Some of us (adults and babies) don’t tolerate dairy well. A milk protein intolerance may present in a young baby as:
- fussiness after feeding that does not stop
- painful (lower GI) gas
- mucous or blood in the stool (this may be macro or microscopic)
- frequent vomiting accompanied by pain (usually not “happy spitting”).
If you notice some of these symptoms in your little one, we urge you to bring this up with your pediatrician. If your next step is figuring out how to go dairy free when breastfeeding, you’re in the right place!
How to go dairy free when breastfeeding
While I personally did not go dairy free for breastfeeding, I went vegan overnight. It is definitely an adjustment, especially if you’re used to eating whatever you want whenever. What I’ve found to make the biggest difference in the transition is finding dairy free options that have a similar texture to the foods I was used to. Some of my favorite swaps are:
- Almond Breeze Sweetened Vanilla Almond Milk – I had a hard time transitioning over from cow’s milk because of the blandness of many dairy-free milks. I found a flavored and sweetened milk to make the transition easier. As time went on I was able to transition from the sweetened to the unsweetened variety.
- Miyokos Vegan Cheese Wheel – this is SO good (my favorite is the chive flavor). The best way I can describe it is like the Laughing Cow cheese wedges. It’s great on crackers or with some sliced tomatoes.
- Tofutti Cream Cheese – I want to be upfront that if you were a former Philadelphia cream cheese lover nothing will compare. But this is the tastiest alternative I have found.
- Trader Joe’s Shredded Mozzarella – this browns and stretches like dairy cheeses. The taste is similar, though not the same, and it is one of my favorite cheese alternatives.
TIP: A quick way to see if a product contains milk is to go to the bottom of the ingredients list. Common allergens are listed there (it usually says, in bold, CONTAINS followed by the allergens). This can be an easy way to eliminate foods without having to read through all the ingredients.
What do I need to know?
- Milk protein sensitivity is very often also accompanied by an intolerance or sensitivity towards soy. Ask your baby’s pediatrician if you should also try to eliminate soy from your diet (it’s more places than you might think!).
- It can take 2 to 4 weeks for the milk proteins to fully leave your system and your baby’s system. Do not get discouraged if there is not an immediate improvement in symptoms. This is to be expected.
- This does have to be a 100% effort. I know it can be hard, especially if you’re ordering or eating somewhere other than home. It’s a good idea to inform your server that you are eating for a dairy allergy to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
We are here to help! Send us a text, give us a call, or send an email if you need support making this transition (or even if you just have a quick question).