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Brewer's Yeast - why breastfeeding mums don't need more 'yeasty' problems!

Posted by Kelly Northey on

We're often asked why our Feeding Cookies don't contain Brewer's Yeast - isn't it one of the most well known milk supply increasing ingredients used?

The fact of the matter is that (as many new mums can probably relate to), yeast overgrowth (or Candida) is a very real and annoying problem and we thought mums and babies have enough 'yeasty problems' to deal with at this time without adding to it in food at the same time.

Those Damn Hormones!

The reasons new mums and babies are so susceptible to yeast overgrowth is thanks to the massive hormonal changes going on in your body at this time of life and you can be particularly at risk if you're suffering cracked nipples from breastfeeding or your bub was delivered by C-Section (with a dose of antibiotics).
Coupled with the fact too that more than 70% of pregnant women suffer a yeast infection at some point during their pregnancy (often occurring in the second or third trimester), means that many women are not starting out the road to new motherhood with the yeast balance in check.

How to Tell if Yeast Overgrowth is Affecting My Baby too?

During this time that your baby can get a yeast infection too, which then further complicated treatment - it's often a vicious cycle of recurrence between you both that no one needs at this often somewhat difficult and exhausting time.

Tell tale signs to look out for are white spots inside the mouth or on the lips, problems with gas, or nappy rash that just doesn't seem to completely go away.
It's important to ask a doctor if you suspect your baby has a yeast issue and the good news is they should be able to diagnose it quickly and easily.

Breaking the Yeasty Cycle

Unfortunately, yeast overgrowth isn't an isolated problem, it affects your whole body's system. While pharmaceutical treatments will kill off a yeast infection, it won't always completely resolve the problem until you've restored a healthy balance between yeast and healthy bacteria.

It's well known that the best way to prevent recurrent Candida (yeast overgrowth) is by ensuring you and your baby have a good diet, a strong, healthy immune system and intestinal tract.

Some key dietary considerations to help combat a yeast problem while breastfeeding is to ensure a healthy, balanced diet that includes some of the following recommendations:

  • Eat small amounts of fruit
    Pears, berries and green apples are low GI and best at this time and it's important to eat it as fruit rather than juiced so your body gets the full benefit from the fiber. Your body will also process the fruit's sugars better too.
  • Eat high quality carbohydrates
    At a time when your body needs every bit of energy it can get to produce milk, cutting out carbs completely is not an ideal option, but veggies like beans, sweet potatoes, parsnips and winter squash are all high quality complex carbohydrates that won't mess with your blood sugar levels. Brown rice and whole grains fall into the same boat too. 
  • Avoid added sugars
    Try not to buy anything that contains high fructose corn syrup, glucose, sucrose or anything else that sounds like a processed sugar. Processed sugar is in so many things in the supermarket like soft drink, processed meats, sauces, yoghurt and so on.
  • Choose healthy proteins
    Always choose fresh cuts of beef, chicken and lamb which are great sources of protein, as eggs - just make sure you buy as freerange or organic as you can, because this makes a difference to your health. Try not to eat any processed Definitely too, try to avoid meats like salami or sandwich meat as these are loaded with nitrates, sulfates and sugars even! If you own a thermal mixer an easy way to make enough sandwich meat for a week's worth of lunches or snacks is to roast meat yourself and then simply use the thermal cooker to finely chop it creating 'pulled meat'.
  • Help heal the gut naturally with Bone Broth
    Making your own bone broth and including it wherever you can in your cooking can really help improve gut health by providing gut healing amino acids, vitamins and vital nutrients. While a google search quickly brings up many recipes for making bone broth, including this great 'Beginner's Guide to Bone Broth' by Natural New Age Mum is the staple recipe in our house. 
    Once you've made a big batch of it, just separate it into freezer size containers which makes it easy then to incorporate it into many of your weekly meals.
    We love the My Lil Pouch 200ml pouches. They're just the right amount to easily add to a meal and you can even buy them in super-cool designs like this Minecraft inspired 'Blockies Pouch' so even when you take them out to defrost your kids have no idea what's in them - and you can tell them it's just special Minecraft sauce!! bone-broth-pouches1.png
    • Here's some ideas of how to incorporate bone broth into your cooking daily
      • Use as a stock for any soup you are making
      • Use as stock in risotto
      • Add some broth to the boiling water when cooking pasta because it makes the pasta taste great and have also added it to any carbonara or cream sauce being made to go with the pasta.
      • Add to any slow cooker curry or stew type recipe - it'll only add to the flavour of them!
      • Use instead of water when making cous cous
      • When making gravy (even if its the powdered variety), use half broth, half water
      • Add to any mince meat recipes - we cook mincemeat like usual for tacos, bolognaise sauce, shepherd's pie filling and add about half a cup of broth as it cooks
      • Use half bone broth, half water when cooking rice (this works well in a rice cooker)

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