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This is a diet that Martha recommends in her lactation-counseling practice whenever she suspects a baby's colic could be caused by sensitivities to food in a breastfeeding mother's diet. This diet was developed by William G. Crook, M.D. (Detecting Your Hidden Allergies, Jackson, Tenn: Professional Books, 1987), and it has several variations, depending on how bothersome the symptoms are. The elimination diet we use is based on eating the least allergenic food in each of the food groups. You may need to do this for two weeks since it can take this long for the offending foods to get out of your system and baby's system. Here is the variation we find helps mothers get the quickest, surest relief for their hurting babies:
Do not starve yourself. It may feel, the first day or two, as though there is not enough for you to eat; but you can still eat a nutritious diet. You just have to eat more of the "safe" types of food until you determine what your baby can tolerate.
Colicky babies usually respond to mother's diet changes dramatically and quickly, often within one or two days. With the older baby who is nightwaking, you may have to wait longer to see results. Typically, mothers will find that when they change their diet baby may sleep better for a few nights only to start waking again a lot for a few days or a week or so, at which time the sleep again improves. It's important to know this so that you will not be tempted to give up when you think "it's not working."
Older babies are often less sensitive to fruits and vegetables in mom's diet (and their own), so at this stage we recommend mainly protein elimination, namely dairy, beef, eggs, chicken, shellfish, soy, corn, wheat, and peanuts (plus any other foods you have learned bother baby). Research has shown that some foreign proteins get into some mothers' milk more than others', and of course some babies are more sensitive to these proteins than other babies.