Should I Avoid Dairy?

Kathleen Tackett's picture

QUESTION

Dear Lactation Consultant,
I am due in February. Here's what I'm wondering. My husband is allergic to dairy protein. Should I avoid it now and during breastfeeding just to be safe? Or is that being too careful? Also, I'm wondering what some of the signs are that a baby is having trouble with something you're eating?

ANSWER

If you have allergies in the family it is always good to be moderate with everything. With dairy, that means no more than a quart of milk a day from all sources (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.).

Some signs of reactions in babies are rash, congestion, wheezing, and colicky symptoms. But it is important to be scientific before you assume it is something in your diet. That means, experiment by eliminating the suspected food and then reintroducing it later. All babies have fussy periods, but it is unusual for babies to react to foods mothers eat.

In rare cases, a mother may need to totally eliminate a food. Dairy is the most common culprit. But as a baby grows and their digestive system matures, it may be possible to reintroduce it later.

With dairy, it can take two weeks to get our of your system. If that is the cause of the problem, I would wait a month or two before trying again. Dairy is the most common allergen that people react to. It may be because we tend to overdo on it both during pregnancy and afterward. I've always wondered how one food got to be its own food group.I hope this helps.

-- Nancy, IBCLC