A few weeks ago, we discovered that Annabelle is allergic to dairy. I was confused at first, “Isn’t my breastmilk dairy?” But then, after a few moments, I realized she meant that the baby was allergic to the dairy that I was eating. Duh!!
I thought that this would be easy since I am already lactose sensitive. I would avoid the only dairy I consumed: butter and cheese. Stores sell dairy free butter and cheese so giving up the real stuff? Pshhhh, easy peasy, right?
Did you know there is dairy hidden in all sorts of food items? If you see ingredients like Casein, Caseinates (amonia, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium), Ghee, Nougat, Whey, Paneer, Curds, or Custard, don’t eat it. Kellymom.com has a printable cheat sheet that lists the ingredients to look for when checking out a label.
Unfortunately, I didn’t discover this little cheat sheet until last week. I have made more than a few mistakes in my new quest for a dairy-free life – which means poor little Annabelle has suffered on more than one occasion.
Here are some items that shouldn’t have found their way into my mouth… but did:
Cape Cod Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Chips
Thomas’ English Muffins
Morningstar Sausage Links
Who would’ve thought that soy sausage links contained dairy?! Or potato chips??! Honestly though, I didn’t look at the label before I ate any of those items. And the night after I ate them, Annabelle cried and fussed and growled at me every hour. Her poor little belly was oh-so-sick from my slip-ups.
Other than my mistakes, I have found that living dairy free isn’t that difficult. Granted I need to watch everything I eat, this new diet is not so awful that I would give my baby formula instead of my milk. I have had at least 5 people ask me this past week… Why don’t you just give her formula so you can eat dairy again? Honestly, cutting dairy out of my diet is a GOOD thing for my health. I had been going overboard on processed foods, like cupcakes, gummy worms, cookies, and other crap because it was easy and delicious to eat. Now I am forced to steer clear of processed foods and focus on fresh and nutritious.
Eating out could be challenging. This weekend we went to Mellow Mushroom and they make a DAIRY FREE cheese pizza! That was exciting. Then we went out for sushi, which was another success. We hit a bump in the road when we went to The Original Pancake House and all they had was rye toast, fruit, or oatmeal. I ended up eating the rest of my dairy free pizza for brunch. Thankfully, we are more of the eat at home type and all that matters is A is healthy!
There are so many great articles, websites, and blogs out there for dairy-free living. Lots of people live dairy free and everything I’ve read has been so helpful. Here are some great places to find information about being dairy-free while breastfeeding: