As a mom-to-be, you know that your diet is important to help sustain and grow a healthy baby! What if you struggle with food allergies or sensitivities, such as lactose intolerance? How do you make sure you’re getting all the necessary nutrients with such diet challenges?

June is National Dairy Month and today we talk about being pregnant while lactose intolerant!


What is Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is when someone cannot digest lactose. Lactose is a sugar that is found in milk and milk products, such as cheese, yogurt, cream, and etc. The most common side effects include: diarrhea, bloating, cramping, nausea and/or gas after consuming dairy products. 

The side effects of lactose intolerance happen due to one’s body not being able to produce adequate amounts of lactase — an enzyme that breaks down lactose. 


Why Calcium is Essential

Calcium is good for your body, but also for your baby’s bones and teeth too! Typically, you should have 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day during pregnancy. This helps prevent your body from utilizing the calcium in your bones and teeth to help grow your baby. You want to make sure both you and your baby have sufficient nutrients so that both of you are feeling strong and healthy.


Tips for Pregnant Women when Lactose Intolerant

  • Instead of dairy milk and cheese, you can opt for other lactose-free, calcium rich foods like:
    • Non-dairy milk and orange juice
    • Almonds
    • Tofu and edamame
    • Collard greens, kale, and spinach
    • Sardines and salmon 
    • Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds
  • Lactose-free or dairy-free food products – including milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • You would need to speak to your doctor, but a you could take a calcium supplement and any other supplemental vitamins to help your body better absorb calcium

Don’t worry! Lactose intolerance is fairly common for people around the world. In fact 65% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant to some degree. Once more, the food industry has been increasingly providing consumers with restrictive diets more dairy-free options to choose from. If you have any questions about your pregnancy diet or lactose intolerance while pregnant, you can always contact us. We are happy to help!