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Can breastfeeding mothers consuming legumes and cabbage cause colic?

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By : Nurturing Life's Nutrition Team | Montreal Diet Dispensary

No food should be avoided during breastfeeding. Legumes, cabbage and other foods do not specifically cause symptoms like gas or stomach pain in babies.

This myth comes from a first study that found a link between consumption of cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, onion and colic in exclusively breastfed infants. However, this study did not show that these foods were involved with colic. In fact, colic is characterized by irritability and excessive crying that start or stop without reason.

According to other studies, no scientific evidence supports the involvement of legumes, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, onions or other vegetables that cause gastrointestinal discomfort with colic in breastfed children. None of these foods should be avoided during breastfeeding. The baby adapts very well to the diet of the mother. Furthermore, while some foods can cause gas in the mother, it will not necessarily be the same for the baby.

If the baby has other symptoms, see the next issue for food allergy symptoms.

References

  • Béland, N., Besner, M.E., Brochu, E.E., Lecours, I., Vaillancourt, V. (2013)Prévention et traitement des allergies alimentaires : de la grossesse à l’âge scolaire. Association Québécoise des Allergies Alimentaires, p. 1-25
  • Guilbault, L. (2008). Formation de base en allaitement maternel. http://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/acrobat/f/documentation/2008/formation_allaitement.pdf
  • Lust, K.D., Brown, J.E., Thomas, W. (1996). Maternal Intake of Cruciferous Vegetables and Other Foods and Colic Symptoms in Exclusively Breast-Fed Infants. Journal of the american dietetic association, 96(1), 46-48.
  • Société canadienne de pédiatrie. (2014). Les coliques du nourrisson : les interventions alimentaires ont-elles un rôle à jouer? http://www.cps.ca/fr/documents/position/coliques-du-nourrisson-interventions-alimentaires
  • Trahan, J., Beauregard, C., Benoît, R., Bienvenue, J., Côté, N., Doré, N., ... Moquin, D. (2000). Allaitement. Manuel de nutrition clinique en ligne. Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec.

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The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the official views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.