Help & Advice – What Not To Eat While Breastfeeding
Myth: – “Breastfed babies do not need winding.”
This is the most unhelpful and incorrect piece of advice regularly given out to new mums, often by midwives and health visitors. A newborn’s sucking action, drinking and digestion of milk, creates gas. A baby drinks so therefore needs to be winded – fact.
Newborns are unable to self-burp for the first three months of life so need frequent burping breaks to help increase milk intake and for their digestive comfort. This then has a knock-on affect on the ability to stay awake and sleep well.
A breastfed baby can often be gassier than a bottle-fed baby which is down to several factors; a mother’s diet, fast let-down and milk flow, comfort sucking, sleepy feeding or not being winded frequently enough can all impact the level of gas. Break to burp every 2-5 minutes or when your baby starts to comfort suck or falls asleep. Your breasts have a variable flow and you will find the milk is released at a quicker pace on the first latch given that fore milk is thinner and breasts are fuller or when you have a greater milk supply, generally in the morning.
A newborn’s world is centred around feeding, so it makes sense that my routine focuses heavily on digestion. A newborn baby’s immature digestive system can be sensitive and what a breastfeeding mother eats can make all the difference to how settled and comfortable their baby is.
Wind-forming or spicy foods can add fuel to the fire and create more gas. The more gas a baby has, the less space for sustaining milk and the more uncomfortable your baby will be during and after feeds; this can have a huge impact on sleep.
Your newborn is eating what you are eating but with an immature and sensitive gut, unable to handle certain foods comfortably. Making sure you eat the right foods for breastfeeding in the first 4-6 weeks will help to keep your baby happy and content between feeds.
First Four Weeks
Keep a bland diet for the first four weeks and then introduce the following wind- forming foods gradually to see what kind of affect they have. Of course, some babies are more sensitive than others.
Foods to avoid for the first month…
- Onions and anything related to the onion family such as leeks, chives, and spring onions
- Pale lettuce
- Beans (green beans are fine)
Be careful when buying pre-made foods such as soups and pies as they will most certainly contain some of these ingredients.
Too much acidity can cause a sore bottom. Again, some babies are more sensitive than others with this.
You may also find interesting – What To Eat While Breastfeeding.
Hi I’m Charmian Mead, author of the best selling parenting book 7pm to 7am Sleeping Baby Routine, parent coach and lactation consultant. I offer lactation and breastfeeding support to new Mums. As a breastfeeding councillor / Consultant I can help you achieve a breastfeeding routine.