Breastmilk Producing Gas

Updated on November 10, 2015
M.K. asks from Lansing, MI
18 answers

My son and I are having problems with gas. First, let me give a little background about our situation:

My son was born tongue-tied, which wasn't a big deal except it caused latching problems, so we did a lot of different things to develop his muscles. In the meantime, he received formula at the hospital. We worked with 4 different lactation consultants, tried a variety of things, worked very hard, and finally realized that latching wasn't our thing. I thought he was latching, was in agony, and found out after 3 weeks that he never was latching, just using me as a pacifier. He always received both breast milk and formula, I am also a low-producer. Now he is 10 weeks old and having a hard time with gas. I noticed that when he has just formula, it is not very bad. When I give him pumped breast milk, he is in a lot of pain about 5-10 minutes later. It lasts for a long time. I have tried to eliminate gassy foods and milk from my diet, but it is not working. The benefits of breast milk are so important, I don't want to stop giving him what I can. But he reacts so strongly to my breast milk and does so much better on the formula, I am starting to wonder if formula would be better. Also, I have a rash on both of my breasts, I have not been putting anything on it because I don't want it to get into the milk. Could it be affecting his milk? I am so frustrated, I just want to do what is best for my baby, if anyone has any experience or advice, please help! Thanks!


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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your help! I thought and thought about my diet, and the only change was my pre-natal vitamins. I ran out and used another brand that I had on hand. When I went back to my regular pre-natals he almost immediately stopped having problems. Still have my rash, don't know what that is about. Neither does my OB/GYN. In response to a question: Yes, he was a C-section baby. Interesting, am now adding probiotics to his diet. Thanks everyone! M.

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answers from Detroit on

I had horrible problems with my son. He had reflux and horrible stomach and gas problems. After trying breast milk, and several formulas, the only formula that worked for him was Nestle (Carnation) Good Start. Try it and see if it helps. I Hope he feels better soon. :)

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answers from Detroit on

My first child had this problem if I ate more than 1 serving of cheese in a day.... I have another suggestion for you too... contact me and we can talk.

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answers from Saginaw on

Hi M.,

Wow, 10 weeks and back to work--Yikes!

Did the tongue tie get fixed?

The rash is not affecting the milk, anymore than it's affecting any other part of your bloodstream or lymphatic system.

There are a number of causes of gassiness in breastfed babies, starting with 'some babies are gassy until their digestive systems mature' and all the way to 'I just couldn't eat broccoli ever without it being a major problem.'

There are a number of cures for gassiness in babies, from feeding them in a more upright position to carrying them in an upright position more than laying them on anything: human babies didn't used to lay down unless mom was laying down, and it's not really surprising that they don't do really well laying down for most of the day.

Some moms find that fennel tea (crush a tsp of fennel seeds and steep in boiling water for 5 minutes, strain and cool, feed a tsp or so at a time) helps.

Some moms finds plain water helps, particularly out of a small cup rather than a bottle.

Some moms find that they can't digest some foods very well themselves, and this inability is passed through their milk to their babies. While it initially feels like a hardship, giving up foods that disagree, it ends up giving moms more energy overall.

Some moms find that baby massage (google it, there's lots of free online source for 'how to') helps immediately.

In other words: try what you think is working, if it doesn't work, try something else you feel is likely. Trust your instincts is always a good way to go.

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answers from Detroit on

Marci ~
I agree with most of the other writers....the gas could be a reaction to just about anything. You can start by keeping a diary of everything that goes into your mouth. Then start removing things one by one for a couple of days and see if there is any differnce for him. Have you tried the mylicon gas drops? They can be a life saver!

As for the rash ~ you should have someone look at it. Like someone else mentioned, it could be thrush, but it could be any number of things.

And, not to discourage breastfeeding, but if it doesn't work out, that's ok, too. Don't beat yourself up. You have to do what is best for you and your baby. Yes, breastfeeding is best, no one will dispute that. And as an OB nurse, I help with breastfeeding all the time.
Good luck!

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answers from Detroit on

Hi M., My name is M.. I breastfeed all 3 of my children for the the first 15 months. So very rewarding, I don't recommend you giving up. My first child was very gassey, too. His pediatrician recommended I eliminate all dairy products from my diet ( that includes yougurt, ice cream, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, puddings etc... The only things I was able to have was products where milk was cooked in, like pancakes, waffles. Another thing that can cause alot of gas is caffiene, apple juice and spicey foods. As far as your milk decreasing that happens when you give them formula, too. As a working mom you have no choice so nurse alot when home and pump thru the day at least every 2-3 hours if possible. Increase your fluid intake to double, drink at least 8-10 ounces every hour during the day. Don't give up, you could try giving the Mylicon drops a couple times everyday. Baby boys tend to be gassier for some reason.If Mylicon drops don't help try about 1/2 of water with a drop of peppermint oil added, I dipped a toothpick into the small bottle of peppermint oil then swished into the little bit of water. My babies loved it. Just don't give anymore than 2 ounces of water a day because it dilutes down the babies blood and washes out the sodium in there urine. Good luck.

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answers from Detroit on

newborn babies are just gassy. my kids were gassy on breastmilk. they cry and fuss like they are in extreme pain and then burp and are happy.

In a couple of months your baby will be old enough to move around enough to "burp himself" and gas will not be such a problem
You can use lanolin onyour nipples if that is what has a rash.. you can use any lotion on your breasts it will not get into your milk.

I tried mylicon drops for my gassy daughter. I dont thnk it helped her. I thnk they just grow out of it.

In a couple of months this stage will be over and their will be some new problem..



answers from Cincinnati on

Hi M.,
My daughter is 15 months old and I am a breastfeeding mama. When she was first born we too had MANY issues. I commend you for sticking with it!!! I know pumping can be difficult... but you are doing such a GREAT thing for you little guy!!! Way to go!

Ok, first, I really doubt it has anything to do with the rash...although for your own comfort, I hope you are getting it looked at.

Second, there are some teas you can drink to help with milk production. has some good products. In addition, pumping both breasts at once can help with production as well in addition to pumping often. I understand that putting baby to the breast is most likely not an option for you with the latching issues.

As far as the gassiness... yes, just about anything. For the first approximately 16 weeks of my daughters life I ate virtually nothing but chicken and potatoes. Seriously. Then I SLOWLY started adding things in. It's their sensitive tummys...they just can't handle stuff. Curious... by chance was your son born via c-section??? The reason I ask is our pediatrician told me that they have 'noticed' (as there has been no official study) that c-section babies tend to be a little more sensitive in the gastrointenstinal area... more exploding poos... more sensitive stomachs. They believe it is because baby did not come down the birth canal and therefore did not get any of the natural bacterias from mommy. C baby's have a very sterile intestine. So you have to slowly build up that natural flora.

My daughter was a section baby due. (not by choice, but by medical necessity)

Anyway... dairy of anykind is highly irritating to baby. It's the proteins in the milk. Keep in mind it can take 2-3 weeks for those proteins to get out of YOUR system once you cut out dairy completely. And that means NO butter, no ice cream, no cheese, no yogurt, no egg... NOTHING.

Tomatoes were also a biggie for my daughter and I. She could not tolerate them until she was about 5 months old.

Keep at it. It's worth it. My breastfeeding journey was TOUGH. Seriously...I felt like quitting SO many times. But we stuck with it and my daughter has benefitted sooo much.

Good luck!



answers from Jackson on

Soy and Wheat are big gass makers

Also a rash on the breasts sounds like it could be thrush (a type of yeast infection) and that could also be causing your son discomfort.

Oh and pumping causes you to be a low producer btw



answers from Lansing on

Hi M.,

I had a hard time breastfeeding my second child. The milk just wasn't sufficient for her. She was always more content with formula. At six weeks she started crying while nursing and I realized giving her formula was the best thing for both of us. She was always hungry and I was always nursing. Once I gave up nursing, we were both happier. My 2 1/2 year old was happier too because I had more time to spend with her. There were no problems with my third child. We nursed fine. Every child is different and you know what is best for your child. Do what you believe to be right and be a peace.




answers from Detroit on

Perhaps if you go on the LaLeche League website and look under Resources then go to the Answers section, you can find some info on this. is the site. My first child seemed sensitive to raw tomatoes in the early months, which I didn't eat often in those days. You might want to find out if the rash on your breast is yeast because that would need a yeast ointment, especially if you've been on antibiotics before it started. If it is, your pediatrician may need to treat your baby too. Good for you for your commitment to breastfeeding! There's a really good website with a lot of info on latching and positioning that you can check out. It's and also These are both Canadian sites. They have good video clips on latching, or at least they used to. I agree with others that going to a LLL group might be very helpful. Lots of support can make a big difference! Hang in there, M.! Obviously you're a very loving and conscientious mama! You son is blessed to have you. It's stressful to have to return to work so soon too. I had to do that with my first and I hated it. I still wish I could have a re-do on that year!



answers from Detroit on

You didn't mention if the tie was fixed. If it wasn't, that could be causing the gassy issues. If he's not getting a good latch, he could be swallowing a lot of air and struggling throughout the entire feed.

That said, supplementing with formula is only going to hurt your supply in the long run. I suggest you work with a La Leche League leader to assess the tongue tie and latch and then go from there. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M., really you are in trouble. God bless you and your poor child. Your boy will be soothed from gas and other tummy troubles. Babies magic tea is a good natural product that is safe for even one day baby. Wish you best of luck.



answers from Detroit on

My kids couldn't handle caffine. You might want to cut that out of your diet and see if that helps.



answers from Boise on

My son starting having a similar issue with gas around 8 weeks, although he was breastfeed only. For us, it was tomatoes... anything with tomato in it made him miserable. He grew out of it in about two more months. I would encourage you to consider a lactation consult again - either the LL like others have suggested (not a huge fan though) or someone independent. And, more importantly, hurray for you for not giving up with on breastfeeding with all you've been through.



answers from Kalamazoo on

Both of my daughters had the same issue with breastmilk and sometimes even with the bottle. We used the Mylicon drops after each feeding and that really helped (or you can give them in between switching breasts or right before a feeding). We found that Meijer brand works best (Target brand does not) and is a third of the price. Currently my one month old gets supplements of a formula for sensitive tummies and that had worked great too. Do what you feel is best and don't put pressure on yourself either way! Enjoy your baby!! Good luck!



answers from Saginaw on

My daughter became gasy every time I drank apple juice. What are you eating or drinking consistantly?

Formula is not better for him. Keep with the breastfeeding, it has so many wonderful benefits for him and you. I can tell you that my daughter is 4 and has no allergies and gets sick less than any child I know. I credit that to prolonged breastfeeding.



answers from Benton Harbor on

We all know that breastfeeding is best for him, and I would NEVER encourage you to stop. I do, however, encourage you to step back and relax a bit. You know that he can handle formula, so give him a good full bottle of it and watch very carefully how he reacts. Meantime you can pump a full breastmilk bottle and then do the same with that feeding. Note what you see and take the list to your doc. See if he/she finds any links that those of us w/o medical degrees might not catch.

I had a terrible time breastfeeding, so unfortunately I have no advice on it. I do have positive words, though, in case you are beating yourself up for this trouble. Remember that formula is a BIG business...the formula companies strive to make a product that is close to breastmilk (of course nothing is the same)...the companies are always improving their brands to promote healthy babies, not line their pockets! Billions of babies are supplemented with formula and they grow up to be healthy, happy children with no food allergies or ill-effects. Most importantly, formula feeding doesn't make you a bad mom, just like breastfeeding doesn't make you a good one!

You are a good mom and you can do this, whatever it is you put your mind to! Work with your doc and trust yourself and your baby...


PS...I had to put a drop or two of gas drops in every bottle for my's the only thing that worked. (and Walmart brand is MUCH less expensive than Mylicon)



answers from Detroit on

You sound really frustrated yet determined to breastfeed.. that's great!

Please check out a La Leche meeting or call someone in your area. They have the resources to help you with your concerns in a big way. If they don't get back to you quickly, I have a couple friends in my area that are leaders and I'll get their numbers for you.

I had a lot of trouble at first nursing, but I had friends to support me and help me through it... : )

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