Is your baby hungry, not colicky?
THE HUNGRY BABY OR DEFICIENT BREAST MILK?
This is an extract of my Calming Colic book. In addition I want to add that I am researching this factor more and more and am in fact collecting diet diaries off all the new mothers see. And the results are not great! New mothers really don’t eat well, they are too busy rushing around looking after their new baby rather than themselves. However, to look after their new baby they really do need to look after themselves, firstly their breast milk is supplied from their diet, secondly they need to be energetic and well considering the hard work a newborn is!
This all leads to eating well to nourish themselves and their baby. I am currently working on the results from this research I am conducting and will also develop an eating and supplement plan to boost the mothers health. Have a read and see what you think:
This cause is not one of the most common but I still see it enough to be worth mentioning and it is one that is not well understood. The orthodox way to help a hungry baby is often to change them from being breastfed onto formula which can then have its own problems as already mentioned above. On top of this the specific formula for hungry babies usually recommended is actually thicker and heavier than the normal formula and can create even more disturbances in the newborn’s digestive system as also mentioned above.
This is what I have noticed when it comes to “hungry” babies. A breastfed baby gets all its nutrition from breast milk, so if it is constantly hungry then the breast milk must be lacking something, and that something is therefore lacking from the mother’s diet. I have noticed a definite pattern in that vegetarian mothers are more likely to have “hungry” babies. My conclusion is that these babies aren’t actually hungry but just want more nourishment than they are getting from breast milk and therefore want to feed more and more and as a consequence cry more and more. It may actually be that the baby is consuming a good quantity of milk, but if the quality is not as good as the baby needs, then it will have to continuously feed but bloats itself with excess milk, causing tummy pain which looks like colic.
A vegetarian diet generally lacks fats, especially saturated fats and obviously meat, so certain vitamins and minerals, saturated fat and amino acids/protein are often deficient. For this reason vegetarian mothers must make an exceptional effort with their diet to gain a wide variety of fats and protein. All mothers obviously must make a big effort as they are nourishing their baby, so a non-vegetarian mother can eat poorly too, but meat is dense with fats and protein so a meat-eater can get away with a less than ideal diet.
Please don’t take this as me being anti-vegetarian but as I said previously busy mums often don’t eat well because they are tired and busy with their newborns. A tired mother may grab convenient foods that are easy to prepare and for vegetarians these tend to be bread- and cheese-based I have found. You might remember that the foods that have been found to aggravate a breastfeeding baby when eaten by the mother are wheat and dairy products. Breastfeeding, vegetarian mothers need to make sure they are eating a good variety of foods and also vegetarian foods that contain plenty of protein and fats.
There are exceptions to this obviously—the baby may be formula-fed so changing the mother’s diet will not make a difference. There may also be big babies that are genuinely growing fast and need above average requirements of breast milk. I would advise the same though, the mother should eat well and experiment with eating more meats and fats like butter, coconut oil, olive oil or ghee. Keep a diet diary and see if increasing these foods satisfies your baby for longer. You will need to increase consumption of these on a few consecutive days, say 3 – 4, so the milk starts to contain these nutrients. Remember that light-coloured meats, such as chicken and turkey, are indeed lighter in protein than red meats, so you will also need to investigate if eating red meats rather than white meats makes a difference too.