Can spicy food give breastfed baby diarrhea?What happens if breastfeeding mother eat spicy food?

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What happens if breastfeeding mother eat spicy food? A nursing mother want to know if her eating spicy foods and chili pepper is responsible for her babies diarrhoea.

From my mailbox;

Good morning doctor….i am Rosemary, a 26year old nursing and breastfeeding mother ….Please I want to know if spicy foods is secreted in the breast milk. This is because I noticed that anytime I eat spicy foods like pepper soup or chilli pepper, my breastfed baby end up having a diarrhoea…. Is it that the spices in the food end up in the breast milk which now irritate the intestinal lining of my 3 month old baby and cause watery diarrhoea and abdominal cramps (colic)? Please I want to know.

My reply:

Thank you for reaching out. This your findings is actually strange to medicine. A nursing mother and a beastfeeding mother can actually take or eat spicy foods including chili pepper and pepper soup. Spicy foods are completely safe and healthy for breastfeeding mums with no research confirming it can cause diarrhoea or stomach irritation in your baby. Your observation is valid but I don’t think your baby’s diarrhoea should not be tied to your eating spicy foods…

Can spicy food give breastfed baby diarrhea?
Can spicy food give breastfed baby diarrhea? NO

Many things can cause diarrhoea in a baby but the mother eating spicy foods or chili pepper is not one of them;

What causes acute diarrhoea in children?

Infection of the gut (gastroenteritis) is the common cause:

A virus is the common cause of infective diarrhoea in the UK and in Nigeria. Sometimes it is just ‘one of those germs going about’. Various viruses are easily spread from person to person by close contact, or when an infected person prepares food for others. For example, infection with a virus called rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhoea in children in the UK. Almost every child in the UK has a rotavirus infection before they are 5 years old. Adenovirus is another common cause. The good news is, with just #10,000 naira, you can get your baby vaccinated against rotavirus.

Food poisoning (eating food infected with germs called microbes) causes some cases of diarrhoea. Food poisoning infection is usually caused by a germ called a bacterium. Common examples are species of bacteria called Campylobacter, Salmonella and Escherichia coli (usually shortened to E. coli).

Poisons (toxins) produced by bacteria can also cause food poisoning. Another group of microbes called parasites can also be a cause of food poisoning. Are you exclusively breastfeeding or you are adding other baby foods? If this other baby foods are contaminated , it may cause your baby diarrhoea and not your eating spicy foods.

Water contaminated by bacteria or other germs is another common cause of infective diarrhoea, particularly in countries with poor sanitation.

Non-infectious causes of sudden-onset (acute) diarrhoea are uncommon in children. For example, inflammation of the gut (colitis), food intolerance and various rare disorders of the gut. Toddler’s diarrhoea is a common cause of persistent (chronic) diarrhoea in young children.

Miss rosemary, if your baby’s diarrhoea continues, please see a pediatrician….it may not be related to your eating spicy foods. Thank you

The causes of diarrhea in children was culled from


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