Friday, June 1, 2012

Breastfeeding & Eliminating Foods/Dairy

As yet another mom bemoaned giving up dairy and "gassy foods" (broccoli, potatoes, etc.) in my mom's support group last week, I had to really bite my tongue to avoid blurting out, "It probably won't change anything!"

It's another of the many controversies surrounding breastfeeding: does what a mother eats and drinks cause gas and discomfort in her breastfed baby? I liked this post by Secrets of Baby Behavior, and Kelly Mom (always an excellent source of information) writes that if there is a problem, it's more than likely a food allergy, which are rare and almost always have accompanying symptoms.

I didn't change my diet at all for breastfeeding. I try to eat a balanced diet (which may involve slightly too much Thai takeout and ice cream, but we're doing our best), but I wasn't willing to give up anything because it didn't seem worth it. As much as I could tell, Felicity had some gassy days, and some non-gassy days. They didn't seem to be tied at all to what I was consuming, and we conquered all with cuddles, belly rubs, and gripe water (or the occasional dose of Mylicon). While she may not be as fussy or gassy as many babies, and may respond more positively to the interventions I named above, I simply cannot believe that over 50% of babies (as evidenced by the number of moms that I know that have eliminated dairy and/or other things from their diet) have food allergies or an intolerance for milk.