Breastfeeding: Dairy & Soy Intolerance
Updated: Jan 28
When Elin was only a month old, I was told that she likely had an intolerance to something I was consuming and was passing on to her through my breast milk. One of my best friends had just gone through this with her baby, so I was already aware of this being a possibility for us. According to Elin's pediatrician about 50% of infants have an intolerance that can last 6-9 months or more. The most common culprits are dairy and soy. He told me to eliminate those from my diet, and they would retest at her next appointment. Luckily, cutting out dairy and soy from my diet did the trick, and I have had a very happy and healthy baby with absolute ZERO tummy issues. She has since grown out of her intolerance, but we went a good 7 months on this diet. I wanted to share some tips and tricks because I know there are a lot of mamas out there that are presented this same situation and I want you to know that it is definitely possible to do if you want to continue to breast feed!
At first it was pretty difficult to go dairy and soy free, I'm not going to lie. If you have a spouse or partner that can do it with you, that would definitely be helpful! As the weeks went on it got easier, but it took some planning and I had to get used to eating a lot of the same things over and over. Avoiding dairy was definitely easier than soy, as soybean oil or soy lecithin is in EVERYTHING. Salad dressings, marinades, sliced bread, crackers, chocolate, and pretty much any prepackaged item. I came to find that if I purchased organic, there was never soybean oil in the ingredient list. So I spent most of my grocery store trips in Sprout's Farmers Market as they have a huge variety of organic items. Then I would just focus on making sure it was vegan to avoid the dairy. I don't eat red meat, so I got my protein through chicken, turkey, fish, and quinoa. I ate a LOT of quinoa!
Some examples of things I would eat for breakfast:
*Organic oatmeal with almond milk, fresh fruit, a dollop of peanut butter or almond butter
*Chobani coconut 'yogurt' in the Slightly Sweet flavor with fresh fruit
*Scrambled eggs with sauteed veggies
Some examples of things I would eat for lunch:
*Turkey sandwich with Dave's Killer Bread, tomatoes, basil, avocado, olive oil
*Salads with fresh veggies, quinoa, and either a homemade vinegar dressing or a soy free dressing from the store
Some examples of things I would eat for dinner:
*Homemade soups-I would make a massive amount of turkey chili in the slow cooker on Sunday and would eat it for lunch or dinner pretty much every day of the week.
Some examples of things I ate for for snacks and dessert:
*Lots of nuts-pistachios, cashews, almonds
*Pita chips/veggies & hummus
*Anything from Enjoy Life brand-a wonderful line of allergy friendly cookies, crackers, etc. So great for kids too! They are all free of the top 10 allergens.
My advice for when you want to go out to eat, is to plan on calling ahead to let them know you have dietary restrictions. Depending on the type of restaurant, they can guide you toward something specific on the menu and let your waiter know. I found that asking for a very plain salad was always safe, and to bring your own salad dressing because unless they make their own dressing in house, there is about a 99% chance there is soybean oil in the ones they provide. The same goes for the marinades that they use on their meats, there is likely soy in it. Sometimes I would ask for olive oil and vinegar to go on my salad, but once I did eat at a place where their olive oil was a 50/50 blend of olive oil and soybean oil!!! So I just had vinegar :/ Lesson learned: BRING YOUR OWN SALAD DRESSING! My favorites were the Primal Kitchen brand that I found at Sprouts.
In the end, it will be so worth it so your baby can continue having breast milk. With some planning and will power, being dairy and soy free is easier than you think. It will be a healthy reset on your system too! If you have any questions for me about how I did it, please reach out. xo