2

votes

Resources on the breastfeeding mother's diet and infant well-being / colic?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 09, 2011 at 11:29 PM

My wife and I just had our first baby three weeks, a healthy little girl who will be breastfed for at least a year.

Typically she's a mellow baby as long as she's well fed. But lately she has developed more fussiness, particularly at night. It seems to be tied to bloating/gas she can't deal with in a laying down position. She has also developed some eczema /infant acne on the face and neck, which is not too uncommon from what I understand. Finally, we are a little anxious about entering the stage where infants typically show the signs of "colic" if they are going to have colic.

In light of all this, are there any papers or resources out there that give good solid info on the relationship between mama's diet and her baby's well being, particularly in terms of colic and gassy/fussiness and even the infant acne? I'm curious about things like, What are the relative importances of sufficient caloric intake vs energy needed as a new mother vs role of carbs in the new mother's diet and if it's a special case, role of potentially allergenic foods even if mother doesn't show strong reactions to these foods, etc.

Some first hand experiences are good to read about, but any scientific data would be particularly helpful. If I suggest to my wife to try going full paleo, or at least lacto-paleo at first (she drinks raw milk), it's best to have good reasons for suggesting so.

Thanks in advance!

joe

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on February 20, 2011
at 09:20 PM

Wow, my appetite went CRAZY when I stated breastfeeding, lol! This could possibly be a reason why she's got her sweet tooth back.

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on February 18, 2011
at 11:28 PM

In fact it is just infant acne, not eczema, which I understand to be a hormonal thing carried over from mom during the birth. my wife's appetite is on the low end, but her milk production is still pretty good. a lot of her eating includes breads and other grains, however (unless I'm cooking ;). And her sweet tooth is back : ( I just wish she would get the extra calories from better sources, but hey I'm just the dad

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on February 18, 2011
at 11:25 PM

thanks. She is in fact going to a lactation consultant and that has helped a lot.

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on February 18, 2011
at 11:23 PM

good comments, thanks. turns out the baby does not have eczema. If I understand correctly eczema is some kind of skin rash, whereas this is full blown acne like a teenager would get. I guess it happens in many newborns as a hormonal carry over from mom during the birth. mom is not exercising much yet. her appetite has been on the low side but milk production still seems to be fine.

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on February 18, 2011
at 11:20 PM

thanks a lot for providing these links!

Medium avatar

(12379)

on February 10, 2011
at 03:42 PM

Phew - cluster feeding was a nightmare! My little guy did it at 6 weeks for 2 days, then 10 weeks for 1 day and then at 3 months for 2 days etc. Hang in there - it's exhausing but it does end!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:21 AM

Kellymom is a very good resource too!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:21 AM

Agree that LLL is the best resource!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 10, 2011
at 02:56 AM

You're right; cluster feeding (normally with the growth spurts, sometimes with illness or teething) can be a physical and mental trial! A friend of mine with her first baby (~4 months old) just told me that had she not been committed to breastfeeding during a recent couple of weeks of cluster feeding, she would have weaned.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 10, 2011
at 01:15 AM

+1 on the question-asker's wife not going nuts with restricting diet/carbs! Also, take it easy on exercise, since the bone and cartilage relaxing hormones could still be present in the postpartum mom's system, thus increasing chances for injury. Some moms also say that super intense exercise affects the baby's reaction to breastmilk due to change in taste (theorized due to a spike in lactic acid in the mom's body) - though this is debated. Main point: get back into exercising _gently_, just the same way you'd approach any eating to lose weight. Walking/swimming are good to return to activity.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 10, 2011
at 12:56 AM

It was such a lifesaver! Also has loads of practical advice on pumping, storing, and feeding breastmilk.

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on February 10, 2011
at 12:54 AM

I love kellymom!

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7 Answers

4
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 10, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Congratulations on your new addition!! You are right in the thick of the newborn gauntlet. :) But after you get through the first 2-3 months you'll be convinced that you can make it through anything. The first weeks with both of my daughters, I learned by experience to avoid super strong tastes and cruciferous veggies, but eased back into them before too long. I'm not really certain that they were the cause of fussiness; could have just been babies being babies!

I have found kellymom.com to be indispensable for answers to my breastfeeding questions and all-around baby and baby-feeding advice. It's not paleo per se, but it does espouse natural perspectives in infant nutrition. Kellymom is thoroughly linked and cites many outside sources/articles/studies.

Here are just a few items to hopefully get you started:

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on February 10, 2011
at 12:54 AM

I love kellymom!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 10, 2011
at 12:56 AM

It was such a lifesaver! Also has loads of practical advice on pumping, storing, and feeding breastmilk.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:21 AM

Kellymom is a very good resource too!

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on February 18, 2011
at 11:20 PM

thanks a lot for providing these links!

2
C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on February 10, 2011
at 01:07 AM

I have a 4-month-old I'm currently breastfeeding. The age your little one is at is a bad one for gas - the poor things don't quite know how to push it out yet, even if it's just a normal amount. Bicycling her legs can help her get it out, as can rubbing her belly. If you think it's an excessive amount of gas, common culprits to cut out are cruciferous veggies and onions/garlic. Eggs gave my daughter gas for a while but don't seem to affect her anymore.

For some of your other questions, your wife should make sure to eat plenty of calories and drink enough water, as both can affect milk supply. Also I have heard anecdotally that cutting carbs will decrease milk production, so I have been sure to eat plenty of carbs (even if it means eating some grains like rice). Dairy may or may not be ok and might be something to suspect with the eczema. I am currently strictly avoiding both dairy and soy to see if it helps with some stool issues - too early to tell though, as they can take weeks to clear first mom's and then baby's system.

Congratulations, good luck, and enjoy the ride! :)

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 10, 2011
at 01:15 AM

+1 on the question-asker's wife not going nuts with restricting diet/carbs! Also, take it easy on exercise, since the bone and cartilage relaxing hormones could still be present in the postpartum mom's system, thus increasing chances for injury. Some moms also say that super intense exercise affects the baby's reaction to breastmilk due to change in taste (theorized due to a spike in lactic acid in the mom's body) - though this is debated. Main point: get back into exercising _gently_, just the same way you'd approach any eating to lose weight. Walking/swimming are good to return to activity.

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on February 18, 2011
at 11:23 PM

good comments, thanks. turns out the baby does not have eczema. If I understand correctly eczema is some kind of skin rash, whereas this is full blown acne like a teenager would get. I guess it happens in many newborns as a hormonal carry over from mom during the birth. mom is not exercising much yet. her appetite has been on the low side but milk production still seems to be fine.

1
B219dd399cdf123380277584eb84c771

on June 13, 2012
at 02:21 PM

The same thing happened with my little one but she was closer to two months old when it started. Every night between 8-11 she was inconsolable. Crying and crying and crying. We tried everything, nothing worked long. She finally 'grew out of it' at around 4 months maybe? Around two years old, when she became more verbal, she was able to tell us that her tummy hurt. To the naturopath for food allergy testing! She was intolerant to a whole list of foods; gluten, dairy and chicken eggs was just the beginning. I believe colic (the term the pediatrician used when we took her in) to be a syndrome sort of word. What does colic really mean? I believe it means that a baby is in discomfort and we don't know why. It's very possible some foods in your wife's diet are causing this distress. I would say to cut out the popular offenders; gluten and dairy; and see if that doesn't correct the problem within a few weeks. Good luck!

1
C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:28 AM

Is it definitely wind/colic? 4 months is a classic time for a big growth spurt. It's so renowned for this that babies sleeping patterns change significantly. A lot of people start to introduce solids because they think this is why baby is getting upset. But, it's not, it's just a developmental phase.

If the problem is eczema only, then it's possible that it could be a food sensitivity and yes, food journal/diary should perhaps be kept instead - however, eating paleo won't harm either, but I'd still say keep the vegetables available as a drastic reduction in carbs could harm your wifes supply.

Kellymom, LLL, I want my mum (forum, UK) are good sources for breastfeeding information.

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on February 18, 2011
at 11:28 PM

In fact it is just infant acne, not eczema, which I understand to be a hormonal thing carried over from mom during the birth. my wife's appetite is on the low end, but her milk production is still pretty good. a lot of her eating includes breads and other grains, however (unless I'm cooking ;). And her sweet tooth is back : ( I just wish she would get the extra calories from better sources, but hey I'm just the dad

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on February 20, 2011
at 09:20 PM

Wow, my appetite went CRAZY when I stated breastfeeding, lol! This could possibly be a reason why she's got her sweet tooth back.

1
Bc48c5a618946215229382255b8d7548

on February 10, 2011
at 02:48 AM

Good advice about getting a lactation consultant. La Leche League is a very comprehensive resource, but I chose to get a hold of their book as some of the people I met from there were extremely different from me as far as some of their views on nursing, co-sleeping, etc. It was a little much for me, but again, they are a great resource!

And as a mom who has breastfed two and is pregnant w/ #3, I pretty much agree w/ all the previous posts. One of mine couldn't handle onions or green bell peppers when I ate them -- gave her painful gas -- which stunk b/c I love mexican and cajun food, both of which have lots of both in them! I haven't heard anything related to carbs and milk production. I know that staying well-hydrated is a key to milk production.

Also keep in mind that she will be a hungry little bugger every now and then when she needs to build up your wife's milk supply. Just when you think you've established a good nursing and napping routine, she will seem to be eating all the time, possibly fussy, and just out of sorts. It's times like that when demand results in greater supply, which is what the baby's body is needing. It won't always be like this, though. When she starts to eat solids and starts adding other sources of calories to her diet, it may taper off some.

Best of luck!

Medium avatar

(12379)

on February 10, 2011
at 03:42 PM

Phew - cluster feeding was a nightmare! My little guy did it at 6 weeks for 2 days, then 10 weeks for 1 day and then at 3 months for 2 days etc. Hang in there - it's exhausing but it does end!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 10, 2011
at 02:56 AM

You're right; cluster feeding (normally with the growth spurts, sometimes with illness or teething) can be a physical and mental trial! A friend of mine with her first baby (~4 months old) just told me that had she not been committed to breastfeeding during a recent couple of weeks of cluster feeding, she would have weaned.

1
Medium avatar

(12379)

on February 09, 2011
at 11:56 PM

CONGRATS to you and your wife! So exciting!!!

This video was really helpful for me and the little guy - it's baby 'yoga' moves to relieve gas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi3zJRz6U1w&playnext=1&list=PLD1FD24752AEB6E95 It's safe and gentle and worth a try.

As for diet and affects on the baby - every baby and mom are different; I would recommend journalling mothers intake and baby's reaction to see if you can make any correlations. My little guy got upset and gassy when I ate broccoli and cauliflower.

Caloric intake for bf'ing moms is at least 2200-2700 calories/day and rember bf'ing burns 500 calories/day.

La leche league is a good resource for all things breastfeeding and can put you in touch with someone locally.

Good luck!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:21 AM

Agree that LLL is the best resource!

0
03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on February 10, 2011
at 12:32 AM

Nina Planck has a good book that my wife and I really liked: Real Food for Mother and Baby. The biggest thing She did was just trial and error as every baby is different. My daughter HATED garlic in momma's milk. Also anything "fake" or heavily processed like fake cheese or soup would set her off, and led to sleepless nights.

A good resource for the scientific data may be a lactation consultant. I tried to stay away from that department.

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on February 18, 2011
at 11:25 PM

thanks. She is in fact going to a lactation consultant and that has helped a lot.

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