8 October 2018

Take 8: Maternal diet and breast-feeding

Clinical Paediatrics

Does maternal diet matter in breastfed infants with bowel problems?

The baby’s stool can change depending on the mother’s diet, says Dr Rupert Hinds, a paediatric gastroenterologist at Monash Children’s Hospital.

However, the first thing is to ensure that mothers are eating well for themselves, he says.

“Broadly speaking, we want mothers (because they’ve had a nine-month pregnancy) if they are still breastfeeding to have a well-balanced diet,” says Dr Hinds.

“Sometimes we forget the mother’s wellbeing in this scenario. Mothers certainly forget their wellbeing when they’ve got this maelstrom of a screaming baby.”

Some babies can become allergic to cow’s milk and soy while they are breastfeeding.

“So, certainly in babies where there is a suggestion of allergy, the consideration of exclusion of cow’s milk and soy, whilst ensuring that mums still get enough calcium, can be considered,” says Dr Hinds.

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