Giving up dairy is tough – so here are 4 common things a dairy free new mum might want you to know if you’re a friend or family member.
1. I didn’t choose to give up dairy
Taking out all dairy from my diet is tough. I’m already tired and adjusting to becoming a parent, and now I have to change my diet. I’m doing this for my baby, because their symptoms are breaking my heart. I miss cheese, chocolate and easy to buy, tasty snacks.
It’s really hard not to feel normal, to have another thing to think about right now. I can’t have a normal cheese sandwich, or enjoy biscuits with my friends, because dairy is in so much packaged food, I have to be really careful about what I eat. And that’s hard when you just want cake!
2. Even a small bit of dairy can have an impact
Please don’t say ‘just a bit won’t matter’. I’m not doing this to be difficult, when I eat dairy my baby’s symptoms are bad enough to convince me to go through this dietary change. It could make a difference if I have just a bite of the food, or if you add milk to my mashed potatoes!
I’m not trying to be annoying when you cook for me, or when you offer me a snack, I just need to know its dairy free, because I don’t want to have another night and day of screaming / vomiting / eczema flare up / baby in pain (delete as necessary).
3. My baby is fine with breastmilk
Proteins from food filter through into breast milk and that is why babies can react to cow’s milk in a mother’s diet as well as allergens like soya or peanuts. Breastmilk has been shown to be the best food for babies with allergies, but I’m trying to ensure there is nothing in the milk that will irritate my baby’s health.
4. I might not have all the evidence, but I’m my own researcher, investigating cause and effect
There is no gold standard for diagnosing allergy or intolerance to dairy in a breastfed baby, but I’m doing my own experiment to eliminate it. I know if I eliminate dairy for 6-8 weeks I can then start to investigate what happens when I bring it back into my diet.
If you speak to any new mum who’s baby has a suspected dairy allergy, they are experts on what is causing the symptoms, every day is like a scientific experiment to uncover what is causing their baby to be upset. Please help me with dairy free food and support to try and get this right.
Love, A Dairy Free New Mum
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