Passing gas is often a cause for a few snickers, but what if it's your baby? They can be pretty alarming (and stinky) especially considering the small body they're coming from. Like how does a human that small produce a gas plume that big? It's befuddling, but it's also important. The amount of gas a person expels can be an indication of certain internal issues. So is it just formula-fed babies who fart a lot, or breastfeeding babies, too? Turns out, there are some specific reasons breastfed babies fart a lot. And, thankfully, most of them aren't serious cause for concern.
"All babies pass gas, regardless of how they are fed," Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) and Fellow of American College of Childbirth Educators (FACCE) Deena Blumenfeld of Shining Light Prenatal Education explains to Romper via email. "Humans fart and average of 14 times a day and babies are human, too. It's a normal part of digestion." It is true that letting some wind go is par for the course when you're a human being, but many moms on online internet forums and social media threads report that their breastfed babies seem to really be letting it rip. Many, and understandably, wonder if it's something they're eating, something in all breast milk, something about the position they're feeding the baby, or something related to the baby's mouth. Turns out, it could be any one of those things.
So, with that in mind, here are seven reasons your breastfed baby may be cutting a lot of cheese.
1. They're Having A Reaction To Mom's Diet
The persistent idea in our culture is that certain foods in a mom's diet can cause gassiness, but according to Kelly Mom, no real research backs this up. It's noted here because, anecdotally, some moms do notice their baby having a specific reaction after breastfeeding. As explained on the site, the list of gas-producing foods is practically endless, so if a mom used it as a guideline her diet would be heavily restricted.
2. They're Reacting To Something In Their Own Diet
In breastfed babies who are also eating solids, it's possible that something in their solid diet would be causing them to have gas. According to Parents, there are the usual gas culprits, like beans and brussels sprouts, as well as certain fruits and bran.
3. Mom Has An Oversupply Of Breast Milk
When there's too much milk being produced, it will come down fast in what's called a forceful let-down, according to Kelly Mom. The result is a baby that's gulping in all of that milk and likely a lot of air at the same time.
4. There Is A Poor Latch During Breastfeeding
According to a 2011 article published in the medical journal Clinical Lactation, tongue-tie can cause a whole host of gas related issues in babies. Often infants who have tongue-tie also have a poor latch during breastfeeding. If the baby isn't suckling properly it's assumed that they are taking in a lot of air during feedings, resulting in excess gas.
5. You're Not Responding To Cues Right Away
Not responding to hunger cues right away will cause a baby to cry. According to Kelly Mom, babies swallow air when they are crying. It's advised that moms respond promptly to their baby's feeding cues, especially if they suspect crying is causing gas.
6. Fast Bottles Of Breast Milk
In the aforementioned Kelly Mom article, bottle-feeding can cause gas in babies. If you're pumping your liquid gold, and putting it in a bottle, it's possible that the milk is coming out too fast and your baby is taking in extra air. You can try to change your position during feedings to reduce milk flow. You can also try different brands of bottles to see which one is slower.
7. No Reason, Because Babies Are Gassy Like Everyone Else
Gas in a baby could literally be caused by anything or nothing at all. All humans pass gas, just some more than others.
The most important thing to determine is if your baby is in pain or uncomfortable from the gas, or not. If yes, then seeking help from a trusted provider is best. But if not, no worries. You know, just plug your nose.