Can breastfeeding cause diarrhea in mothers?

Even though there are many beneficial aspects linked to breastfeeding, it also has its negative impacts. You will experience a lot of changes in your body that you know nothing about. It is important that you widely research how breastfeeding affects your body and the benefits it offers your baby to avoid any misconception that comes with it. Some mothers tend to deal with postpartum difficulties that come with breastfeeding. As we all know, breastmilk is liquid gold, but can breastfeeding cause diarrhea in mothers? We shall discuss postpartum diarrhea that is mainly ascribed to breastfeeding.

Diarrhea while breast feeding

Postpartum diarrhea is something common among mothers, and it should not raise any concern. You should only be worried about it if accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, dehydration, blood in stool, and severe abdominal or rectal pain. If you experience such symptoms with diarrhea, it is necessary to visit a doctor to diagnose the underlying condition. During breastfeeding, your body releases the oxytocin hormone responsible for flexing and contraction of the uterus. As a result, the foods in the intestines get churned out and come out as a watery or loose stool. However, theoretically, diarrhea is caused by infecting the bowel, resulting from bacterial infection, radiant treatment, medication, and allergies to certain foods. 

It is debatable whether you should continue breastfeeding your baby after cases of diarrhea. Various medical experts encourage you to continue with the breastfeeding process. It passes antibodies specific to the infection to the infant, which in turn cushions your baby from infectious forms of diarrhea. However, to prevent the transfer of the illness, you need to be vigilant on hygienic procedures. Wash your hands often, avoid sneezing or coughing on the baby.

Ways of combating diarrhea

Postpartum diarrhea is not something anyone would want to experience, and while breastfeeding, this can be very uncomfortable. Similar to most infection signs, there is a way to combat diarrhea. It is also important to note that breastfeeding mothers are discouraged from taking over-the-counter drugs containing bismuth subsalicylate to intercede, as these have been proven to find their way to your breast milk, leading to adverse effects. The widely accepted over-the-counter drug for diarrhea during breastfeeding is Pepto-Bismol, which cannot get absorbed into the milk. Additionally, there are natural ways you can reduce your diarrhea with the type of foods you consume. The following are some of the dietary additives you should use.

  • Yogurt and other probiotic foods

Diarrhea is usually caused by the presence of bacteria in the body systems, especially the intestines. To completely heal from it, you will need to fight off the bacteria, which yogurt does effectively. The yogurt manufacturing process entails incorporating good bacteria such as lactobacillus, acidophilus, and Bifid bacterium. Therefore, if you take yogurt or a probiotic food such as kefir, the good bacteria in the live cultures balance out with diarrhea-causing bacteria. The kefir or yogurt should be low in sugar as high sugar foods intensify postpartum diarrhea.

  • Some Broths and clear soup

The broths or clear soup should be prepared using Himalayan or Celtic sea salt in place of table tea salt because of the latter’s nutritional value. The electrolytes present in the salt are responsible for combating postpartum diarrhea. Diarrhea is usually interlinked with dehydration; therefore, the broth also serves as a hydrating solution.

  • Soft Carrots can do the trick

It would be best to cook the carrots until they are soft, add a little water or broth to it, and take at least one full cup hourly. The carrots contain pectin, which is known for absorbing the excess fluids in the intestines. This, in turn, drastically lowers the number of times you face diarrhea.

  • Garlic helps the magic happen

Garlic is known to work the trick for digestive problems, and diarrhea is not an exception. It is recommended that you take garlic on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning. This will enable the garlic to hastily counter-effect postpartum diarrhea.

  • Allspice drink to clear your system

A combination of allspice with honey and water is an effective way to ease your diarrhea. It would be best if you only took the concoction after a trip to the washroom to prevent subsequent incidences. 

  • Fruits and herbs

You should specifically take bananas, applesauce, white rice, and toast, commonly abbreviated as BRAT, in a move to prevent your tummy troubles. The foods bulk the stomach, therefore significantly easing postpartum diarrhea. The BRAT foods are bland food sources that are easy to digest, making them the best choice to reduce diarrhea problems. Additionally, the foods are low in protein and fat, which turn out to be highly beneficial to the digestive system. It is advisable to change your diet regimen to BRAT foods since they are low in fiber, which consequentially helps the loose and watery stool firm, preventing diarrhea problems. Besides these foods, herbs such as wild oregano, grapefruit seed extract, raspberry leaves, and fenugreek. But before all this, consult with your doctor before taking herbs as they can impact your breastfeeding.

  • Natural apple cider vinegar

Natural apple cider vinegar is known to supply the body with potassium and magnesium. Even though there is no medical inclination to apple cider vinegar healing diarrhea difficulties, it has been proven to work well. It is recommended that you consistently take one tablespoon of vinegar until the diarrhea is healed.

  • Chamomile tea also helps in calming your nerves

By taking a soothing mug of chamomile tea, you will be able to relieve any stomach upset. Chamomile tea is a herb known for helping to decrease diarrhea problems by reducing any inflammation, and this is by loosening up the muscles covering the digestive system. The tea can also be used as an excellent rehydrating solution if you are looking for effective ways to increase breastmilk naturally

  • Hydration is key to healthy leaving

Drinking a lot of water either directly or through other drinks alleviates diarrhea difficulties and dehydration. You should increase your liquids intake to more than three liters a day; this will keep you adequately hydrated and help your body produce sufficient breast milk for your little one. It would be best to stay away from liquor, caffeine, and other teas as they dehydrate the body, which can cause serious complications for you and your baby.

One final thing, can breastfeeding cause diarrhea in mothers?

During postpartum diarrhea, there are some foods that you need to avoid as they only trigger the process. Most importantly, you need to do away with dairy since diarrhea reduces the enzymes used to break down lactose; therefore, the unbroken product poses a great danger to your health. Other foods you need to avoid include caffeine, soda, fruit juice, spicy foods, high-fat foods, and high sugar foods. 

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