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What Can I Eat for My Breast-fed Baby to Have a Bowel Movement?

author image Kelsey Casselbury
Sarah Collins has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park and formal education in fitness and nutrition. Collins is an experienced blogger, editor and designer, who specializes in nutrition, fitness, weddings, food and parenting topics. She has been published in Arizona Weddings, Virginia Bride and on Gin & Pork and
What Can I Eat for My Breast-fed Baby to Have a Bowel Movement?
A nursing mother can't control her baby's bowel movements. Photo Credit: oksun70/iStock/Getty Images

When you breast-feed your baby, he initially receives colostrum, which has laxative properties, from you. Once it's completely gone from your milk -- around six weeks -- he might only pass stools every few days or once a week. If this is the case, there's no need to attempt to move his digestive system along -- which is just as well since there's nothing you can eat that is guaranteed to help your baby have a bowel movement.

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Breast-feeding and Baby's Bowels

Although it's normal for babies to pass a bowel movement less frequently as they get older, your baby could be constipated if she suddenly goes from being regular to not having a bowel movement in three or more days and has hard, dry stools that make her uncomfortable. However, it's unlikely that your breast milk is either the cause of or a fix for the problem. Breast milk is made by mammary glands in the breasts, not from the foods you eat. Your mammary glands regulate how much of what you eat and drink reaches the baby, so there aren't any foods or drinks that will likely help the problem. However, your baby might not be getting enough of your breast milk and may have become dehydrated. Call your pediatrician if you suspect constipation.

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