Gas in Babies and How to Deal with It
Breastfeeding is essential for newborns. It provides all the nutrients they need to make it through the first few months as their digestive systems develop. Breastfeeding also equips the baby with antibodies that help them fight off infections and diseases. Additionally, it helps the baby bond with their mother and creates a strong bond.
On the con side, however, breastfeeding may allow the mother to pass all sorts of unwanted factors to their baby such as gas. It is hard for babies to get gas on their own as they don’t eat anything apart from breastmilk.
HOW TO KNOW IF THE BABY HAS GAS
The first sign of a gassy baby will be discomfort. The baby may be fussy and judging by the way they keep wriggling and pulling their legs up, you can tell that they are uncomfortable. This may even turn out to be painful if the baby has a low tolerance for distension, which is the stretching of the intestines. In such cases, the baby will probably cry.
The baby’s tummy will also be hard and a little swollen. This indicates bloating and you may be made aware of it first by the continuous farting.
If your baby stops fussing after passing gas or burping, then you know that the problem was gas. If not, something else is bothering them.
THE MOTHER’S DIET
In most cases, gas in babies is caused by the food eaten by the mom. It takes as little as two hours for the effects of the gas-inducing food to be felt by the baby after breastfeeding. Doctors estimate that it will take at least two days for the food to clear from the mother’s system (including her breastmilk) which means that you and your baby will be passing gas for as long!
Some foods that may cause gas include:
- Foods rich in fibre such as bran
- Fruits such as apricots, peaches, pears, prunes and just about every other that start with a p.
- Vegetables, especially green ones. Top of the list in this category includes broccoli, asparagus, artichokes and cabbage.
- Foods rich in starch starting with the potatoes all the way to pasta.
- Dairy products
- Carbonated drinks
GETTING RID OF GAS
One of the most efficient ways of getting rid of gas in your baby is burping them. Place them against your shoulder while facing you, hold their bum with one hand and pat their back lightly with the other.
A gentle massage can also do the trick. You can put her on her back and rub her belly gently. You can also give them a warm bath.
Conclusively, gas is very common in babies, especially when the mother’s diet is not restricted. One of the best ways to tell whether the baby is gassy is by checking their belly or for any discomfort. In most cases, gas clears out without the assistance of any medications, supplements or remedies. You can burp and massage the baby to speed up the process and ease the discomfort.
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