Why Do I Feel Nauseous During Breastfeeding?

6 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

nusea during breastfeeding

Have you delivered recently? Are you surprised when worrisome nausea to which you thought you said goodbye long ago (during your first trimester) of pregnancy made a strong comeback? Are you feeling nauseous during breastfeeding?

No need to be astonished or confused. Some breastfeeding moms experience nausea while feeding their baby during the early weeks of the nursing session. It is fairly common and you can deal with it easily. Read on to know why moms feel nauseous during breastfeeding.

In This Article

Does Breastfeeding Make You Nauseous?

Though breastfeeding does not lead to nausea directly, various factors associated with it trigger nausea in some women. Hormonal changes and changes associated with lifestyle are a few such instances that may trigger nausea while breastfeeding.

Let us discuss what causes nausea during Breastfeeding in detail, later in this post.

What Causes Nausea During Breastfeeding?

Nine reasons which may cause nausea during breastfeeding are:

1. Release of Oxytocin

The hormone oxytocin manages the flow of milk from your breasts to your baby. Oxytocin not only causes the milk ejection reflex but it is also connected with digestion and other gastrointestinal hormones that can cause nausea. Mostly nausea caused by the release of Oxytocin disappears around two months after delivery.

2. Baby’s Growth Spurts

During the early weeks of life, a baby drinks more breast milk, and that too more frequently. This will cause a spike in the oxytocin hormone level. This constant hike in the hormone will increase the chances of feeling nauseous.

3. Deficiency in the Diet

Your body needs an additional 250 calories every day to keep up its capacities at the ideal levels while breastfeeding. Keep in mind that your body’s first obligation will be to deliver excellent milk (calorie stacked) for your child, no matter whether you eat more or less than needed quantity and quality.

Your body will pull the extra calories needed from its reserves if your intake of the calories becomes insufficient. Thus, any shortfall in the diet will be evident in the mother’s nausea.

4. Low Sugar Level

If you don’t have your food on time, your blood sugar levels will dip fast when you are breastfeeding. This can make you nauseous.

5. Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure in a breastfeeding mother can lead to nauseous feelings during breastfeeding.

6. Dehydration

There is an increased chance that the mother gets dehydrated while breastfeeding if she is not properly hydrated by drinking more water. Dehydration can cause nausea.

7. Recuperation After Delivery

Being pregnant and coping with delivery demands various physical and hormonal changes. The process of getting to normal may not be easy for some women as their bodies take more time to get on track. Fatigue and sleeplessness can be the reason for nausea during breastfeeding.

8. Iron Deficiency or Being Anemic

Iron deficiency is one of the major causes that could trigger nausea during breastfeeding. Losing too much blood during delivery can lead to an iron deficiency when the daily intake of iron is inadequate.

9. Postnatal Depression

nausea during breastfeeding

When the mother uses antidepressant drugs for postnatal depression, even if they are prescribed by the doctor and are safe during breastfeeding, the moms can experience nausea during breastfeeding.

When Should I Worry About Feeling Nauseous While Feeding My Baby?

Even though feeling nauseous while feeding your baby during the early weeks is not uncommon, you should consider seeking medical attention if:

  • You experience severe nausea that exceeds eight weeks (two months).
  • If you are experiencing some other symptoms associated with nausea. For example, when fever is associated with nausea, it could be an indication of a urinary infection. Seek medical advice in such cases.

How Can I Prevent or Stop Being Nauseous During Breastfeeding?

Feeling queasy while breastfeeding can be very hard to handle. Especially as you have a baby to take care of, feeling nauseous during feeding them can create more issues than nausea you experienced during your pregnancy.

Here are a few suggestions that may help you to deal with nausea:

1. Follow the Tips Used to Control the Morning Sickness

As nausea during breastfeeding is much similar to the morning sickness you experienced during your first trimester of pregnancy, consider the tips you tried for treating the morning sickness to stop nausea during breastfeeding also. Click here to know ways to deal with morning sickness during pregnancy.

2. Increase the Intake of Fluid

Increasing the daily intake of liquid will help to fight against nausea during breastfeeding. Try to drink more pure water in addition to other liquids like juice. You should try to:

  • Drink a glass of milk before starting to feed the baby.
  • Have two to three glasses of water just before nursing.
  • Sip lots of liquid in between the feeding schedules.
  • Drink Buttermilk or lassi which will help both to control nausea and hydrate your body.

3. Munching While Feeding

Keep some crackers close by and munch on them while feeding your baby. This will help to keep nausea at bay.

4. Eat Well

As your body needs more energy, make sure you are having well-balanced healthy homemade food.

  • Do not go for heavy meals as it will make you more nauseous.
  • Likewise never eat food loaded with extra fat, salt, or sugar.
  • Eat six small meals during the day. You can have healthy snacks in between the meals.
  • Eating on time is as significant as eating the right food. This will help to keep the blood sugar level constant.

5. Lying Down While Feeding

Feeling nauseous is found to lessen when the mother lie-down when feeding the child. Make sure the child is in a convenient position when you try this.

6. Sleep Well

Take plenty of rest and sleep as and when you can. Your body will require a lot of rest to recoup from the birthing process, and in addition, additional rest is needed to deal with the weakness of nursing. Always take a nap when your baby sleeps and ask the other family members or maids to take care of other errands. Lack of sleep and weakness can also trigger nausea while you are breastfeeding.

7. Home Remedies

woman smelling aroma oil

Indeed, while you are breastfeeding your baby, you need to avoid medicines as much as possible. However, you can try replacing the medicines with some home remedies that could keep nausea at bay. Some of the home remedies are:

  • Ginger: Eating or drinking products with ginger will help to clear nausea. Try ginger tablets, sip ginger tea. Chewing ginger tablets will also help.
  • Milk Kefir: Milk kefir is a refreshing, probiotic cultured fermented milk drink (tastes like a mixture of yogurt and buttermilk). Drinking 4 ozs on an empty stomach in the morning and increasing little by little every morning up to 8 ozs is found to work fast in eliminating nausea.
  • Peppermint: Chewing and eating peppermint leaves will help to relax your stomach muscles and helps the fats to break down faster. It will also help the food to pass quickly through the stomach and intestines and thus, prevent nausea.
  • Aroma Oils: Evidence shows that smelling aroma oils, made from lemon, cardamom, etc relieve nausea during breastfeeding.
  • Lemon: Frequently sucking a slice of lemon also relieves nausea.

Despite the fact that the above suggestions are believed to be safe, discuss them with your doctor before trying any of them.

Never get too annoyed by your new issue. With the help of all the above remedies, you could be able to control being nauseous. And wait patiently as it vanishes from your body along with the pregnancy hormones.

FAQ’s

1. Is Nausea Common During Breastfeeding?

Yes, it is. Lactation results in the production of oxytocin. Increased production of this hormone can interfere with digestion.

2. Can my Infant’s Growth Make me Nauseous?

Yes, it can. Yes, that sounds disturbing but it happens. This is purely hormonal and normal though.

3. Am I Nauseous During Breast Feeding Due to my Sugar Levels?

It is possible. Breastfeeding burns calories. It can cause your sugar level to dip, making you nauseous.

4. Can be Drinking Water Combat Nausea During Breast Feeding?

Yes, it can. Breastfeeding is very dehydrating. This can make you nauseous.

Read Also: Breastfeeding Your Baby- How to Get Started

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