Breastfeeding & Tomato Sauce

A healthy and well-balanced diet that also includes plenty of water is essential because it allows your body to make enough nutritious milk for your little one. There aren't any foods necessarily off limits while breastfeeding, but some nursing moms discover that when they eat certain things it causes discomfort in their infant. Tomato sauce can be one culprit, but eliminating it from your diet can reduce symptoms and ease your baby's discomfort.

Tomatoes and Their Effects

Tomato sauce is a good source of vitamin C, a nutrient essential during breastfeeding because it helps you absorb plenty of iron, according to Sally Wendkos Olds, author of "The Complete Book of Breastfeeding." However, tomato sauce is also acidic, which can cause problems for your nursing infant. The strong flavor of tomatoes, which can make its way into your milk, can make your baby gassy, uncomfortable and irritable.

Potential Symptoms

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It takes between four to eight hours after eating a food before it's present in your breast milk, according to Olds. This time table can help you determine if the symptoms your baby is experiencing are related to tomato sauce that you ate earlier. Acidic foods can contribute to diaper rash, for example. You'll probably notice an allergy ring around your baby's anus if the rash is related to the acid in tomato sauce, according to Dr. William Sears writing for his website Other symptoms of a sensitivity to tomato sauce can include fussiness, runny stools, bloating and gas.

Elimination Diet

The only way to determine if tomato sauce is, indeed, the cause of your baby's rash or other symptoms is to completely eliminate the food from your diet. It can take up to two weeks to completely rid your body and your baby's system of the offending food, according to Dr. Sears. Examine your diet to remove all traces of tomato sauce from foods such as pasta sauces and soups. You might also discover that eliminating tomatoes all together can help, which means you won't be able to eat fresh tomatoes or drink tomato juice either.

Tomatoes in the Future

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Once your baby's symptoms disappear, you can add tomato sauce back into your diet. Start with a small amount to see if his symptoms reappear. If he has a reaction, you'll know to avoid the food for the duration of your breastfeeding. If no symptoms reappear, you can gradually increase how much tomato sauce you eat. You might also keep a food diary, suggests Dr. Sears. This can be particularly helpful if you thought tomato sauce was the culprit, but eliminating it didn't relieve your little one's symptoms. Write down what you've eaten and then pay attention to your baby in the four to eight hours after eating. Note the presence of symptoms, if any, so you can pinpoint what the actual culprit is. Other common problem-causing foods include dairy foods, citrus fruits, eggs, wheat and chocolate.