Our Lactose Intolerance Story and Helpful Videos from the National Dairy Council

When Sophie turned one, she abruptly stopped breastfeeding. On her actual birthday, she suddenly went from breastfeeding five times a day to only wanting bottles. My strong willed fourth child was going to dictate her weaning schedule, on her terms. As it was time to transition her away from formula, I gave her whole milk. Immediately, she started having horrible diarrhea, raw diaper rash, and crying as if she was in pain. My breasts were rock hard and incredibly painful. I felt rejected and my baby was in pain. To say that I was an emotional mess would be an understatement.

Sophie BowMy pediatrician didn’t seem to understand my concern. He didn’t suggest any tests. “She’s one,” he said. “You should be weaning her anyway. She needs to transition to a diet of mostly solid foods. Why don’t you just give her soy milk?”

His lack of care blew me away. Sophie was just one, just barely one. And she was still tiny, born 3 months early. She wasn’t going to become a toddler overnight. She needed to gradually move to a big kid diet and still needed plenty of cuddle time sipping a bottle, getting the calcium and dairy that she needed to grow strong and smart.  With a family tree studded with breast cancer survivors, I didn’t want to pump her full of soy milk either. I hated how he cavalierly substituted one for the other. Just because soy milk inhabits the same case as cow milk in the supermarket doesn’t make them the same product. Juliette Feeding SophieWe switched to lactose free milk and another pediatrician that day and all of our problems went away. Over time, we learned that yogurt and cheese pose no problems for Sophie, but ice cream is a big no no. Butter is fine as well, same with small doses of heavy cream in sauces. Through trial and error, we learned how to live with her lactose intolerance, without cutting dairy out of her life. In December, I participated in a Google Hangout about Lactose Intolerance with experts from the National Dairy Council. I wish I’d been able to have that time with the team a year ago, when we were struggling to find out what would work for Sophie’s diet. Here are two videos edited from the Google Hangout: the first discusses how lactose intolerance can be easily diagnosed and the second features low lactose food and drinks that can be tolerated if you are lactose intolerant. They’re quick – under 3 minutes each – and filled with really great information.

How to Test for Lactose Intolerance

Keeping Dairy in your Diet When You Are Lactose Intolerant


6 Responses to Our Lactose Intolerance Story and Helpful Videos from the National Dairy Council

  1. I’m lactose intolerant and ice cream sadly is a no no for me too. Coconut milk ice cream tastes great! Sorbets are dairy free if you find yourself treating the family to ice cream in a shop.

    I think something is up with the second video. It is a repeat of the first.

    • We have recently discovered coconut milk ice cream and everyone is much happier. It is so delicious.

      I just updated the post to make the second video different. Sorry about that! I pasted in the wrong code.

  2. Thank you for the helpful videos. Molly took the lactose intolerance test when she was about 5. She passed it but I suspect she had a milk allergy that she had outgrown – something was definately up with her. We found out when Margaret was 9 months that she was allergic to milk – they told me to just stop breast feeding and put her on soy as well (we went another route). Luckily for us, she outgrew it, but she still doesn’t really like milk (yogurt, ice cream and cheese are fine).

  3. This is very interesting! My son is of Chinese decent and apparently this is very common with people who are Asian. He had blood in his stool as a baby on regular formula (he’s adopted so breast feeding wasn’t an option). So, he was recommended to use formula with the milk protein broken down (Alimentum). That worked well and then when we tried to switch at a year to regular milk he had the same reaction as your daughter. So, he’s stayed on some formula and we use coconut and almond products. I feel similarly about soy, especially since so much of it is GMO in our country.
    The pediatrician supports our choices but hasn’t been very helpful in ideas. Maybe we will try Lactose free milk and see how he does so that we can see if that helps with the symptoms. I’d hate to have him do the test on him since it would be so painful for him since I know he can’t tolerate regular milk. Just no way of knowing if it’s a lactose intolerace or an inability to breakdown the milk proteins. Apparently so many people experience some intolerance to milk…I just wish there was more information out there!

Leave a reply