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What is Giving My Breastfed Baby Gas?

By Roni |

Almost every time Little Bean cries, it’s gas related. He’s either farting up a storm or in serious need of a good burping. Actually, gas is always the culprit when trying to figure out what’ s bugging him at night.

I eat well. At least I think I do. I even keep a food journal.

My goal is to eat minimally processed foods; mostly whole grains with lots of fruits and veggies. I also limit dairy, sugar and white flour.

I know everybody is different and every baby is different but I’m just looking for personal experiences. Was there anything you avoided to prevent gas in your new born while breastfeeding? Did you notice any patterns?

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26 thoughts on “What is Giving My Breastfed Baby Gas?

  1. Amy @ A Little Nosh says:

    I had to give up salads the entire 2 years I breastfed my son. The lettuce gave him horrible gas. He would scream and cry until I finally figured out what it was. After I gave up salad, all was well in the world.

  2. Alle G says:

    Actually, I think you answered your own question without realizing it, lol! You eat whole grains with lots of fruits and vegetables. That’s a lot of fiber, and there are a lot of vegetables that are known to give babies gas, like broccoli.

  3. Svanhvit says:

    I had to give up certain beans while I was breastfeeding and cauliflower was also a no go :)

  4. Roni says:

    ALLE G – Here’s my REAL question then. What am I SUPPOSE to eat then? lol

  5. Rebecca M says:

    Alle G is right, most vegetables are going to give him gas. Garlic and onions can be especially hard on a little one’s tummy. Just experiment and find a balance between your own healthy habits and what the little guy can handle. Or else get really good at tummy massages and invest in mylicon drops.

  6. Katie says:

    In addition to dairy, soy can also cause gassiness. When my LO had gas, I eliminated dairy and replaced it, largely, with soy. Much to my disappointment, the problems persisted until I gave up/limited soy as well.

  7. Jen says:

    My littlest one howled and howled in obvious pain. She ate like a champ but never was satisfied… turns out she has an intolerance to milk… so when I thought I was doing the right thing, drinking a big glass of milk while nursing her it was the worst thing possible!
    I went dairy free (completely. It’s reallllllyyyyyyy hard….) but she still howled alot… I feel your pain but never figured out what bugged her. I gave up and went to soy formula….

  8. Leigh says:

    It might be that you are producing too much of the foremilk (the sugary first part of breastmilk) and so your baby is getting a sore stomach from all the natural sugars and not getting enough fat and protein to soothe her system. You could try pumping for three or four minutes, both sides, before nursing, and see if that improves it.

  9. bridget says:

    In the hospital after giving birth, all of my nurses and doctors encouraged fiber fiber and more fiber to help my bowels (sorry if that’s TMI) and it gave my daughter gas. But I felt good. So I ate bland for a bit, to help her out. She still had gas (although not as much), and I didn’t feel as good. So, I decided it would be better for her to have a healthy happy mama (good food is good fuel and is what mamas need) and a little gas, so I went back to eating healthy. She’s four months old now, and it’s not a problem. She still has a little gas, but for quite a while now has been able to curl up her legs and work it out on her own. I still burp her when I feed her, but she’s long past getting distressed over her gas. I eat all kinds of legumes and veggies and grains, I feel good, and she’s growing well. I don’t know if she’s gotten used to it, or if it’s just because she’s older and more active, but it’s just not a problem any more. If it still were, I would reevaluate my food choices (again), instead I will eat well and count my blessings that I can. Oh, and BTW, I think she kind of enjoys it when she farts, because it makes my 2 year old giggle and then she starts giggling too. =-)

  10. Tina says:

    My daughter is the same way – when she cries it will almost always be gas related. For us, it’s been a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance – the giveaway for us was the green-y poop (which can also be a virus, but she did not act sick otherwise). I’ve just been keeping her on one breast per feed rather than switching her after her midway burp and that’s helped a lot. La Leche League has a great page on this that lists the other indications of an imbalance.

  11. Sabrina L says:

    I think some babies just have gas. I know that doesn’t help really but both of did and I tired everything even putting them on a lactose free formula and they still had gas up until 4 or 5 months and then it just stopped. So I mean I would just talk to the doctor maybe they have something you can try :(

  12. Katie says:

    It was dairy with both my babies and spinach.

  13. Alyssa says:

    I had the same problem and the lactation consultant I met with gave me the best advice. She said to stop taking iron pills (that my OB made me take after labor) and to get a vitamin w/o iron in it. It worked! It only took me three months to figure out :) Hope this helps!

  14. Tiger G says:

    My newest baby had a big problem with gas and I tried everything to amend my diet so it would go away. He was feeding nearly every hour or two, and luckily my very experienced pediatrician suggested we look at his rectum (yes, TMI but it’s pertinent and it’s about to get gross….) and we had to dilate it manually twice a day for 3 weeks because it was too tight, which made it hard for him to hold down more food, created a lot of gas, and we had a lot of barely pooped diapers, but never a full load. The gas went away and I’m semi-glad to report we have full load diapers now and a baby that east every 3-4 hours. I was shocked it wasn’t my milk or something on my end. It’s worth asking your pediatrician about.

  15. Susan says:

    I don’t have any kids yet but I’ve been told many times that I was a gassy baby. An extremely gassy baby. Had to lay down tummy-to-tummy with one of my parents in order to feel better and stop the crying. Turns out I grew to be a gassy adult too. Ugh! Maybe some people are just more gassy than others naturally? lol. (I eat extremely healthy too).

  16. Natalie says:

    WELL. My breastfeeding diet consists mainly of mini Kit Kats and nutella sandwiches, and I’m normally a VERY healthy eater, so . . . I’ve found arugula and beets and oatmeal are easy on Huck’s stomach. It took Huck a while for his intestines to mature, is my personal theory, so I went easy on the whole grains and raw veggies until closer to 3 months. And until . . . well, someday soon I’m sure I’ll start eating like a human again. But I’m really enjoying being a junk food compactor until then. :)

  17. Charlotte says:

    For the Jelly Bean, it was that she was allergic to milk proteins. She wasn’t lactose intolerant but actually allergic to all milk proteins. I had to take out 100% all dairy and after that she got a ton less fussy. Good luck!

  18. Lacey says:

    http://www.babycenter.com/404_will-my-breastfed-baby-get-gas-if-i-eat-certain-foods_9233.bc.

    This page pretty much explains it in a nutshell. I would consult with the LLL or a lactation consultant or doctor. Some babies are just going to be gassy bc their digestive tract is immature and all u can do is beat the bubbles out of them :P

  19. Nona D. Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC says:

    i am an ibclc but my biases prevail on this issue. it is quite understandable for someone who is a vegan (vegetarian for 20 years) and has conquered severe illnesses like infections of major organs, malaria, hypotension, etc. and who has also helped others conquer their illnesses as well.

    in my practice, I ask mothers to avoid dairy products not only because there are many contaminants in cow’s milk but it is also a food allergen (which may affect both mother and child), specifically identified as such under a USA law. See:
    http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm079311.htm

    i would say that fruits and vegetables in general will not cause gas.maybe the store-bought salad dressing you put in it can. so read the label of the dressing or prepare your own dressing.

    as for the beans, try boiling them for 20 minutes, soak them overnight in the hot water. throw the soaking water the following morning and boil the beans again in an uncovered casserole. if we don’t do this, my husband (who is also a vegan) and i would really have gas.

    aside from breastfeeding on one breast during a feed to get both the fore and hind milk, i would encourage you to continue to eat well avoiding dairy and sugar. instead, consume complex carbs to help avoid lactose overload (mentioned in the link that charlotte gave). besides, sugar has many deleterious effects on the body: See: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2

    Nona D. Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC
    http://www.breastfeedingphilippines.com

  20. Heather Eats Almond Butter says:

    I gave up chocolate, cruciferous vegetables, and cut back on eggs for the first 3 months or so. Made a huge difference. I already don’t eat a lot of dairy, but I know that can be a culprit of tummy trouble for breastfeeding infants as well.

  21. Heather Eats Almond Butter says:

    Also wanted to add that infant massage can really help with upset stomachs. You can gently rub the belly clockwise to get things moving, but the best thing I found was to take the baby’s foot and push the whole leg up toward the stomach while the baby is lying on his/her back. Works great for constipation too.

  22. Jeannie says:

    I think this is very normal for their immature digestive systems. As long as there are no other symptoms like extreme colicky behavior, abnormal poops, lots of pain with gas, etc.. then I think you just go with your gut instincts.This is coming from a mom who had two kiddos with lot of food intolerances and I needed to be on a very restricted diet. But these kiddos had extreme pain behaviors with gas and spitup, colick would start shortly after nursing, and their poops were not normal breastfed poops. One had green, mucousy diarrhea, the other had very thick gooey poops. They became very happy, content babies after an elimination diet but still experienced normal gas.It definitely gets better as their digestive matures more and they are moving around more which helps work out the gas. Unless you notice other symptoms or a pattern in the behavior with what you are eating, then I wouldn’t be too concerned about particular foods in your diet. Sticking with a variety is key.

  23. Dani says:

    Roni, another blogger I follow was having massive gas problems with her little one. She had tried EVERYTHING including some really random diets. And then she started drinking water like a whale and things improved dramatically. Not sure how much water you’re getting, but sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.

  24. PlumbLucky says:

    Garlic. Had to swear off it completely for months. Garlic meant that my little one would be screaming within two hours, for a solid 24 hours, unable to fart without assistance, and would be eliminating what I term “blood strings” and the movements STUNK like rotten garlic! (Breastfed poop isn’t supposed to smell like much of anything…and here its reeking…)

  25. Becky F says:

    DS needed to be dairy-free his first year to have a happy tummy and happy skin. I skipped the soy and went for the rice milk – milk protein and soy protein are similar, and there’s a number of people who are allergic to both. (The milk sugars are broken down by your GI system, but the proteins get passed along in your milk.)

    Keep the Mylicon handy – double check with your ped’ of course, but mine told me it stays 100% in their gut and you can’t OD with a dose after each feeding.

  26. Kerry says:

    Tuck is a very gassy baby as well.., now almost 5 mo old. Our pediatrician suggested 1tsp of dark kato syrup mixed with 4oz of water… So far so good, and he’s breastfed. We just started solids and I really think the karo/ water mix keeps the gas moving. I’m also wondering if you are swaddling, with can impare a babies ability to work out the gas on their own… If so, I would switch to a swaddle sleepsac and see if that helps! At least that way they can still move their legs to get rid of the gas.

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