Breastfeeding and Colic

Colic, which is defined as a baby who cries three or more hours, three or more days a week, can be an extremely frustrating thing for parents to deal with. While colic is not shown to have any actual negative long-term impact on a baby, it can certainly break a parent’s heart when they are unable to comfort their little one. In addition, having a baby with colic can create a certain amount of stress and tension in a household. Compounding the problem of colic is the fact that researchers aren’t exactly certain what causes colic.

One of the leading theories about colic is that it can be caused by problems in the gastrointestinal tract. If this is the case, some experts have theorized that formula feeding and cow’s milk are especially difficult for a baby’s immature digestive tract. Advocates of breastfeeding point to this fact as a benefit of breastfeeding. However, things are not always as simple as they appear to be. Sometimes, there can even be a link between colic and breastfeeding.

Keep in mind that the mother’s diet has a large impact on the nutrients that her baby gets when she is breastfeeding. Even though a baby isn’t bottle fed, it doesn’t mean that the baby’s system won’t encounter those complex proteins that occur in cow’s milk, especially if the mother is consuming a good bit of dairy products. If your baby has colic and you are breastfeeding, then, there are some dietary changes that you can make to try to relieve your baby’s colic.

As stated, dairy products should be one of the first things to try to eliminate from your diet if you are breastfeeding and your baby has colic. This may or may not do the trick. Keep in mind that many products may contain dairy, so be sure to look at the labels of the food products that you eat. There are, however, other types of foods that can cause colic while breastfeeding. Many of these are foods that a baby may be allergic to. Some of the potential offenders are onions, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, strawberries, citrus fruits, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, corn, tomatoes, and spicy foods. By eliminating these items one by one from your diet, you may be able to identify what foods it is that you are eating that are contributing to your baby’s colic.

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