So often in our culture, gassiness in babies is attributed to the mother’s actions: we’re immediately directed to examine what we’ve eaten that may have made its way through the bloodstream into the breastmilk. To relieve the stressful discomfort of the babe, we tear apart our diet, cutting out pleasures left, right, and center— spicy food, ginger, garlic, leafy greens. What is actually a newborn’s process of self-regulating and developing their digestive system becomes yet another reason for a woman to self-blame, feel guilty, and control.
In the slowly maturing ecology of the newborn’s digestive system, some gas as milk is digested is inevitable, though some babies may experience this natural digestive response with more intensity than others. It is absolutely possible that your baby might have a sensitivity to a food item, but first, consider whether or not you, the mother, is gassy. Many traditional Chinese medicine practitioners (and energy workers) will not treat the child until the mother is treated. Notice what you’re intaking, how it’s affecting your body, and if you are experiencing discomfort, start minimizing the range of what you’re eating, little by little, and practice being aware. Your body is a good barometer for how your baby’s body is doing.
In the meantime, make sure your baby’s diaper is not on too tightly. Pat your baby’s bottom and gently rub their back. Try some infant massage and movement, bringing their knees into their belly and back out, mobilizing their hip joints, and softly rubbing their belly in a circular motion. Remember that your baby’s crying might simply be their way of adjusting themselves to the vast new world around them.