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Milk Monday~~Response to Medicine Net

Posted by Stacy on January 3, 2011 at 3:05 AM Comments comments ()

Breastfeeding, as we all have heard and read, is the best for your baby.  I don't want to make this post about another "breast is best" lecture.  I want to debunk a myth.  You have to avoid gassy foods, so baby isn't gassy.  I'm referencing an article I recently discovered on medicinenet.com.  

On the fourth page of the article under the heading "Should certain foods be avoided when breastfedding?", I thought I would find some useful information.  I know...it's the internet, so you have to take a lot of what comes from places with a grain of salt.  I am really going try to back up my sources with solid information, so you can find the information yourselves.  I find  this article just really is lacking in current information on food sensitivities.  

As to their first point about baby becoming gassy to certain foods.  The article states:

"A baby may become fussy, may have trouble sleeping, or may develop gas after the mother eats certain types of foods with strong flavors. Some of the most common triggers of fussiness in

babies include chocolate, spices, citrus fruits, and gas-causing vegetables like cauliflower,

cabbage, and broccoli. However, not all babies will have a reaction to particular foods." (1)

There are several things portrayed in the statement that are false.  One, many babies thrive on milk with stronger, spiced flavors.  Many studies have shown that fetus continually "drink" their amniotic fluid.  This fluid will taste like what the mother is eating.  Babies, after birth, will want and search for the same smells because it means survival, my momma's milk.

“What an expectant mother chooses to eat and drink has long-term effects –

for better or worse – on her child’s sensory anatomy as well his or her odor memory and

food preferences in the future,” (2)

Some babies will react to certain flavors.  If you do latch the baby and he nurses for a short period and refuses, it doesn't mean that he is gassy.  If you notice that every time you eat, for example, garlic foods and he is fussing at the breast, don't eat garlic anymore.  It is not that it garlic is making him gassy; he is asserting his taste preference for no garlic.  To continue to latch him on and make him frustrated will increase the chance of him crying which will increase him bringing in more air which will cause the gas to build up for him.  (3)

Kellymom also describes how foods that cause the mother to have gass (beans, broccoli, etc.) do not pass directly to your milk.  Your body will be breaking down the main elements of these foods. The gas causing agent, so to say, has left the building.  It stays with mother, and baby reaps all the benefit of a great well balanced meal produced by mom. (3)  Dr. Sears describes the raw broccoli and cabbage it be the main culprit, however. 

Going back to the original article, there is also a lack of information for food allergies and what you should do.  Milk allergies in infants is very common.  Moms will discovered that their babies are truly fussy and difficult to settle.  I am only discussing milk because it is so common.  These babies have a difficult time digesting all milk proteins (casein and whey) and many have a difficult time with soy.  I recall with my daughter, nursing was difficult because of her milk sensitivity.  

When she was 4 months old, I was in for a well baby check and told our doctor how I was really tired because she woke every hour.  His reply was to shut the door and walk away.  I had been readying more and more about attachment parenting and found Dr. Sears' The Breastfeeding Book to be the best help for me.  In chapter 4, he discusses milk sensitivity.  When I read this chapter, I realized instantly it was my daughter.  

In order to discover what offended my daughter, I eliminated the common offending things.  For me, I knew what I ate a lot of: milk, chocolate, corn, coffee, soy, and peanuts.  I took those foods from my diet completely.  I then made a log of her sleeping patterns and moods in the afternoon. I still have these logs and run into them from time to time.  Once I notice she was calmer, I added in milk.  And withing 2 days, she was back to the cranky, up all night baby.  I felt awful for her.  I soon learned too that casein and whey were offenders for her, too.  

There is a bright side though.  As the baby matures, so does her digestive track.  Around 9 months old, my daughter was able to digest milk products and loved (still does) yogurt and cheese.  To this day, she cannot drink plain cows milk.  In her words, "It makes my tummy feel funny, Mom."

In the end, she will be 9 this month.  She still doesn't like milk but loves cheese and yogurt and dark chocolate.  I have to say, seeing her change from that cranky little thing to a calm relaxed baby was joyous.  If I had read this article medicine net article when she was a baby, I would have been frustrated beyond belief.  

Please, search out good sources for breastfeeding help if you suspect a food sensitivity.  Take the time to make a diet log along with her nursings and behavior patterns.  It will help you see exactly what is causing the gassy or fussy nature in your baby.



Stacy Lewis, B.A. Ed., AAHCC, LE

childbirth educator and lactation educator


I will be better at noting articles with a better bibliography. I am little tired to night. Also, I am not sure how to link into this blog format, so you will have to cut and paste the articles to find the information.



(3)Kellymom.com (see resources on main site)

(4)Dr. Sears' The Breastfeeding Book


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Milk Monday~~It takes a Village~~

Posted by Stacy on December 27, 2010 at 8:00 AM Comments comments ()

I know we have all heard the expression, "It takes a village."  You may be wondering what this has to do with breastfeeding and a mother's success to breastfeeding, but from my experience as a birth educator and mother, it means everything to have others supporting you.  

I recall when my daughter was first born and I found myself at home with her alone, I felt overwhelmed. You could say she was one of those fussy babies. I had to be with her constantly. Nothing in my home was accomplished. I found the most easiest of tasks the hardest to complete because I always had her with me. I had little time for eating, and forget showering.


However, I had some support that just happened to happen for me. I talked with my husband about not getting a shower and food. His first response was just let her sit in the bouncy while I showered, but he soon realized that at night or in the morning before he left for work, I was getting a shower. Also, he was amazing with water! I never realized that I would become so thirsty when nursing. So, before work, he would fill all my water bottles and set up some healthy snacks by the couch for me. He also started making me a sandwich to have for lunch. My good friend in Chicagoland came over to fold laundry for me and just to talk. Those two things just made me smile and helped me through those first few weeks and months as a new mother.

As a new mother, we have many emotions.  Some new mothers will be happy and go with the flow while others find the journey into new motherhood a hard road.  It is very important that when a new mother asks and seeks help and advice that she feels supported and nurtured.  She should feel that if she is asking for help with her duties as a mother and partner that she feels supported and not judged.  

I want to add too that new mothers do not just experience these feelings.  All mothers have these feelings to some degree.  Mothers who have their first, second, or whatever number baby will go through some change, and we as the village must come to her aid.


So, how do we as those support people offer help, advice, and nurturing?

When she calls you, just listen to her.  

  •  Laugh with her about the mess
  • Remind her it does get better
  • Never judge her
  • Brainstorm a plan for getting at home tasks complete and which tasks are the most important to complete
  • Remind her to take some time to relax.  If visitors are at the home, remind her to tell them to come another time so she can have some time to learn breastfeeding.

Bring meals and healthy snacks to her

  •  Set up meal circle for her.  You could either collect meals or have the dropped by her home during the week.  Ask when she would prefer meals to be dropped by and what allergies and food preferences her family has.  Ask meal makers to make a double batch so mom has food for a few days.
  • When you are going for a visit, stop by Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or your local health food store and pick up some healthy snacks.
  • If you live with her, fill several water bottles for the day and put them around your home where she will be nursing.
  • Make lunch for her before leaving for work.  
  • Put her healthy snacks around the house.

List of contacts

  • Find her local La Leche League chapter and attend it with her if possible
  • Go to the lactation consultant with her.  Ask questions like how can you help with latching!
  • Find local attachment parenting playgroups.  Those mommas REALLY love breastfeeding!
  • Contact her church for the mothers group.  Go with her so she doesn't feel left out the first time. 

Sleeping; deal with the changes

  • Many families find varying sleeping arrangements during the initial breastfeeding relationship. 
  • The family bed is a great option, but please do it safely.  
  • Help her in the night with changing the diaper, getting fluids, and latching. It is hard the first few weeks.
  • Give her time sleep in the morning before you head out to work.  She needs a boost.
  • If you are friend coming for a visit, hold the baby and give mom a chance for a nap.
Be on time
  • Come home on a timely manner.  She relies on the little break and the time to talk with you.
  • And with this, be flexible on her and baby with time. If you are leaving somewhere, know that it will take twice as long to get ready.  Do not get upset with her or baby when they stop just before heading out the day to nurse.  
Emotional Support
  • Listen,Listen, Listen!!!  Do not judge her ever.
  • Tell her you love her.
  • Admire her strength.
  • Tell her she is doing a great job.
  • Give her a massage.
  • Smile at her and tell her again you LOVE her.
These are just a few ways we all can help.  If you have a great idea on how to help a new mother or even an experienced mother who just had a baby, please share!  Remember It takes a village.



Breastfeeding herb resource

Posted by Stacy on December 18, 2010 at 1:00 AM Comments comments ()

This will really help any momma looking for some help using herbs and breastfeeding.  I love all of the products at Earth Momma Angel Baby.  Just another great reason to like them :)

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