Going dairy free while breastfeeding is something many of us have heard of - some moms swear by it! Many times people blame lactose or a dairy allergy as the reason a baby may have a challenge with dairy, but more often than not, it can simply be a sensitivity to the protein cow's milk has. This sensitivity is typically temporary for babies, and they often outgrow it quickly. However, the issues that dairy can cause little ones while nursing or drinking pumped milk - colic, gastrointestinal upset and more - may be easily overcome by the breastfeeding mama dropping dairy. And don't worry, it doesn't have to be forever!
Here are three reasons why you should consider a dairy-free diet when breastfeeding.
Dairy Is A Common Allergen
If your baby is fussy after nursing or suffers from vomiting or diarrhea, they may have a food allergy. Sensitivity to cow's milk is fairly common in children; specifically, babies often experience an allergy to the protein in cow's milk — not the lactose. And although a full-on dairy allergy isn't super common, it is does affect up to 2% of children in the U.S. according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Infants who have an intolerance to dairy often experience symptoms such as skin rashes, mucus in their stool, tummy upset and general discomfort, however, you can help to reduce these symptoms — or eliminate them entirely— by adopting a dairy-free diet while breastfeeding!
Moms Benefit Too!
Adopting a dairy-free diet isn't just beneficial for your nursing baby; it can also benefit you! Cow's milk often contains a synthetic growth hormone known as rBGH, as well as sugars and fats that can aggravate your digestive system and skin. If you suffer from frustrating pimples and adult acne, going dairy-free is often recommended as the first line of defense.
In addition, the protein in dairy has been shown to increase mucus production and inflammation, which can lead to a whole host of other health problems, such as candida overgrowth and thyroid issues. But more worryingly, several studies have shown a direct correlation between the consumption of dairy and hormone-related cancers, such as ovarian cancer. In fact, just one serving of cows milk daily was shown to increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer by 32%.
Dairy-Free Is Easier Than You Might Think
If your baby has an allergy to cow's milk, it's likely that even when they transition to solid food, you'll have to be mindful of it. By adopting a dairy-free diet while breastfeeding, you can educate yourself and become comfortable preparing delicious dairy-free meals. Don't know where to start cooking dairy-free? Check out our Pinterest board with hundreds of ideas, all great choices for breastfeeding moms.
Although the thought of giving up cheese may seem like a nightmare you can't wake up from, it's actually a lot easier than you might anticipate. Most grocery stores have plenty of delicious, dairy-free alternatives available to enjoy — plus, experimenting with food is fun!
Our protein powder provides an easy, accessible jumping-off point if you're new to a dairy-free lifestyle. Milk Drunk Protein Powders are all vegan, made with a pea protein that is less likely than whey protein to aggravate little one's tummy.
If going dairy-free makes you concerned about a lack of calcium or protein, don't fret! There are plenty of non-dairy calcium sources to choose from, such as oranges, kale, spinach, and broccoli.
As with most other parenting challenges, finding the source of your baby's discomfort is often a case of trial and error. It may take up to three months to eliminate cow's milk protein from your body, and you may not see the positives effects for a couple of weeks — but keep the faith mama, because a contented nursing baby will always be worth the sacrifice.