Breastfeeding And Constipation

Submitted by Nick on January 18, 2012

Breastfeeding is an important aspect of raising a healthy baby. It is believed that breastfeeding creates a lifelong unflinching bond between the mother and child. The mother’s milk supplies the necessary nutrients for the baby’s growth. There are many problems that come with breast feeding your baby. Some of them are; Sore or Painful nipples, Engorgement, Plugged Ducts, Bloody Nipple Discharge, Mastitis and Overactive Milk Ejection Reflex. In addition to these problems another problem faced is the baby getting constipated. It is not a common problem because the breast milk actually acts as a laxative for the infant.

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However new born babies sometimes do have problems with their bowel movements and there could be many reasons for this. It is important that you try and figure out the reason and how to deal with it.

If you made any change to the infant’s diet such as feeding formula food for 1 meal and breastfeeding for the next meal it will create a change in the stooling cycle of the infant. In this case try and get back to the original diet and monitor if there is any improvement.  Sometimes a baby can get gassiness and constipation due to certain foods eaten by the mother. If this is the case then keep a check on what you ate that has caused the constipation and try to avoid it. Gassiness in babies is natural. Almost all babies are gassy. But avoid eating foods like cabbage, broccoli, beans and some dairy products that have a tendency to cause gas. Some illness can also cause constipation in infants so you must consult your doctor to treat the issue.

To avoid this problem you should maintain a healthy diet during breastfeeding. Consume foods that give your body the necessary nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fats and calcium. Eat fresh fruits and green vegetables. The fibers in these foods will improve bowel movements considerably. Whole grain breads and cereals are also high fiber foods so include them in your daily meals. Drink about 10 to 12 glasses of water in a day as it  will help keep your body hydrated, your body doesn’t get tired due to breastfeeding and it also helps stop constipation. Try and drink one glass of fresh fruit juice, preferably citrus fruit juice every morning.  Try and keep yourself active and do some stretching exercises, which will help make your muscles stronger and improve the blood circulation in your body.

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