there… it just for a few more months. But it’s safest for your baby if you don’t have any alcohol at all.
Peppermint tea (or peppermint in any form) dramatically lowers milk supply and is used to help dry up breast milk. Don’t drink it when breastfeeding as it will affect the amount of milk you have available. In fact, avoid all herbal tea, except green tea, white tea and rooibos.
What you consider to be a gassy food as an adult, may not be the same foods that will affect your baby. Here’s a list of foods to avoid for the first three months:
Brussel sprouts, cabbage, garlic, broccoli, green leafy vegetables and onions should all be avoided. Same applies with fancy lettuce, such as kale and roquette.
My best advice is to keep it very very simple. Think traditional foods – meat and two veg, for example – with only one or two ingredients per food. If you look on the packet of anything that is processed and it has a long list of ingredients, it’s best avoided. Don’t eat diet foods either (all the good fats will be taken out and artificial sweeteners put in, and this won’t do you any good at all).
Now isn’t the time to be having spicy foods as it will cause wind and tummy upsets. If you ever want to sleep again, don’t have an Indian for dinner on Saturday night. Go for a Chippy instead!
Garlic-flavoured milk?? Doesn’t sound tasty, does it? Breast milk takes on the flavour of the food you have eaten and while babies are usually not put off by this, garlic is often the exception. If your baby is refusing the breast and you have recently eaten garlic, it may be the taste that is turning him off.
Bananas contain a similar chemical to cabbage and, while it doesn’t affect every baby, if you have a sensitive little dude one banana per day in your diet may give him constipation.
Because our oceans are no longer crystal clear, certain types of fish have high levels of mercury in them so are best limited. The ones you had to avoid while pregnant are the same ones you need to avoid during the first months of breastfeeding. However, a good thick wild-caught piece of salmon will do you both the world of good.
Be cautious with dairy; don’t overdo it in your diet. Heavily aged cheeses can have hallucinogenic properties and have been known to cause night terrors or vivid dreams in children under the age of eight. It’s usually best to avoid cheese and other dairy products after 12pm. However, you can still have full fat milk in your hot drinks (when you are feeding this is better than skimmed). If anyone in the family has dairy allergies, consider taking yourself off it completely and then wean yourself back slowly after a few months.
So. what SHOULD you eat. The answer is plain, simple, unprocessed food and water. Think traditional, Scottish diet of root-based veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, turnips, parsnips and a good old Sunday roast. Roast lamb is fantastic for boosting your iron. It might all be a bit boring but it is only for a few months and it might make the world of difference to your baby. Now isn’t the time to be dieting because when you deprive your body, your body will deprive your milk. This could lead to nutritional deficits in your milk. Starve your body, starve your baby.