Medical professionals and dieticians recommend a balanced diet for lactating mothers. Motherhood is a blessing and breastfeeding further augments one of the beautiful moment in a woman’s life. A healthy mom will have sufficient breast milk for her baby. A lactating mother can have all permitted foods, which does not create any adverse effect for their new born child.
Therefore mothers need not restrict their diet. Some of the best consumables for feeding moms are sprouts, and there are items like alfalfa sprouts, Brussels sprouts, bean sprout, and pumpkin, which you can select conveniently.
- 1 What are sprouts?
- 2 Some points to be kept in mind while growing sprouts are:
- 3 Eating sprouts while breastfeeding is safe?
- 4 Effects of eating alfalfa sprout, Brussels sprouts, bean sprouts on breastfeed babies
- 5 Why do eating sprouts cause side effects in breastfeeding babies?
- 6 How to reduce the effect of sprouts in breastfeeding babies?
- 7 Conclusion
What are sprouts?
Germinating vegetable seeds like legumes and grains are sprouts. It is the first shoot of various kinds of seeds like pumpkin, alfalfa sprouts, Brussels sprouts, bean sprout and cereal sprout, etc. The shoots are consumable, nutritious and have a particular taste. To grow these sprouts is quite simple and can grow at home or are easily available in the market.
Some points to be kept in mind while growing sprouts are:
- Choose good quality seed of sprouts you want to grow.
- Soak the seed overnight in a container with water.
- Drain the water the next morning and rinse it well.
- Tie the seeds in a soft muslin cloth and keep it covered in a container.
- Keep the seeds covered preferably in the dark for a reasonable time.
- On third or fourth-day shoots appear. (It varies with place)
- Wash the sprouts well with clean water.
Sprouts are super foods because of a high percentage of beneficial nutrients. The green of the seed is tastier and healthier too. You can have it raw or cooked.
Eating sprouts while breastfeeding is safe?
Many experts and nutritionist are of the opinion that eating habits of the mother should not alter just because she is breastfeeding. They are of the view that such restrictions might disturb breastfeeding. Eating in moderation might be the key, but it surely does not eliminate or stop the problem.
Some sprouts like alfalfa sprout, Brussels sprouts, bean sprouts are the power house of nutrients. But it might not be beneficial to your baby. The nutrients apt for you might not be beneficial for your little one because your child’s body is not ready to digest it. So there could be every reason for your child to become cranky or develops colic pain.
Some experts believe that eating bean sprout does not cause any gas or colic pain in the baby. The gas we get is from the beans that are undigested part and so has remained in our intestine. While the portion that enters our bloodstream and breast milk is the part that is digested and so cannot cause any discomfort.
Effects of eating alfalfa sprout, Brussels sprouts, bean sprouts on breastfeed babies
The high nutritive contents of sprouts can cause concern for lactating mothers. Some of the usual effects seen on infants are diarrhea/constipation, allergy/rash, vomiting, and gastritis, cranky and fussy.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease are of the opinion that less than 5% of the population has true food allergies. It is actually the food intolerance. If the baby is sensitive to Brussels sprout, there will be probably other symptoms in addition to being cranky or fussy. It will be excessive spitting or vomiting, colic, rash or persistent congestion. But if you can calm your baby with frequent nursing it is not food related. In fact, breastfed babies are less prone to allergic symptoms.
Alfalfa sprout are galactagogues as it helps to increase breast milk in its natural form and taken in moderation enhances the supply of milk. But you should consult your doctor before taking it. It is a rich source of rare minerals like nickel and strontium and also helps in digestion. But consuming it in excess causes diarrhea in infant and stomach upset or digestive problems for you. It also interferes with anticoagulant medicine because of its vitamin K content. It is better to have cooked alfalfa sprouts than raw as it can also lead to salmonella infection.
Why do eating sprouts cause side effects in breastfeeding babies?
It is perfectly safe for a breastfeeding mother to eat alfalfa sprouts, Brussels sprouts, bean sprouts … in normal condition. Though many believe this causes gastritis in young breastfeeding babies, there is no clinical confirmation for this.
If your child seems fussy or develops gas, then remove a particular food from your diet and see if it makes any difference. If the gassiness disappears, then you have found the culprit, or otherwise, it is not the reason. But mostly your infant’s stomach problem will resolve on its own over time. So the mother can have any nutritious food of her choice.
How to reduce the effect of sprouts in breastfeeding babies?
Until now, there has been no fixed pattern observed to lessen the effect of sprouts in breastfed babies. In fact, some children showed no signs of change when their mother had a rich diet of sprouts in their meal. Meantime, some kids became fussy or gassy even when breastfed without their moms having sprouts in their meal. So, it is a clear indication that the problem is not with the sprouts.
Some babies might be allergic to sprouts. In that case, you should strictly avoid having sprouts in the meals during the breastfeeding age. It is also advised to cook the sprouts rather than having it raw. Cooking makes them less offensive as compared to raw.
It is always wise decision to restrict your diet initially until your child grows. Your baby’s digestive system will improve as your child grows. The mother can then start with her normal diet. It is best to consult your doctor before restricting your diet.
Do not let the restriction on your food discourage breastfeeding. Many of these intolerant babies also have problems with some or all formulas. If you are eating less food and your child is still cranky than its better to consult an expert to make sure your feeding techniques are right. You may also refer to a nutritionist about the intake of alfalfa sprouts, Brussels sprouts, bean sprouts. Similarly, it is better to consult a pediatrician for non-food related causes of your infant’s colic problem. Most babies are temporarily intolerant to a particular food and to overcome this issue, you can introduce food in mother’s diet after the symptoms subsidized. That is the best way to have a significant source of nutrient for the mother.