If you're breastfeeding and your little one's coos are replaced by cries, a gassy stomach may be causing the discomfort. Choosing your food carefully can help reduce the amount of gas your baby experiences, as well as your own, says Dr. Zubaida Sadik, board-certified pediatrician in Freehold, New Jersey. "In general, we advise all our nursing moms to avoid food ... that makes the mom gassy," she says.
Although broccoli may offer a healthy dose of vegetables and vitamins, this food choice may make you both gassy, says Sadik. Broccoli is a soluble fiber that doesn't break down quickly in the intestines, making it difficult to digest. In fact, broccoli doesn't break down until it passes through the large intestine, which is where gas develops.
Beans and Lentils
Sugar present in beans and lentils, in addition to high fiber content that can cause bloating, are not easily broken down and absorbed by the intestines. Consuming this high-fiber food more than once a week could result in excessive gas for you both, Sadik says.
Foods and beverages with caffeine often result in excessive gas for mom and baby, according to Sadik. Your baby's digestive system is still developing and he can't excrete caffeine as well as an adult when it is ingested through breastmilk. The energy boost from caffeine could also disrupt his sleep schedule.
Hot and Spicy Dishes
Spice can increase stomach acid and cause your baby to feel bloated and gassy. In particular, Sadik recommends avoiding onion powder, black pepper, horseradish sauce and hot sauce until your child is no longer breastfeeding.
Chocolate can cause excessive gas in babies when the mother consumes it in excess, Sadik says. That's primarily due to the high caffeine content. The amount of "excess" may vary from one mother to the next, but Sadik advises against indulging in sweets daily.
The high acidic content in orange juice can irritate a baby's developing gastro-intestinal system. More than one a day will have an impact on the baby. Sadik says to limit your juice intake to once a week and supplement your diet with fresh fruits containing vitamin C.
Typically, dairy foods will cause the most gas for moms and babies says Leigh Anne O'Connor, a New York-based lactation consultant. She says it's because the protein is too hard to digest. An alternative would be almond milk or soy milk.