Back when Addie was about a month, at my own chiropractic visit I was describing her digestive issues to my chiropractor Dr. Lamb and he mentioned in passing that it might be the results of a little bit of leaky gut action in me. For whatever reason, likely because I didn’t fully understand what leaky gut meant to a nursing relationship, I never thought much about it again.
Now, Adalyn is 6 months old and I’m really doing my research (on leaky gut in a breast-feeding mother), I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to fully learn about how healing a leaky gut could possibly make our lives a whole lot easier.
Leaky gut in a breast-feeding mom means that your food isn’t properly being digested and furthermore that the blood barrier in the colon is compromised. This is significant because anything that enters your blood also ends up in your milk, so if you’re not properly digesting foods then you aren’t filtering toxins in your digestive tract either.
The toxins and undigested stuff can end up in your blood supply and thus in your breast milk (when it normally wouldn’t) which can appear similar to food sensitivities and other ailments in you and baby.
This makes perfect sense to what’s going on with myself and Adalyn and that would mean our issues weren’t necessarily related to food sensitivities, but rather she’s just being exposed to things through my breast milk that her body either isn’t ready to handle or shouldn’t have to handle yet.
This is particularly alarming because a child’s toxin barriers aren’t fully formed yet, so toxins that enter the body can harm the brain and body. Plus, if mom has a leaky gut then her digestive bacterias (that are the root of the leaky gut problem in the first place) have already been passed to baby, so baby needs leaky gut healing too.
Many moms automatically assume when their baby has gas or acid reflex or colic symptoms that it’s because of baby’s food allergy and that it’s something the mothers eating. It’s partially true in the case of leaky gut syndrome the difference is that the leaky gut can be healed and prevented.
There are various options when it comes to healing a leaky gut, they’re all very similar to an elimination diet however the end result is not to simply do away with certain foods from the diet altogether rather the goal is to remove them temporarily so they got has time to heal and later function more properly.
I’m thinking once get digestion on track again a lot of these no-no foods for leaky gut healing could be added back in. I was warned that we that healing the leaky gut is long and tedious process and I’m not particularly excited about having to undertake it but I’ll do anything to make Addie feel better.
So, I started my healing process with removing sugars from the diet. I just took an online course that said whatever foods you perceive that you cannot live without or that you crave intensely are likely the foods that cause you the most problems with regards to digestion and the leaky gut. Sugar is number one on my list of cravings so that’s the 1st thing I’ve taken out.
After sugar the other major food to eliminate (for me) would have to be processed foods I guess you’d say. Mainly snack foods that are high in carbs. I tend to go back and forth between sugars and carbs not only for quick energy during the busy day but also to fill me up.
Without the sugars and carbs I tend to always feel hungry and hunger immediately sends me reaching for something sweet or something processed and filling.
So that’s where we have been for the last three weeks. I’m working to improve my diet and to heal my gut/digestive tract so that my breastfeeding child is healed and is not suffering. We are also, finally, getting an evaluation for tongue tie.
If you’d like more resources on leaky gut and nursing you can also check these articles out:
- The Gut, Microbes and Poop
- Healing Leaky Gut: Mothering.com
- 9 Steps to Perfect Health – #5: Heal Your Gut
1/3/18 – I wanted update this post with our progress since it was initially written back in 2012…
We are now a gluten free family. We were also a dairy free family until we got our own dairy cow (a Jersey A2 milk cow). We never did get anywhere on the tongue tie and none of my kids (we had a son after this was written) have any speech or oral issues as older kids.
After having leaky gut pointed out to me back in 2012 I was set on a journey to figure out what foods were causing issues. I went on a full blown elimination diet where gluten, dairy and nuts were removed. During this elimination diet I also got a Celiac blood screening done, I reintroduced gluten intermittently for about 3-4 weeks before my blood test. I should have been consuming more gluten before the test but it was making me ill. I found out I was on the cusp of a positive result for Celiac disease (a percentage point away from a positive antibody screen). I had no interest in allowing the gluten to do any further damage. With proof of elevated levels of antibodies I understood gluten was impacting my health but that I was not a full blown Celiac sufferer, YET. I’m not positive which Celiac genetic markers I carry but I do have a brother and a father with gluten issues and an aunt with Cron’s disease.
It turns out I was having a “Leaky Gut” due to gluten sensitivities in 2012.
8 thoughts on “Digestion issues in baby could be leaky gut in the breastfeeding mother.”
Hi, I just ready your post about baby and leaky gut syndrome after doing a websearch. My baby has terrible eczema that nothing seems to help, and I’m beginning to suspect we both have leaky gut. Did going on the GAPS diet (or something like that) help your baby? I am tempted to try it, but I was reading the reviews on Amazon about the GAPS diet and I was scared off by some of the people who wrote how badly it had gone for them.
Help! I’d really love to have someone to talk to about this!
What we did was a simple elimination diet for our little one. I reduced my intake of processed sugars, processed foods and also took out gluten since. It takes over a month to get all the gluten out of your system before you can begin to see positive improvements. Gluten intolerance is a major eczema causer! (http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/commoncomplicationsofcd/a/Can-Eating-Gluten-Free-Help-With-Your-Eczema-Treatment.htm)
Anyway, when you do an elimination diet a certain amount of die-off or detox symptoms will surface as your body learns to live without all the junk you’ve removed, similar to substance abuse detoxing. This is normal but intense, and it’s why I firmly believe eliminating stuff slowly is best.
When we took out (and kept out) the gluten we saw immense improvement’s in my little one’s rashes, her demeanor and her sleep habits. I’d be willing to bet it’s the gluten for your little one’s rashes. You really need to eliminate ALL gluten consistently for a good time period before you can be sure.
Does this answer your questions?
Hello! I came upon your post after searching about leaky gut in newborn babies (all babies are born with “leaky gut” which is why it’s so important to delay solids, and how they get antibodies, and etc), and wanted to encourage you!! It can be so hard to start making changes like this in your life, especially when you want to do it asap so your little one feels better! I have always been interested in nutrition, my mom brought us up on homemade bread, we owned a juicer, and she made bone broth. 🙂 I am also a midwife, and now have three kids of my own and am still on the journey of pursuing nutrition and health for their sake as well as my own! I have started doing something that has really, really helped me include more “super foods” in my diet on an every day basis. It’s called Trim Healthy Mama. You can google it. Basically it’s a low-glycemic separation diet, so you separate your fuels (slow burning carbs and fats) to lose weight. But they have a ton of easy, healthy recipes that have been amazing! I just thought I would throw that out there. I have started using pure stevia extract for myself (still use honey for the kids) and it has helped so much with sugar cravings. I feel so much better now! Anyway, I’m not trying to come on here and just promote THM, but I read about how you were eliminating sugar and I seriously know how hard that can be (I eliminated dairy and wheat after my second was born) and just wanted to share something that had helped me a lot. Blessings!!
Forgot to include this link about leaky gut in babies: http://realfoodforager.com/when-leaky-gut-is-a-good-thing/
Thanks for your article. My 5 month old is sleeping horribly- wakes 1 to 2 times an hour, has mucous filled poops, and seems uncomfortable. Did you continue breastfeeding while you were healing your leaky gut? I cut out dairy almost immediately, then eggs and corn around 3 months, and at 5 months I eliminated tree nuts, and just recently wheat and gluten. How long did it take until you saw positive relief in your little one? Thank you!
Its been a while since your last update but I was really hoping to hear from you.Its been 3 weeks on elimination diet..
My son all though improved still has a way to go..specifically on his face (severe eczema).
1.how long before you saw real improvement?
2. How long before you started reintroducing?
3. How long before you stopped all healing leaky gut protocals and was there anything you kept in your routine?
I just made some updates Adriana. Hope this helps you and that your healing journey is going well.
Hi There! I googled “leaky gut breastmilk” just in case someone else wrote about this. I’m so glad I found your post. I have come across numerous mothers who have experienced these tell tale signs of leaky gut and I’ve tried to help them, but there’s just so much information! As of right now my little one is better, I’ve healed my gut. His gut isn’t mature like it should be at 12m (because of all the abuse my milk put him through) but his symptoms are gone and we are well on our way. Please let me know if you need any help getting this under control. I wrote my story here https://leakygirl.blogspot.com/. You can ask questions through the blog also. I’m open to helping others.