Going Dairy Free

Going Dairy Free

I posted about Val’s new sleep schedule last week and I think its also due to another new development…my decision to eliminate dairy from my diet.

It could be total coincidence, or maybe it really is a reaction, but I started seeing an instant red rash all over Val’s face when I was nursing her. It would come on as soon as she started to feed and then totally vanish when she was done. So weird. At first I figured it was baby acne. I remember G having a bit on her face around the same age. Val is seven weeks.

And then, she was gassy. Gassy enough that she wanted to be latched on to me nursing constantly. I would try lying her down once she fell asleep and then within five minutes or less she was stirring and then awake! At night this would go on for hours until she finally was just too tired. She wouldn’t sleep for very long stretches either. Maybe a couple of hours of so. I felt so bad, I could see her little body scrunching up with gas pain.

Now, if you don’t like poop talk don’t read past here.

Breastfed babies have a mustardy, seedy looking poop, most of the time. Val’s poop started getting green and mucus-y. As the days went on I just couldn’t understand the rash and the poop. Green poop isn’t really alarming in breastfeeding babies as they can really have several different colors of poop. But, I wanted to see if something was up.

I started tweeting out questions about both with the #breastfeeding hastag and another twitter/mom friend of mine who also has a newborn said her son was exhibiting the same types of symptoms and she had read that it could be from too much lactose. I went to one of my favorite sites, KellyMom.com, and did a bit of “middle of the night feeding” reading and research. Here is what I found…

Breastfed babies who are sensitive to dairy in mom’s diet are sensitive to specific cow’s milk antibodies, in the form of proteins (not lactose), which pass into the mother’s milk. Cow’s milk (either in the mother’s diet or engineered into formula) is a common source of food sensitivity in babies. Cow’s milk sensitivity or allergy can cause colic-like symptoms, eczema, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea (including bloody diarrhea), constipation, hives, and/or a stuffy, itchy nose.

So, based on that I decided to do my own experiment. I eliminated dairy from my diet. So far, its been one week and I’ve seen no greenish stool, no face rash while nursing and her sleep has total done a 180. I even spoke to the pediatrician who said if you think that is what it is then go with it. Whatever is making both me and baby happy is a win. She said it could be a dairy sensitivity passed though me, and if it is it won’t be forever and that Val would eventually just grow out of it and I could gradually start reintroducing dairy into my diet.

I had one slice of cheese on Friday as an experiment and sure enough the red rashy face returned during a feeding shortly after.

Honestly, I feel better too, but damn I do miss my cheese. I ate a TON of dairy before. Yogurt, cheese, milk, crackers, ice cream, and all in one day. Basically dairy binging. 🙂

Now, I’m into almond milk, but there is no replacement for cheese so…

Have you ever had your breastfeeding baby have a reaction like this?

dairy free

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About Candice

Candice is a mom of three under 5. Originally from the smallest state of Rhode Island, now living in Connecticut. From working gal to stay-at-home mom, she is walking the path of the Modern Mom.


  1. Almost 10 years, while in college, I was diagnosed with a severe allergy to dairy (cow’s milk). My symptoms were getting progressively worse until I could no longer function, eat properly, and it was one of my professor’s who threatened to call an ambulance if I didn’t go to the doctor myself. After skin tests and blood draws, it was immediately determined I had an allergy to cow’s milk. Once I made the drastic change in my diet, my life completely changed. I recently wrote this post (https://nicoleandkevin.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/living-without-the-moo/) about the products I use on a regular basis. Today, I am 20 weeks pregnant with our first child and anxiously awaiting Kamden’s arrival in December. While I am nervous and a bit scared, I am looking forward to breastfeeding our child and hopeful he does not become allergic to anything down the road. I, too, have read the warnings about mother’s eating/drinking dairy products and it causing harm and discomfort to their child. Since I cannot consume the products, I’m confident in our chances!

    Don’t lose hope, though. There are many alternatives that you could try that not only taste great, but are safe for your little one too. I miss cheese like no other, but I’ve been able to use MANCHEGO for years without problem. It’s made with sheep’s milk and tastes great on salads, pasta, homemade pizza, sandwiches, or just a plain cracker. Personally, I cannot tolerate goat’s milk because it is too close to cow’s milk and I react, but you might be different. If you like ice cream, there are soy varieties that are VERY tasty … and don’t forget that “true” fruit-based sorbets SHOULD BE dairy-free. I just picked up a blood orange sorbet yesterday that tastes amazing!

    My only word of advice is this: READ EVERY INGREDIENT LIST + LABEL. It’s unbelievable how many products contain milk or milk by-products. It’s better to read and ask questions than suffer. Don’t be surprised if a brand changes their recipe and the ingredients change. For example, I picked up a container of store-brand soy milk without reading the label, got home, and realized it also included cow’s milk. Needless to say, I now only purchase SILK soy milk. I’ve seen the same thing happen with almond milk, coconut milk, breads, lunch/deli meat, and frozen vegetables.

    Good luck! Blessings! Happy Dairy-free Eating!
    Nicole @ Three 31

  2. I don’t think I intake too much dairy but there are days Luke’s poop goes green and he’s gassy. I just try and take it easy.

    Does gelato have dairy??? No. It’s not. Damn. Just ate a half container lol

  3. I *could* do the no dairy if I had to…but it wouldn’t be my first choice! You’re such a good mama! Actually, I’m finding eggs make me feel bloated and gross suddenly and I have never been able to handle too much cheese…yet I guzzle milk like there’s no tomorrow – who knows!

    • I do love my milk. I’ve tried eating/drinking it in moderation this week and limiting it to just one serving a day. That seems to be working for both of us. 🙂

  4. LOVE that I found this on Pinterest. Attempting to go dairy-free for my 4 week old. She gets so much gas that causes a lot of discomfort and her poops have been very watery. Thanks for sharing!

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