Nausea while Breastfeeding: Causes, Prevention & Home Remedies

Nausea While Breastfeeding – Causes and Remedies

Medically Reviewed By
Shruti Kanchan (Lactation Specialist)
View more Lactation Specialist Our Panel of Experts

Giving birth to your baby introduces you into a new phase of motherhood. Although it has its own challenges, most mothers are glad that the pregnancy phase and numerous conditions associated with it have come to an end. This is precisely why many women are surprised when they start having nausea again, quite similar to how they had when pregnant. But can breastfeeding cause nausea in nursing mothers or is there more than what meets the eye?

What Causes Nausea While Nursing?

For mothers that have started nursing and are feeling nauseous while doing so, there are a few reasons why it might be happening.

1. Deficiency of Iron

Certain women might have a tendency of suffering from low iron levels. In other cases, the process of delivery might have led to a substantial blood loss from the body. This could result in your body iron levels taking a massive heat and leading to dizziness and nausea.

2. Presence of UTIs

Many women, after their pregnancy, tend to develop various urinary tract infections, given the absurd amount of changes that go about in that region. Though UTIs mostly make their presence felt when a woman urinates and has a burning sensation, a few of them could make you feel nauseous, too.

Presence of UTIs

3. Post-Partum Depression

A well-documented condition, this usually dawns on the woman as the high of pregnancy starts to fade off. In certain cases, doctors do recommend taking anti-depressants that are safe, but they could have a side-effect of causing dizziness and nausea.

4. Hormonal Fluctuations

Even after pregnancy, your body needs to cope with a ton of changes. The demand for breastmilk can take quite a toll on the internal processes, as the body ramps up the hormone generation to produce as much breastmilk as possible for the baby. This sudden changes in hormone levels could make you feel nauseous.

5. Lower Calorie Reserves

Another change that the body does in order to sustain the amount of breastmilk that the baby requires is to tap into the energy sources present within the body. Breastfeeding is a process that takes up quite some energy and the body will find that from any source possible, even when your calorie count is low. This results in your energy levels depleting and dizziness set in.

6. Insomnia and Tiredness

The change from pregnancy to motherhood results in tremendous fatigue, which is further compounded by sleepless nights. These, together, put your body in alarm mode and the result can be a feeling of nausea.

7. Reduced Blood Sugar

The production of breastmilk and the generation of energy are all demanding processes that take a lot from a woman. This needs to be supported by having meals on time so that the body has what it needs. Failure to do so can push the body’s energy resources to an extreme and result in nausea.

Reduced Blood Sugar

8. The Result of Dehydration

The entire chaos of taking care of your own body as well as the baby could make you forget to eat or even drink water on time. Breastmilk takes up a lot of fluid from the body and if this is not replenished, your body could sound the alarm by getting dizzy.

9. The Activity of Oxytocin

Oxytocin is an important hormone that carries out numerous functions in a woman. One of the core ones that it undertakes is the very process of breastfeeding, helping regulate the flow of milk to the baby via the breasts. Since this hormone production is boosted, the other effect it has is on the digestive system, causing it to trigger certain processes, which could invariably also cause you to feel a sensation of nausea.

10. Possible Pregnancy

Most nausea symptoms fade away in a matter of 8 weeks or so. But if your baby is quite old and you seem to experience nausea while you are breastfeeding, there might be a chance of you being pregnant if you’ve engaged in intercourse post-delivery.

How to Prevent or Stop Feeling Nauseous while Breastfeeding?

Taking care of this feeling of throwing up and the constant presence of nausea can be done in a few different ways, depending on which one suits you best.

1. Get Enough Sleep

The entire process of giving birth to a child is quite exhaustive for your body and that is immediately followed by feeding your child. Grab as many quick naps as you can when your baby sleeps. Choose to store breast milk in a bottle so that a family member can feed your child while you get some sleep.

2. Feed While Lying Down

While sitting up and feeding your child might be the traditional position, there are different ways to feed your baby, too. One of them involves lying down with your child next to you, positioned in such a way that he can easily latch on to your breast. Make sure both of you are comfortable.

Feed While Lying Down

3. Have Proper Meals

Having timely meals is as important as having the right ones. Don’t eat heavy food since it will increase your nausea. Avoid foods with strong flavours and restrict yourself to multiple tiny meals throughout the day. This helps in keeping a constant sugar level and reduce dizziness.

4. Multitask Snacking and Breastfeeding

While your baby latches on to your breast and gets his feed, there’s no reason you should get your share of the meal, too. Keep easy-to-eat fruits or biscuits next to you and munch on them while your baby feeds.

5. Drink More Fluids

Dehydration is a strong reason for feeling nauseous. Drink enough water throughout the day and balance with other fluids. Drink a few glasses of water or milk prior to feeding and sip on juices while your baby sucks on your breast.

6. Strategise, Just Like Morning Sickness

These instances of nausea are quite similar to the ones you’d have experienced when you were pregnant. You can resort to using the same techniques you used to keep nausea at bay. This could include smelling a soap, or keeping some fragrance close to you as well.

7. Oral Rehydration

In case your nausea proceeds to vomiting, you may be at the risk of dehydration. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Contact a doctor to ensure that you or your baby are not at risk. Also, take oral rehydration solution if recommended by the doctor.

Home Remedies for Nausea During Breastfeeding

Medicines are best avoided to treat nausea especially when breastfeeding. Here are some quick remedies you can use.

1. Peppermint

Chew on some peppermint leaves as the juice helps your stomach relax and assists in food digestion as well.

2. Probiotic Milk

This is not only refreshing to have but tastes pretty good, too. Having it on empty stomach every morning can help with nausea effectively.

Probiotic Milk

3. Ginger

Ginger can be consumed either in the form of tea or other products as well as various ginger tablets that are available. The process of chewing is necessary though.

The return of nausea even after delivery can be a cause of worry for new mothers. If you’re wondering what to take for nausea while breastfeeding, the best bet is to keep medicines away and opt for techniques and natural remedies to counter it. Within no time, nausea will fade away and the joy of motherhood will be yours to experience.

Also Read:

Taking Cold Medicine during Breastfeeding
Drinking Water during Breastfeeding
Baby Sweating during Breastfeeding
Baby Biting while Breastfeeding

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