How Is Lactose Intolerance Caused During Pregnancy?

how is lactose intolerance caused during pregnancy

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Congratulations on the good news!!

Now that your pregnancy is confirmed, you need to consume more calcium daily for you and your baby’s health. One of the best sources of calcium as we know is found in milk and its products.

But what if you are lactose intolerant?

How Is Lactose Intolerance During Pregnancy Caused?

Lactose is a form of sugar found in dairy products. It is broken down in our body by an enzyme called lactase. While you are pregnant, the digestion process slows down and proves challenging for you to digest simplest dairy products. This happens due to the hormones produced in your body to maximize the absorption of nutrients from food. The side effects of this reaction will make you feel lactose intolerant.

You may find relief from the condition by eliminating foods that contain lactose from your diet. It is strongly advised to check with your doctor before making any dietary changes.

[ Read: Honey During Pregnancy ]


You will notice symptoms of being lactose intolerant, as soon as you consume anything containing lactose, which are milk products.

The most common symptoms are:

[ Read: Amla During Pregnancy ]

Tests To Diagnose:

If you notice the above symptoms, your doctor may advise you to take some tests, like the Lactose intolerant test or Hydrogen breath test. Your doctor may also check to eliminate other underlying causes like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Milk allergies.

Ways To Ensure Calcium Consumption:

Calcium is abundantly found in plain milk and milk products. However, being lactose intolerant, you may need to look at other sources for calcium. Your doctor is the best source of advice in this matter.

You can ensure your daily requirement of calcium is met by taking calcium supplements and introducing non-dairy calcium rich foods into your diet like:

1. Almond Or Soy Milk:

These contain good amounts of calcium, protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

2. Tofu Or Paneer:

These are made out of soy milk and cow’s milk respectively. They are rich in calcium.

3. Leafy Greens Like Spinach:

These are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins.

4. Nuts And Whole Grains:

Almonds, walnuts and pulses contain calcium. The antioxidants present in nuts help develop strong bones and collagen in both you and your baby.

5. Broccoli:

It is high in calcium, rich in iron and other minerals that keep your skin glowing.

For the maximum absorption of calcium, vitamin D is also essential. This is found in eggs and fish. Regular exposure to sunlight is also a good source though you should not be exposed to the sun for more than 30 minutes. Do wear a sunscreen lotion to avoid tanning or skin burn. You can also take vitamin D supplements after consulting with your doctor.

[ Read: Leaking Breasts During Pregnancy ]

Can Lactose Intolerance In Pregnancy Affect Your Growing Baby?

Due to being lactose intolerant during pregnancy , you may not be able to take calcium rich foods. Your body will draw the needed calcium from your bones and teeth for your baby. But this in turn can cause long-term side effects on your own health, like osteopenia, where the density of the bone reduces. If left untreated, it can develop into osteoporosis.

Hence it is advisable to get the right dose of calcium in your daily diet through the sources that suit you.

  • Talk about your concerns with your doctor. Always consult before going for any calcium supplements.
  • Do enjoy your pregnancy, eat healthy and prepare yourself for those beautiful days ahead with your baby.

Hope you found our information helpful. We would love to hear about your experience dealing with lactose intolerance during pregnancy.

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