The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 47 percent of moms are still breastfeeding their baby at 6 months and 25 percent are still breastfeeding at 12 months. Though this rate tends to be a bit higher in other countries, breastfeeding continues to be the norm for babies here in the U.S. What you eat can greatly affect the fussiness and gassiness of your little one, so make sure you're choosing a well-balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals. Don't think that just because a food is healthy, though, that it will agree with your baby. We all know to avoid caffeine and alcohol, but there are some less common foods you may be eating regularly that could be affecting your baby, as well.
Tip: In addition to broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower can also make a baby gassy. This includes sauerkraut – a food most moms forget is a cabbage!
Who would have guessed that a food as healthy as broccoli may be the reason behind your baby's gassiness? That's right, broccoli doesn't agree with some babies' digestive systems and can cause them to be more irritable or gassier than normal. This leads to sleepless nights for both baby and mom. Instead of broccoli, try eating spinach or carrots to get in your daily veggies and avoid a fussy baby later.
Tip: If you do choose to avoid peanuts, make sure not to eat any foods that contain peanut products either. This could include ice cream and cookies, so read the nutrition labels before diving in.
Research used to state that breastfeeding mothers should avoid peanuts in order to prevent their baby from developing food allergies. Though those studies have recently been proven false, it may be in your best interest to avoid tree nuts if peanut allergies run in the family.
Is your baby colicky? If so, wheat may be to blame. Switch to a gluten-free diet for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference. If you're not able to tell, slowly add wheat back into your diet and note any changes in your baby. If the colic increases, you will want to switch to a gluten-free diet for the remainder of your breastfeeding.
Tip: If you do eat eggs, make sure they are fully cooked. Your immune system is lower when breastfeeding and you're more susceptible to food poisoning if consuming raw or undercooked foods.
Similar to peanuts, some infants have allergies to egg whites that can make them extra fussy or gassy. If you eat eggs regularly, try eliminating them from your diet and seeing if it helps your baby. If it doesn't, you may have to eliminate all foods that contain eggs — such as breads, cakes and cookies — and slowly add them back to see what exactly it is that's bothering your baby.
Though peppermint won't hurt your baby, it can reduce your milk supply. The biggest source of peppermint is peppermint tea. If you're only drinking one glass here and there, your supply will be fine. If, on the other hand, you're drinking multiple glasses per day, your supply could decrease significantly. Try chamomile or raspberry tea instead.
More on breastfeeding
The breastfeeding diet for nursing moms
Breastfeeding myths: From low milk-supply to diet
You are what you nurse: Does breastfeeding define motherhood?