What Is the Dr. Sears Elimination Diet?
An elimination diet is often recommended for breastfeeding mothers of infants with colic and other problems.
Anyone who may be suffering from food allergies can begin an elimination diet, but it is usually done under the care of a doctor or nutritionist. The Dr. Sears elimination diet can be confusing if it is not followed in a methodical way. If a person has noticed that they get diarrhea each time they eat peanuts, they can eliminate this food from their diet to see if any potential peanut allergy symptoms disappear.
Elimination diets for breastfeeding mothers
Elimination diets are also recommended for a breastfeeding mother whose baby suffers from colic with the goal of seeing if the colic is eliminated when the mother does not eat certain food items. A baby with colic may be fussy and simply unhappy because of the pain that he feels that is stimulated by a food sensitivity or food allergy to something in his mother's milk. Foods that are considered to have a high risk of being allergens are eliminated first. One by one, foods are then slowly added back into the diet while observing the baby's condition after adding a new food.
Mothers should eat certain foods for two weeks to see results
The first step in the elimination diet for lactating mothers is to eat a very bland diet. If the baby's colic improves during this time, then it can be assumed that something that his mother was previously eating was the cause of his discomfort. During the first two weeks, the mother eats only organic chicken or turkey, white or sweet potatoes, and a vegetable such as squash that has been cooked. Other allowable foods are pears, pear juice, and rice milk. A baby's colic symptoms sometimes improve or disappear in less than two weeks if the mother follows this diet faithfully.
The mother can begin to gradually add foods back into her diet
Most women need help from their pediatrician or health professional at this point to know which foods to introduce back into their diet. A new food should be added every four days. Foods that are not likely to be allergens should be added into the diet first. Some of these are carrots, oats, avocado, peaches, and sunflower seeds. Foods that are known to cause a food allergy, including nuts, wheat, eggs, and some other foods should be added last to the diet.
Common allergens should be eliminated for the longest period
Young babies can be especially sensitive to foods that are common allergens, such as shellfish, peanuts, and soy that their mothers eat. These foods, as well as caffeine, should be avoided. Sometimes when a mother eats certain vegetables, such as cabbage, green peppers, onions, broccoli, or cauliflower, they cause symptoms of colic to return. This is why an elimination diet permits only one new food to be reintroduced into the diet. If the infant shows no signs of colic, then the next new food can be introduced in four days.
Keep a food diary while you are on an elimination diet
It can be confusing to remember if your baby had a fussy day or if he developed diarrhea without keeping track of your diet. For that reason, a food diary is recommended. Write down the next food that you add to your diet and the way that your child responded the days that followed. This is also a good record that you can bring with you to your nutritionist or doctor who is helping you with the elimination diet.