Eliminating dairy while breastfeeding, simple right? Do a quick search for some dairy free swaps, learn the words for hidden dairy, grab a pack of Larabars in the case of a snack emergency and you’re good to go! Think again.
At first, eliminating dairy (or any other allergen) can make you want to cry when you think of everything you have to give up. But how great is it that this one change can give you a whole new, happy baby?! As moms of little ones, we cling to those things that we can actually control, and with some simple swaps you’ll be happy to be free of screaming baby (ok fine, all babies like to scream their heads off to some extent). Some simple changes and no more worrying about weird poops, no more rash or eczema.
I know you, you’re a mom, that instantly tells me you’re a superhero (even though it may not feel like that sometimes), but no matter how much you try it’s not always easy to change. Furthermore, why get by just surviving this new way of life – why not embrace it and thrive?
What do I mean by thrive? Well a couple things. Let’s look at the nutrition aspect first.
You could swap out your morning bowl of cereal with milk for a plant-based alternative; your coffee creamer with a non-dairy creamer, and your mac and cheese with that Daiya “cheeze”. Now that you’re reading food labels religiously, why not use this new way of life to really get curious about everything you’re eating?
There’s got to be a better way, and in my workshop we’ll look at some strategies to help you make sounder choices.
Next, the emotional side of things. Take a look at how you’re feeling. Sleep deprived, anyone? Stressed and constantly worried if you’re doing the right thing for you and your little one? And ugh, it’s so hard to go out to a restaurant or a friend’s house, feeling like the obnoxious one with dietary restrictions.
Stress on your system can really take a toll on you mentally and physically. Maybe you’re not feeling great about your body, maybe you can’t remember the last time you did something just for you, maybe by the end of the day you just want some damn ice cream!
Where do you Begin?
A dairy free cheat sheet is a great place to start. Talking to a mom who’s been through it before is excellent too. In addition, working with an expert in nutrition is super duper! But this adjustment goes much deeper than simply what you are eating. Sure, you can get by, and for you (and most likely your baby, too) this change is just temporary. But why not get that extra support and take this challenge that life has thrown at you and turn it into something great?
However you go about it, know that there’s something in this to be gained (and yes, you have my permission to mourn the loss of cheese).
Here are my top 5 tips for any mom who is eliminating dairy (or any other allergen from her diet):
Originally published at mlbfamilywellness.com