A Gassy Newborn Is so Sad!
When my first daughter was born this issue was not on my mind at all. I had been so focused on home-birth and natural pregnancy care that I never considered how much what I ate after birth would determine my level of exhaustion, but I soon found out!
Our kitchen wasn't stocked the day after I gave birth, so we just ate leftovers. which was a huge bowl of pinto beans! In hindsight this was a huge oversight, and I've actually thought of writing a care and cookbook solely focused on this very important topic. Since that really intense 72 hours I've given this topic a lot of thought and now consume a very specific nourishing diet when I'm postpartum. I'll admit it's not the most exciting fare, but I've had 5 other children since then and not missed much sleep due to fussing so in my mind it is fully worth it! I experimented with changing my diet proactively before the issue came up to see if it made any difference. For this home-birthing, co-sleeping, baby-wearing family, I bear witness that what I consumed did make a difference in our quality of life after a baby.
Here's my list. Definitely tailor it to suit your needs and pay attention to the changes if you get adventurous.
- Squash winter and summer
- Small white potatoes
- Spinach (in moderation high oxalic acid content)
- Swiss Chard (in moderation high oxalic acid content)
- Tomatoes (best cooked)
- Lettuce ( with a vinegar dressing)
- Sunflower sprouts
- White Yams (in moderation can be gassy if over consumed)
- Beets Red & Golden
- Bananas (in moderation)
- Cooked apples or pears
- Fresh herbs like basil, thyme, and ginger.
- Quality sea salts, dill, paprika, rosemary, Italian spice, ginger.
- Basmati Rice (Organic white) I even stopped eating brown rice (I'll share about that too in upcoming posts) due to too much insoluble fiber and nutrient blockers.
- Oats (in moderation)
- Organic Unbleached White Wheat - In breads and couscous and pasta. In my next posts I'll share in depth about why that was my choice why I chose to ditch the whole wheat everything approach that had been my M.O. for almost 20 years. It wasn't due to the gluten factor, again it was all about the nutrient blockers! (Obviously if gluten is an issue don't do it, but we have no problems with gluten.)
- High Quality pasture raised/Organic eggs
- High quality organic butter
- Pasture raised chicken
- Pasture raised lamb
- Pasture raised beef
- Nourishing stocks and from the above meats, bones and veggies
- Organic Non-GMO Canola Oil
- Teas of fennel, anise, ginger, and mint. Weleda has a nice nursing mothers tea that contains many of those herbs.
I used to be a strict vegan for many years (17 in fact) and if you are vegetarian minded, I'm sorry if the list is offensive. I was never able to find a way to eliminate gas while consuming beans. I used to think tofu was ok, since it was so processed, but we always did better without it. Honestly I was just really hungry for protein! After my experience with how much soy has negatively impacted my ability to successfully breastfeed over the years I no longer recommend it. I'll be blogging on that topic very soon too!
Currently I don't consume nuts, so they're not on the list. They are incredibly hard for babies to digest. If you are vegetarian you may think you need them.
I no longer consume fish due to the issue with our waters and the toxic pollution of mercury and radiation from Japan's disaster. The protein is helpful, but the risk is too high in my mind. If ever there was a stage of life to be mindful of that issue this time would rate fairly high on that scale. If I lived near Growing Power and a farmer like Will Allen was raising my fish, I'd eat it every other day! It's definitely a quality supply issue at this time for me.
And More Importantly...Don't Eat These Foods:
(because they most likely are what's causing the gas in your infant)
- Broccoli, kale, mustard greens, turnips, radishes, Brussels sprouts, arugula, cabbage green and red, all the Asian choi's (bok, pac, meiking, joy etc.). Sorry mama I know that's most of the produce section and the stuff you're most familiar with and love! I have had success with turnip greens when boiled well!
- Alliums - Onions and garlic
- Beans- Dried and fresh
- Teas that are caffeinated
- Chili powder
- Hot foods
Then There's the Soothing Part
I find even when you get most of the gas under control their physical memory of past pain can set them off even if you've reduced the severity. There is a time of transition during which I've used the soothing power of touch, scent and water to interrupt that cycle. Essential oils, baths, simple infant massage and lots of skin to skin were what I found most helpful. I would use the oils on myself and since the baby is kept so close they get the benefits of the oil without it being overwhelming or applied directly to the infant.
Gentle Baby, Lavender, Peace and Calming and Frankincense were the oils I found to be the most helpful. Don't wait for the fussy hour to hit, try your best to chart a course to get ahead of it. This most likely means starting dinner when you deal with breakfast and your kitchen may be a mess.
The homeopathic colic remedy Cocyntal® Colic Relief did help my baby. If you check it out you may notice on the label it says for children over six month/one year of age, which is on there for legal reasons since no child needs a remedy for colic past 6 months.
Chiropractic adjustment is really helpful too, but not everyone can find a skilled pediatric Chiropractor so that's not the main focus here, but if you have the chance look into it, the results can be really amazing.
This is not the final word on gassy babies. This is simply my experience and the plan I worked with to end the suffering of my infant, my sleep deprivation and improve my relationship with my husband postpartum. I have heard many times that there is no or little connection with the mothers diet and gassy newborns. My experience has been the complete opposite, and I hope you are blessed by our success.