I’m Worried My Diet Is Affecting My Breastmilk: Should I Supplement Breastfeeding with Formula?

A mom writes in asking for advice about breastfeeding. She says her 5-week-old baby, who has been breastfed since birth, recently started getting severe stomach pains and gas and acts as if he’s still hungry immediately after a feeding. Her supply is not an issue, but she is wondering if maybe her diet is affecting things. She is concerned her baby is not getting the proper nutrients to need and is wondering if she should supplement with formula.

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A member of the community asks:

“I breastfeed but am unsure if my child is getting enough: Should I supplement?

I am an over-producer when it comes to breastmilk, and my 5-week-old has been exclusively breastfed since birth. I noticed about a week ago he was having horrible stomach pains and gas, also crying when he finishes nursing as if he’s still hungry. Is it because I don’t eat healthy enough? I am a very busy person with 4 kids and I find myself eating junk most of the day, or even skipping meals. I do however drink plenty of water. Is the breastmilk still good? Or should I supplement formula? How do I know he’s getting the nutrients he needs?”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

Community Advice for This Mom Who Is Breastfeeding But Concerned Her Diet May Be Affecting Her Baby’s Nutrient Intake

To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.

Fan QuestionI breastfeed but am unsure if my child is getting enough: Should I supplement?I am an over producer when…

Posted by Mamas Uncut on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Advice Summary

I'm Worried My Diet Is Affecting My Breastmilk: Should I Supplement Breastfeeding with Formula?

The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.

“Probably the junk food. I could not eat certain foods when feeding my bubs. No chocolate or caffeine or acidic foods.”

“I would just try to make sure I ate a little bit healthier.”

“Your breastmilk is all baby needs! It’s got all the nutrition specifically tailored to your little one. There are a few things that could be happening:

1. Baby could be reacting to something in your diet. Eggs, dairy, and caffeine are 3 common triggers that you may have to eat moderately.
2. Cluster feeding. It’s super super normal for babe to cluster feed (as in eat every 30 minutes even) around the time of growth spurts.
3. You could be overfeeding. Look at baby’s hunger cues. Because you overproduce, it’s super likely. Are baby’s fists open or closed? An open fist means baby is full.
4. Baby might need a chiropractor adjustment if they have reflux or gas. Birth trauma is real!

I wouldn’t jump to supplementation. Formula is created to mimic breastmilk, which you’re creating perfectly fine. You should continue to take your prenatal vitamin.”

“You need to make sure you eat well because what you eat your baby eats.”

“When I was nursing I had to give up dairy, onions, garlic, broccoli and cauliflower. 3 of my 4 kids were lactose intolerant and me eating dairy gave them terrible tummy trouble. So did the veggies I listed. I would try eliminating those things first, but also a healthier diet might help as well. Plus would be good for the other kiddos as well.”

“A poor diet is much more likely to affect you than your baby. It could be your baby is reacting to something your eating, you can try cutting out certain allergens from your diet such as dairy or wheat to see if it makes a difference. It could just be cluster feeding, throughout the first few months baby will go through lots of growth spurts where they fuss and are constantly rooting as if they’re hungry but all they’re doing is upping your supply. Or baby might need more winding or may have reflux if he’s bringing up milk after every feed. Make sure baby is winded after every feed and do the bicycle movements on him. As long as there is weight gain and lots of wet nappies, then baby is getting enough, and as you’re an over-supplier I’m sure baby is getting enough.
Try and eat healthier meals, maybe try and batch cook meals, or just buy in more ready meals. Junk food is also subjective, your diet may not be as bad as you think or it could be worse lol, but unless you were literally living off crisps and air constantly then it’s unlikely to have an effect on your baby.”

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