Making Breastmilk Even Easier to Digest - Elimination Diets for Breastfeeding and Nursing
When a mom is breastfeeding a baby with reflux sometimes well-meaning friends or even professional caregivers will suggest switching to formula, that something in the mother's milk is causing the reflux. It is possible that breastfeeding habits or things in mom's diet may be worsening or causing the reflux but the best thing to do is adjust mom's diet, not to switch to formula.
We have provided a list of items that frequently trigger reflux. Mom can try to eliminate one thing from her diet at a time, for a period of several weeks to see if there if the reflux improves. Because of the extensive list of things to test, however, this is the slowest route to noticing change. The total elimination diet below is quicker but more difficult on mom because of the limited amount of foods she can eat when on it. When deciding which approach to take you need to weigh the practicality of sourcing and preparing special food for you given your emotional and time constraints with a new and sick baby.
Eliminating Food Triggers
While the quickest route to determining a food intolerance is the total elimination diet, it is admittedly easier to eliminate one item at a time.
Dairy - the #1 Food That Can Cause Reflux
Dairy is the single biggest culprit causing digestive problems in infants. You may want to try to completely eliminate it for a period of two to four weeks to determine if it makes an impact in your baby's comfort level. Kosher items labeled "Parve" are dairy-free. Be sure to read ingredient labels for hidden dairy and avoid the following items:
Sometimes your baby will not react to dairy in the form of yogurt or kefir but test with caution.
Other Foods That Can Cause Reflux:
Total Elimination Diet for Breastfeeding and Nursing
The quickest route to determining if your baby is reacting to items in your diet is to eliminate all but a few of the items in your diet for a period of two to four weeks. At that point you will be able to tell if your baby has improved or not and then can begin adding things back one at a time so you can find out for sure what the culprits may be.
What complicates food intolerances is the prolific cross-breeding of food crops in creating genetically modified foods. Unless you buy organic ingredients and prepare your own foods, you cannot be sure that you are eating something free from certain ingredients. Food manufacturers are not required to report the complete list of ingredients on the package so nebulous items like "natural flavorings" are most certainly made from wheat, soy and/or corn derivatives.
Even if you buy organic meats and dairy those animals were likely fed a diet based on corn and soy and farmed fish are generally fed corn so unless you are eating wild game or grass fed beef you aren't really cutting out grains.
Enzymes and Probiotic Supplements for Infant Reflux
Pancrease™ is a digestive enzyme that breaks down the protein chains in a mother's body before they pass through to her breastmilk. See www.healthsquare.com and Colic and food allergy in the breastfed infant for more information about Pancrease™. Probiotics are also promising and clinically proven to reduce colic.
Struggling to feed your baby upright?
Finally - a breastfeeding pillow that puts your baby in the natural nursing position.