Let me start out by saying, if you have been told your baby has a dairy and or soy intolerance, please do not panic! You have options. I was blessed with a Pediatrician that supported my want to breastfeed, and gave me plenty of resources to get me through. I have heard too many moms say however that their pediatrician immediately pushed formula as the only option (there are formulas created specifically for this issue). With a change in your diet, your milk can become exactly what baby needs. Having to switch to formula was my first fear when I heard this news the first time. My goal was to breastfeed for at least the first year, and I hated the thought of something standing in the way of my goal.
The second fear I had was feeling like there was no way I could be strict enough on myself to cut out everything I needed. When I diet for myself and my own needs I often fail or don’t do as good of a job as I should. When I needed a special diet for my second and third babies, it was a different story. I knew that what I ate affected them, and if I didn’t eat right, I would have to switch to formula. It is much easier to do the right thing for your child than it is for yourself, so please have faith in yourself. *Update, I am currently going through this again with baby number four.
Fear number three had me freaked out for a long term reason. I hated the thought of dealing with a child with food allergies. I know that this is completely manageable and people deal with allergies all the time, but I come from a family of tons of awful food allergies, and I hated that thought for my son. He wasn’t going to be able to eat ice cream at birthday parties with his friends?! Let me explain this though. We are talking about an intolerance, and most babies outgrow this in the first year. Also, people assume this is the same thing as lactose intolerance. This is a reaction to the milk protein, not lactose (so lactose free products will not be what you are looking for). I was blessed with two babies that outgrew it right around the year mark. They both love milk, cheese, yogurt, and all the fun dairy products now. And let’s say that for some reason this turns into a lifelong thing, you can manage it! It will be ok.
The fourth fear took a few weeks to sink in. I was majorly struggling to learn how to eat this new diet. My babies had it to an extreme level where missing a hidden ingredient low on the list of a packaged food would set them into a gas filled, no sleep, screaming kind of night. I began to fear that I would never figure it out, but I did! Do your research. Learn to read labels. Reach out to family and friends (because you probably know someone that has been through this before). Send me a message if you need help. Seriously, I’m here if you need me! If your pediatrician isn’t doing a good job of supporting you, reach out to your other doctors because they might have ideas.
Let’s talk about a few label reading tips that tripped me up for a while. You are not just looking for the word milk or soy alone. Milk, milk protein, casein, and whey are no longer your friend. If you are dealing with soy, be cautious of vegetable oils because many contain soy (never assume). Soy lecithin does not always bother people with soy allergies, but it didn’t work for my babies. That is hanging out in tons of packaged food. I became friends with the employees at Whole Foods and Fresh Thyme because I constantly had questions for them. Ask when you need help!
Here are some really great side effects that came with doing this for my babies. I felt like a superhero! I was so proud of myself for doing something that would benefit my babies in such a positive way. I became a better cook, because I had to learn to get creative in the kitchen. We all got healthier in the house, because I had to pay so much attention to what was going in my body. I lost my baby weight and felt the healthiest I ever had in my life. And the biggest side effect was that I learned to believe in myself. I can do big things if I put my mind to it!
You can do this momma! You are amazing, and I know that because you are reading this article. You care enough about your baby that you are looking for answers. Hugs sent your way, because I know what you are feeling right now. But, I know you will figure out what is best for you and your baby!
Image Taken By: Gigglebox Photography
I found a company I love and trust, and she makes amazing dairy and soy free lactation cookies! Click here to shop Miracle Milkookies
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