Best Diet for Breastfeeding Mothers to Prevent Colic

Are you a breastfeeding mother struggling with a colicky baby? Discover the best nutrition to minimize your baby’s discomfort while providing all the essential nutrients they need. You can make a few simple dietary changes that could make a big difference.

Quick facts: Best Diet For Breastfeeding Mothers To Prevent Colic

  • ✅ The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding mothers consume a balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – AAP
  • ✅ Avoiding foods like caffeine, garlic, onions, and spicy foods helps reduce the risk of colic – Healthline
  • ✅ Low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, are highly beneficial for breastfeeding mothers – Parenting
  • ✅ Eating a diet rich in probiotics can help reduce the risk of colic – NIH
  • ✅ Small and frequent meals are recommended to ensure that the mother is getting enough nutrients – WebMD
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    Colic is one of the most common issues among breastfeeding mothers and their babies. It is characterized by long episodes of excessive crying and can affect an infant’s sleep, eating habits, and overall wellbeing.

    While there are a variety of treatments available to relieve colic symptoms, some mothers may not be aware that their diet can also help reduce the severity or even prevent colic from occurring. A balanced diet is essential for both mother and baby as it provides vital nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids necessary for the development of a healthy baby. It is especially important that breastfeeding mothers get enough calories to ensure a well-nourished infant. Additionally, certain foods can increase colic symptoms while others can help reduce them.

    This article aims to provide information on which types of food should be avoided during breastfeeding in order to help prevent or minimize the occurrences of colic:

    Nutritional Needs for Breastfeeding Mothers

    Breastfeeding mothers need to ensure they are getting enough of the right nutrients to support the growth and health of their baby. Eating a well-balanced diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources is essential for breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, there are some specific nutrients that are especially important for breastfeeding mothers to consider. Let’s look at the nutritional needs for breastfeeding mothers to help prevent colic:

    • Protein
    • Calcium
    • Iron
    • Vitamin D
    • Folate
    • Vitamin C

    Calorie Intake

    When breastfeeding, mothers need to make sure they are eating enough to provide the necessary nutrients for producing high-quality breast milk. Generally, calorie intake should be increased by 500 to 600 additional calories per day when breastfeeding. It is important for breastfeeding mothers to make sure that the extra calories are coming from healthy sources such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Eating unhealthy snacks may fill a mother up quickly in place of nutritious meals which can lead to a lack of necessary vitamins and minerals needed for both mother and baby’s health. Additionally, supplements may be recommended by a doctor or nutritionist depending on individual needs.

    In order to help prevent colic in infants, mothers should also monitor their intake of foods known to cause gas or upset stomachs in babies such as:

    • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts;
    • Onions;
    • Garlic;
    • Spicy foods;
    • Caffeine; and
    • Cow’s milk protein (found in some dairy products).

    Protein Intake

    Protein intake is an important nutrient for breastfeeding mothers to consider, as it directly impacts the development of the infant. Protein-rich foods, such as lean meats, milk and dairy products, eggs, fish and seafood, seeds, nuts and nut butters, tofu and tempeh can provide quality proteins that are important In a healthy diet for breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding moms should consume about two to three servings of protein each day. This can include up to two servings of lean meats or other protein sources per day. Consuming more than three servings of protein daily is not necessary or beneficial to either mom or baby.

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women consume no more than 10 percent of their daily calories from saturated fats while lactating. Eating high-protein foods that are low in saturated fat, such as fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is especially important for optimal health during lactation.

    Vitamin and Mineral Intake

    Breastfeeding mothers need to make sure they are taking in enough vitamins and minerals in order to provide their babies with the nutrients they need. To do this, breastfeeding mothers can eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and dairy products to get the essential vitamins and minerals. Breastfeeding mothers should also try to limit caffeine and alcohol intake as both of these can pass through breast milk.

    It’s also important for breastfeeding mothers to take a daily prenatal vitamin supplement to ensure that they are getting all of the nutrients they need while nursing their baby. Common vitamins found in prenatal supplements include folic acid, iron, iodine, calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Taking a daily supplement helps guarantee that the mother is providing her baby with all of the essential vitamins and mineral needed for healthy development.

    Foods to Avoid

    When breastfeeding a baby who suffers from colic, certain foods in your diet can worsen their symptoms. It is important to eliminate these foods from your diet in order to reduce their colicky symptoms. In this article, we will discuss what foods should be avoided to prevent colic in a breastfeeding mother.


    Caffeine is one of the foods that breastfeeding mothers should avoid when trying to prevent colic in their infants. Caffeine is a stimulant found in a variety of beverages and foods, such as coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, and energy drinks. It can also be found in certain over-the-counter drugs.

    Caffeine can pass through breast milk and cause irritability or fussiness in infants. Studies have shown that the amount of caffeine ingested by mother can increase the risk of colic or other stomach issues for baby. Because of this, it is best for breastfeeding mothers to stick to decaffeinated beverages and food items instead.


    It is highly recommended that breastfeeding mothers avoid drinking any type of alcohol, as it can pass to the baby through breast milk. Not only can alcohol intake reduce milk production, it may also interfere with a baby’s sleep patterns or affect their eating habits, resulting in colic.

    While small amounts of alcohol have not been shown to cause long-term harm, it is best to completely eliminate it from your diet as a breastfeeding mother in order to prevent any potential risk of colic. Furthermore, when nursing mothers consume alcohol they should wait several hours before nursing or pumping in order to ensure that no traces remain in their breastmilk. This will help provide complete nutrition for your baby and reduce the chance of developing colic from consuming alcoholic beverages.

    Spicy Foods

    Spicy foods should be avoided while breastfeeding to reduce the risk of colic in your baby. Spicy foods can cause heartburn and acid reflux in both you and your baby, which can lead to painful colic symptoms like cramps, gas, bloating, and even vomiting.

    Additionally, breastfed babies are much more sensitive than adults to the spices found in many ethnic cuisines or overly spicy dishes. These chemicals can cause inflammation and irritation in their delicate digestive tract, leading to an increase in colic symptoms.

    To avoid prolonged discomfort for both you and your baby, it’s best to minimize or avoid eating spicy foods while breastfeeding. If you do choose to eat them, make sure you take a few sips of water afterwards to help neutralize the acidity of the spices before nursing your baby again.

    Foods to Eat

    Eating a nutritious diet is key for breastfeeding mothers in order to provide the best quality breastmilk for their baby. Certain foods can help reduce the chance of colic in babies, so it is important for breastfeeding mothers to incorporate these items into their diet. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best foods to eat while breastfeeding to prevent colic:

    Dairy Products

    Dairy products are a great source of nutrition for breastfeeding mothers, and can also help to prevent colic in their babies. Dairy products are high in protein, calcium, B vitamins, and zinc which can help boost your immune system. They also contain linoleic acid, which helps to regulate fat metabolism. Consuming dairy products such as yogurt or cheese can also increase your intake of probiotics which aid digestion and reduce the risk of colic. Additionally they contain leucine, an amino acid that can help keep your energy levels up while providing relief from painful cramps associated with breast feeding.

    Eating small amounts of dairy throughout the day is recommended; however make sure to avoid unpasteurized dairy as it can pose risks to both you and your baby.

    Whole Grains

    Whole grains are an important part of any breastfeeding mother’s diet, as they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help support infant health. Whole grains are also a terrific source of dietary fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system working efficiently. Breastfeeding mothers should incorporate whole grains into their diets to provide their infants with the nutrition necessary for optimal growth and development.

    Some excellent sources of complex carbohydrates include:

    • Oats
    • Barley
    • Quinoa
    • Brown and wild rice
    • Rye
    • Millet
    • Buckwheat
    • Wheat berries

    Eating a variety of whole grains will ensure adequate nutrient intake for both mother and baby during this special time.

    Fruits and Vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals that breastfeeding mothers need for good health. Eating a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables will give you the healthy carbohydrate energy needed to help with milk production and allow your body to heal from childbirth.

    Fruits, particularly those high in vitamin C, such as oranges and grapefruits, should be eaten regularly while breastfeeding as they can help maintain the mother’s immune system.

    Vegetables are important contributors to the variety of vitamins necessary for an optimal diet. An assortment of cooked leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale can provide a breastfeeding mother with iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, folate and potassium. Dark green leafy vegetables are especially beneficial as they contain more antioxidants which help boost energy level as well as promote healthy breastmilk production.

    Tips for Preventing Colic

    Colic is a common concern for many new mothers, and breastfeeding mothers are particularly vulnerable to this condition. However, there are certain dietary guidelines that breastfeeding mothers can observe to reduce the chances of their baby developing colic. Let’s look at some tips that can help breastfeeding mothers reduce the risk of colic in their baby:

    • Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
    • Reduce your intake of dairy products.
    • Cut down on spicy foods.
    • Avoid sugary foods and processed foods.
    • Eat smaller meals more frequently.
    • Drink plenty of water.

    Eat Slowly and Carefully

    When nursing a baby, it’s essential that mothers take care to eat slowly and carefully. This will help ensure that proper digestion and absorption of nutrients can be achieved. Eating quickly can make it difficult for the body to break down the food into small enough pieces to be absorbed by the intestines. Additionally, eating too quickly may cause air bubbles in the stomach, which can contribute to gas and colic in babies.

    Eating slowly will help women avoid both of these issues while breastfeeding their infants. Furthermore, taking care to chew thoroughly and slowly can also aid digestion as well as reduce indigestion issues in both mothers and babies alike.

    Mothers should try to aim for at least 20 minutes of slow eating each mealtime – this helps ensure all meals are adequately digested in order for breastfeeding babies to have access to optimal nutrition.

    Avoid Eating While Breastfeeding

    Avoiding eating while breastfeeding can help reduce colic and other digestive problems in babies. Eating certain foods or drinks, such as citrus fruits, garlic, onions, tomatoes, dairy products and caffeine can cause digestive distress in a baby. The best way to know if something you’re eating is causing your baby distress is to watch for signs of discomfort when nursing or afterwards. If your baby seems uncomfortable after eating something specific, try eliminating that food from your diet while breastfeeding.

    In addition to avoiding foods that may be hard to digest for your baby, pay attention to the meals that you eat while breastfeeding. Limit fried foods, fatty meats and processed snacks since they can contribute to the buildup of excess acid in your stomach which can be uncomfortable for both you and your baby.

    Avoid Eating Too Much at Once

    When a breastfeeding mother eats too much at once, it can trigger the baby’s digestive system, leading to colic. This is because the baby cannot digest large amounts of food all at once, so if the mother eats a large meal, it can push through and cause colic symptoms in the infant.

    Instead, mothers should try to eat smaller meals throughout the day and avoid gorging on one big meal. Eating less at one time is easier on the baby’s digestive system and will help to prevent episodes of colic. A diet that consists of small meals also provides more consistent energy throughout the day for both mother and infant.

    Additionally, mothers should avoid certain foods like cruciferous vegetables that can cause gas in babies which increase colic symptoms.


    Overall, it is important for new mothers to be aware of their nutrition and establish a balanced diet that meets all the dietary goals for optimal colic prevention. Breastfeeding mothers should encourage the consumption of fiber-rich foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Limiting caffeine intake, as well as avoiding any food or drink that can cause an allergic reaction in your baby is also important for colic prevention.

    Lastly, increasing water intake can help reduce constipation in both mother and baby that could also contribute to colic.

    FAQs about: Best Diet For Breastfeeding Mothers To Prevent Colic

    Q: What foods should breastfeeding mothers avoid?

    A: Breastfeeding mothers should avoid foods that are known to cause colic such as cow’s milk, caffeine, alcohol, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage), spicy foods, and high sugar content foods.

    Q: What foods are best for breastfeeding mothers to consume?

    A: Breastfeeding mothers should focus on eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Probiotic rich foods like yogurt and kimchi can also help to reduce colic symptoms in infants.

    Q: How often should breastfeeding mothers eat?

    A: Breastfeeding mothers should aim to eat every 2-3 hours to maintain their milk supply and to ensure that their baby is getting adequate nutrition.

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