THAT MAY BE AFFECTING YOUR BREAST MILK
Some foods you may be eating might be causing inflammation. This can be transferred to your baby’s immature digestive system through your breast milk, causing your baby’s digestion to be very reactive: gas, bloating, colic, reflux or frequent spitting up. If this is happening, you may want to look through the following list of foods.
As much as keeping a warm digestion is important (Read more about this concept here), some foods fall into an inflammatory category because they are hot or produce heat toxins in the body. If you are not sensitive to inflammation, you may have less trouble with these foods. But if you tend to have food sensitivities, you may have more severe reactions or it can pass on to your baby whilst breastfeeding.
Below is a list of the common inflammatory food groups and then some examples of how you can apply the warm digestion concept (where appropriate) to reduce the effect of that inflammatory food in your diet. Perhaps you don’t need to completely eliminate these foods during the postpartum period or during breastfeeding. As your baby grows, their digestion will begin to mature as well. Foods that may affect them more in the first month may not affect them as much by the fourth month.
- Gluten, including wheat, rye, oats, and barley, which are commonly found in breads, pasta and other products made with refined flour, is a very common allergy and inflammatory substance. Studies are still unclear as to whether it’s gluten itself or some component of the grain brought out either through growth or production that causes an allergic reaction.
How to make it better: Using the Warm Digestion Concept: sprouted grains, such as bread made from sprouted wheat, can reduce the inflammation and sensitivity in the digestion. Highly processed forms of gluten often cause more inflammation and irritation.
- Excess Alcohol and Caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine can affect the functioning of the liver, kidneys, and blood sugar regulation systems and have other long-term health and inflammation repercussions.
Alcohol: Studies have shown the benefits of moderate use of certain types of alcohol. Red wine, for instance, is warming and is used in preparations of certain Chinese herb formulas to reduce pain and provides other health benefits. For postpartum patients, there is a formula where you cook the herbs in sake (rice wine) and drink this formula for the first month after childbirth. Traditional Chinese Medicine considers even water too cooling for this time of a women’s life. In other traditions, a stout beer can increase breast milk volume. Regardless, if you apply the warm digestion principle and pay attention to how your body is responding, a moderate approach can be beneficial.
Caffeine: best to avoid in any amount of quantities, as caffeine acts as diuretic and can reduce your breast milk volume.
- Soda (especially diet) and processed fruit drinks that are high in simple and refined sugars are hard on the mechanisms that regulate your blood sugar levels. High intakes of sugars, especially synthetic sugars, have been associated with inflammation.
- Pork, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, canned meats, sausage, and shellfish, as well as meats that are not organic or naturally raised and processed, can be high in hormones, antibiotics, and other undesired ingredients utilized during processing.
- Corn, tomato sauce, and nightshade vegetables commonly cause inflammation and allergic responses.
- Eggs and all dairy (all milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt.) produce dampness and phlegm in the body.
- Citrus fruits, juices, strawberries and sometimes pineapple are common allergens and/or phlegm producing. (They produce a cooling effect to the digestion). They may also adversely affect blood sugar regulation.
- Foods high in saturated fats and refined oils, such as peanuts, margarine, and shortening, may be inflammatory since processing these foods places an extra burden on the system.
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