Lactose Intolerance During Pregnancy
Whether you're wondering if you could be lactose intolerant, or you know you are and you want to know how to keep yourself and baby healthy throughout pregnancy, we've got answers to all your questions.
What is lactose intolerance during pregnancy?
People who are lactose intolerant lack lactase, the enzyme that normally digests a sugar called lactose. Since lactose is found in dairy products, eating them makes you feel sick. If you’re lactose intolerant, you’re probably wondering how to get the calcium you need during pregnancy without getting sick.
What are the signs of lactose intolerance during pregnancy?
The most common signs of lactose intolerance are abdominal pain, bloating, cramping and gas after ingesting dairy products. Sounds a lot like general pregnancy symptoms, right?
Are there any tests for lactose intolerance during pregnancy?
Yes. Sometimes a doctor diagnoses lactose intolerance based on symptoms. If you consistently experience abdominal pain, bloating and gas after eating or drinking dairy -- but you feel fine after cutting dairy out of your diet -- you’re probably lactose intolerant. A simple breath test or blood test, performed in a doctor’s office, can confirm the diagnosis.
How common is lactose intolerance?
Pretty common. It’s more common in adults (who don’t have the same biological need to drink milk that young kids do), and it’s more common among people of African, Asian, South American or Native American descent.
How did I get lactose intolerance?
It might be genetic. Other times, lactose intolerance is caused by an injury to the small intestine, which normally produces lactase.
How will lactose intolerance affect my baby?
You don’t have to drink milk to have a healthy baby, but you do need to make sure to get enough calcium. Know that baby will be fine no matter what -- even if you skimp on calcium -- but that’s because your body will draw calcium from your bones and teeth to make sure your baby has what she needs to grow healthy and strong. And that can have devastating long-term effects on your own health, causing osteoporosis (see next page for tips on getting enough calcium without dairy).