5 Tips for Going Soy + Dairy-Free While Breastfeeding

The day we brought William home from the hospital he projectile vomited all over me and our bed. Twice. Like an adult sized vomit. Just what a new mom needs on the day she brings the baby home, right? Ha. Soon we figured out that William was allergic to dairy and eventually we found that he was also allergic to soy. That meant that mama could not eat any dairy or soy products or else he would spit up more than he should. His pediatrician recommended we try giving him dairy/soy products around one year and like most babies who had allergies, he had grown out of them by the time he turned one. I also finished breastfeeding him by his first birthday so it was all the ice cream for mama!

Then came baby Daniel. At first, he seemed to have no food allergies. Then suddenly he had stomach pains, painful gas, and vomiting. Luckily I'm a "pro" so I knew the signs and first cut out dairy from my diet. That helped a bit. Then I cut out soy and that made a huge difference. Daniel is sensitive to the tiniest traces of dairy and soy where as I could get away with cheating on the diet now and then with William and all that would happen would be one extra spit up. This time, if I have any soy or dairy, poor Daniel is in so much pain. 

I've gone through cutting out soy and dairy while breastfeeding twice now so I've got a few tips if you're in the same boat. One of our pediatricians told me that if a baby has a dairy allergy, it is common for them to also be allergic to soy, so if you find that your baby is allergic to one food but is still having minor issues, try cutting out the other food group to see if that does the trick. A little disclaimer: I am not a trained medical professional, these tips are just based on my personal experience. Always talk to a doctor about any medical concerns.

Tips for going soy + dairy-free

1. Eliminate one possible allergen at a time

@@If you think your baby has a food allergy, cut out one food group from your diet at a time.@@ If you cut out both soy and dairy at the same time and baby gets better, you won't know if he's actually allergic to both or just one, so you could be cutting out foods from your diet unnecessarily. 

2. Read everything on all of the labels

I can't tell you how many times I started eating something only to later check the label and find that there is soybean oil in it. Soy seems to be in everything. Even if you don't think that there is soy in a product, read the label. I can't say it enough. Read the label. Read the label. Read the label. I've read a few labels that said something like "contains either sunflower oil and/or soybean oil." In that case, place it safe and put it back on the shelf.

3. Keep a snack on hand

Every time we have something going on at church, it involves food. And there aren't always labels for me to read or they obviously have dairy in them so I have to say no to all the yummy treats. But I'm breastfeeding so I'm always hungry (it's worse than when I was pregnant, ha!) so looking at all of the food is torture. To keep myself from drooling I try to keep a snack on hand that is diet-friendly. 

4. Menu plan and meal prep

Since you can't have your hubby pick up a pizza on his way home from work, it's smart of you to have dinners planned ahead of time. If you're new to menu planning, I have a post covering six different meal planning methods along with printables to help you out. Prepping what you can ahead of time will also be helpful because dairy and soy are in practically everything at restaurants (both sit-down and fast-food). I can't even eat McDonald's french fries because they use soybean oil in them. 

5. Keep as little dairy/soy in the house as possible

This one is tricky at our house because some of the few things that our toddler will eat have dairy in them. He actually just started going into the fridge on his own and grabbing packages of cheese for me to open for him. To keep yourself from being tempted, just keep what you can out of the house. Or if you husband can't live without ice cream (like mine) then keep a soy and dairy-free alternative on hand (I personally love the So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Creams). 

Have any of you fellow mamas cut out foods because of your baby's allergies? What tips do you have for those of us still in that season? Any favorite soy and dairy-free recipes?