Monday, September 27, 2010

Does breastfeeding make mothers gassy?

There is a great deal of discussion among mothers and soon-to-be mothers about breastfeeding – benefits, challenges, and side effects. One topic that arises frequently is the relationship between breastfeeding and gas. And while it’s not a topic our mothers teach us to discuss in “polite company,” mothers still want to know can breastfeeding can make them or their baby gassy!

Baby gas and breastfeeding

It is not uncommon for moms to be surprised by a baby’s gas. But after the initial surprise is over, concern often follows – am I doing something to add to his gas?

For breastfeeding mothers, the worry is usually that they may be eating something that is transferred through their breast milk, resulting in gas for the baby. This is almost never the case.

If your child is gassy after being fed, it is usually because he or she is getting too much air along with their food. You can alleviate this problem by adjusting your feeding position to one that uses gravity to pull the milk or formula into baby’s mouth, ensuring the infant latches on properly, and using vented nipples whenever you use a bottle.

Gas and breastfeeding for Moms

There is no correlation between breastfeeding and problems with gas for mothers. You may experience some unpleasant side effects from breastfeeding such as fatigue, itchy nipples, or sore breasts, but digestive issues are not linked to nursing.

If you are feeling gassy, you may want to look to your own diet for the cause. Eliminate gas-producing foods such as cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, beans, and legumes to see if this helps.

If you are still having problems, consult your doctor who may be able to offer additional explanations and solutions.