As a mom of 3 children; 2 that I have nursed and 1 that I am currently breastfeeding, there are some definite challenges from baby having latch issues, milk production, to baby reacting to the foods that are passed through breastmilk. Some babies become gassy, have stomach issues, cry in pain while others may develop eczema or spit up a lot. Each of these (and more) can be signs that what we moms are consuming is not working well in our baby’s body at this time.
Dairy and gluten tend to be top foods that babies have the most challenges in digesting, but other foods could also present issues. Remember each of us has a different body just like we all have different personalities, so even though us moms may be able to consume a certain food it does not mean our child can. Both dairy and gluten can be difficult for our adult bodies to handle too, however, we may not realize it as our bodies may have accommodated for them in a certain way.
What is the first step in this discovery process?
First, I believe, we need to determine which food or foods are causing the issue while still consuming quality foods. A great way to help determine what is creating the challenge is by filling out a food journal, watch for signs and symptoms with the baby. A faster way is to eliminate dairy and gluten for a while and see how baby responds. It typically takes a food around 4 days to predominately get out of our system (some take longer). If nothing changes (or there are still some mild symptoms) after these 2 foods are removed, start a food journal. This will be beneficial to help identify if other foods are causing a negative reaction within our baby’s body. When you eliminate certain foods while breastfeeding, it is essential to continue to pull in the nutrients and needed calories from whole foods.
So how do we eliminate the food triggers and yet continue to nourish ourselves to maintain our health and produce enough milk that works well in our baby’s body?
Start with some simple healthy food swaps or replacements. Here are some options for some standard food sensitivities:
Egg: Make up 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal mixed in 3 tablespoons of water. Mix and let set, add to recipe calling for an egg
Dairy Milk: Try Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Cashew Milk
Butter: Earth Balance brand is a good replacement option
Yogurt: Switch to Coconut Milk Yogurt
Mayonnaise: Earth Balance Brand or make your own
Peanuts: Almonds, Almond Butter, Walnuts, Cashew
Nuts/Nut Butters: Seeds and Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter), Hemp Milk
Bread: Try a Paleo Bread Recipe
Bread Crumbs: Gluten free kinds are available
Tortillas/Wraps: Look for Brown Rice Tortilla; or use a Lettuce Leaf for a Wrap
Flour: Swaps can be Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, and/or Gluten Free pre-made mixture
Melanie is the Wellness Coordinator for Willowsong Midwifery Care, a Certified Health Coach (through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and AADP), and more importantly a mom of 3 small children. She is very passionate about empowering moms and children in attaining overall health and wellness and loves supporting Willowsong Families with health classes, free initial prenatal consults, information via blogging and much more! Melanie approaches health from a holistic perspective, meaning that she believes each component of our lives creates our overall health and wellness. You are welcome to connect with Melanie anytime via email (Melanie@Food4Thoughtdm.com).
Please don’t just take Melanie’s experience…as always consult with your medical professional and your own self understanding when making health decision; Melanie is not a medical professional, a nutritionist or dietician. She does not hold a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. Melanie makes no claim to any specialized medical training, nor does she dispense medical advice or prescriptions. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, preconception or pregnancy health. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes ONLY. Please consult with your doctor or wellness team if you have questions and then make your own well-informed decisions based upon what is best for your unique genetics, culture, conditions, and stage of life.