Tchau, Cow! Part II

Since going dairy-free about 9 months ago, I have received several requests for information. After my first Tchau Cow blog post a few days ago, I decided to follow up with a Q&A format that might be helpful for anyone curious or starting down this road in their journey as well.

Q: Why did you cut out dairy from your diet?
 A: I cut dairy from my diet because I was/am breastfeeding my baby who has a milk protein sensitivity. 

Q: How did you know that dairy was the problem?
A: My baby's symptoms were consistent with the information I read online about food sensitivity in breastfeeding babies. (Ex: extremely fussy, arching back, lots of gas (LOTS!), bubbly bowels, sleeping & waking often with painful cries) 

Q: How long did it take to see results for your baby?
A: It took about 2 weeks to see full results--better sleeping, much less gas, significantly decreased unhappiness/crying/fussiness. According to "Eliminating a food for less than 2-3 weeks may not be effective—cow’s milk protein, for example, can persist in mom’s body for 1½ – 2 weeks, and it may be another 1½ – 2 weeks before the protein is out of baby’s system."

Q: Does this mean your baby is lactose intolerant?
I believe that she has a milk protein sensitivity. According to "If your baby is sensitive to dairy products it is highly unlikely that the problem is lactose intolerance, although many people may tell you so."

Q: What about lactose-free products...?
A: According to "If your baby is sensitive to dairy in your diet, it will not help to switch to lactose-free dairy products. The problem is the cow’s milk proteins, not the lactose. Cooking dairy products may reduce but will not eliminate the allergens."  

Q: Do babies grow out of it? 
A: Babies are likely to grow out of her sensitivity by age 3 (if not sooner)

Q: After 9 months being diary-free, how do you know your if baby is still sensitive?
A: Occasionally I will indulge. So far, the results are still the same--about 2 days after I consume dairy, the babe has a particularly difficult night sleeping. 

Q: Do any of your other children have problems with dairy?
A: My first baby was allergic to eggs (and a few other things) but has since grown out of it (he is now 4). Food allergies & sensitivities can be genetic--and there are plenty of those on Mr. H's side of the family, so my kids are slightly more prone to these things.

Q: Do you give your other children cow's milk now?
A: No. We have enjoyed almond, rice, coconut, & soy milks. Most regularly, we have almond milk in our fridge. At first we were buying both kinds and then realized that was kind of silly.

Q: What is your favorite dairy substitute?
A:Coconut milk ice cream!

Q: Do you plan to stay dairy-free when you are finished nursing your baby?
A: I haven't decided yet. There is information that I have read that makes me feel comfortable sticking with it and even think that it is a good, healthy choice. I like the way I feel dairy-free (there is a noticeable difference in my digestion* and overall healthy feeling) and since I'm on a roll...(and Mr. H has jumped on board as well), we might just go with it!  

Q: What is your advice for others who are gearing up to go dairy free?
AWhile it can feel like an overwhelming challenge, it DOES get easier as you adjust to changing/altering/eliminating dairy from your diet. I know that if I can do it--YOU CAN DO IT too. People will think you are wasting your time and energy but YOU know that breastfeeding your baby (or just making a different healthy life choice) is a priority and that makes it all worth it. There are sufficient substitutes and there are awesome benefits--besides your happy baby, your waist line will thank you as well!

Q: Do you have any helpful links?
A: Why yes, yes I do!

An interesting article written by an MD about saying goodbye to cow's milk (also the problem with the food pyramid)
This is a great place to look for dairy-free substitutes as you are re-configuring your kitchen. 
I'm sure you noticed from the above quotes that I love information on food sensitivities in babies for breastfeeding Mamas...and really, all things breastfeeding! 
Here is a really helpful dairy free site that gives lots of ideas, advice, & recipes!
I am nodding my head as I read "Six Steps To Successfully Going Dairy Free"--if this is your goal, definitely a good little article!
And of is your friend

Bonus Q: The title here is "Tchau Cow"...why do you say "tchau" instead of "ciao"?
A: My usage of the word (meaning "goodbye") is based on my experience with the Portuguese language which is spelled "tchau". You can often hear me say "tchau tchau" when I am saying goodbye on the phone (mostly with Mr. H). Your fun fact for the day! :)

*I have suffered from chronic constipation most of my life--without dairy in my diet, I no longer have this annoying problem! 


Bikini Ready said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I didn't realize I had a dairy sensitivity as well - I just thought I was always having stomache issues and the "Hmrds" word {{laugh}}. How little did I know that dairy was the culprit. :) who knew? Love the blog my friend.


Gina said...

I did this with my little girl too! It helped her gas/fussiness, and I felt much better too! I still stay away from as much as possible and feel much better without, but I seem to be the only member of my family who feels this way. My daughter outgrew her sensitivity by 9 months.