As a new mother, you may have noticed your newborn experiencing gas. Gas in newborns is common, and it’s essential to understand what causes it and how to prevent it. In this article, we will discuss the causes of gas in newborns while breastfeeding and how to prevent it.
Understanding Gas in Newborns
Before we delve into the causes of gas in newborns, it’s crucial to understand what gas is. Gas is the air that enters the baby’s digestive system when they feed. The air can come from the mother’s milk or formula, or the baby swallowing air while feeding.
Gas can cause discomfort to your newborn, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. The common symptoms of gas in newborns include fussiness, crying, bloating, and passing gas.
As a new mother, it can be challenging to see your newborn in discomfort due to gas. However, understanding the causes of gas can help you prevent it and relieve your baby’s discomfort.
Causes of Gas in Newborns While Breastfeeding
Several factors can cause gas in newborns while breastfeeding. Here are the most common causes of gas in newborns:
Overactive letdown is when the milk flows too quickly from the breast, and the baby struggles to keep up. The baby may swallow air while trying to keep up with the milk flow, leading to gas.
To prevent overactive letdown, try reclining while breastfeeding, which can slow down milk flow. You can also try breastfeeding on one breast per feeding session or practicing laid-back breastfeeding.
Foremilk-hindmilk imbalance is when the baby gets too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. Foremilk is the milk that comes out at the beginning of a feeding session, while hindmilk is the fatty milk that comes out towards the end.
When the baby gets too much foremilk, it can cause gas and bloating. To prevent this, ensure that the baby drains one breast before switching to the other breast.
In the next sections, we will discuss other causes of gas in newborns while breastfeeding and how to prevent it.
Causes of Gas in Newborns While Breastfeeding (Continued)
In addition to overactive letdown and foremilk-hindmilk imbalance, other factors can cause gas in newborns while breastfeeding. Here are two more causes of gas in newborns:
What you eat can affect the composition of your breast milk and cause gas in your newborn. Certain foods, such as dairy products, cruciferous vegetables, and beans, can cause gas in newborns.
If you notice that your baby experiences gas after you consume certain foods, it’s best to avoid those foods or limit your intake.
A poor latch can cause your baby to swallow air while breastfeeding, leading to gas. A proper latch ensures that the baby gets enough milk and reduces the amount of air they swallow.
To ensure a proper latch, ensure that the baby’s mouth covers most of the areola, and their lips are flanged outwards. It’s also essential to ensure that the baby’s head is in a neutral position and that their nose is not pressed against the breast.
How to Prevent Gas in Newborns While Breastfeeding
Preventing gas in newborns while breastfeeding requires a few simple strategies. Here are three effective ways to prevent gas in newborns:
Positioning During Breastfeeding
The position you use while breastfeeding can affect the amount of air the baby swallows. Ensure that the baby is in a comfortable position that allows them to latch correctly and swallow milk without swallowing air.
Try different positions, such as the football hold or the cradle hold, and find the position that works best for you and your baby.
Burping your baby during and after feeding can help release the air they swallowed while breastfeeding. To burp your baby, hold them upright against your chest and gently pat or rub their back.
You can also try holding your baby in a seated position and gently leaning them forward to release the air. Burp your baby after feeding on each breast and after feeding sessions.
Adjusting the Mother’s Diet
As mentioned earlier, certain foods can cause gas in newborns. Adjusting your diet to avoid those foods can help prevent gas in your newborn. You can also try adding foods such as fennel or chamomile tea to your diet, which can help reduce gas in your baby.
In conclusion, preventing gas in newborns while breastfeeding requires a few simple strategies such as adjusting the mother’s diet, proper positioning during breastfeeding, and burping techniques. By understanding the causes of gas and following these strategies, you can help prevent your newborn from experiencing discomfort due to gas. At Gogo Gidget, we understand the importance of providing information to help new mothers care for their newborns.
When to Seek Medical Attention
While gas in newborns is common and usually not a cause for concern, there are instances where you may need to seek medical attention. Here are some signs that may indicate a more serious issue:
Signs of Colic
Colic is a condition that affects some babies, and the symptoms can include crying for more than three hours a day, three days a week, for at least three weeks. Colic can be challenging to deal with, and it’s essential to seek medical attention if your baby is experiencing colic.
Signs of a More Serious Issue
If your baby shows signs of discomfort or pain, such as arching their back, refusing to eat, or having bloody stools, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms could indicate a more serious issue that requires medical attention.
In conclusion, gas in newborns while breastfeeding is common and can cause discomfort to your baby. However, understanding the causes of gas and how to prevent it can go a long way in relieving your baby’s discomfort.
To prevent gas in newborns while breastfeeding, try adjusting your breastfeeding position, practicing proper latch techniques, and ensuring that the baby drains one breast before switching to the other.
We also discussed the signs that may indicate a more serious issue and when to seek medical attention. It’s crucial to monitor your baby’s symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary.
As a new mother, breastfeeding is a crucial aspect of your baby’s health and well-being. Remember to prioritize breastfeeding and seek support from lactation consultants or healthcare professionals if you encounter any difficulties. With the right support and knowledge, you can navigate the challenges of gas in newborns while breastfeeding and provide your baby with the best possible care.