If milk leaves you with a lot of gas, you are probably lactose intolerant; in your case milk does little good to your body. Lactose intolerance happens when there is an inadequate supply of the enzyme lactase, required to digest milk sugar lactose.
- Cramping ranging from mild to severely uncomfortable
The degree of intolerance varies; some are able to handle a glass of milk without any complaints while others cannot even tolerate a sop of milk. If you are lactose intolerant, you can find ways to combat without causing stomach upsets.
- Try drinking only half a glass of milk at a time, a small dish of cottage cheese, a thin slice of cheese. The rule to remember is to eat dairy products in small portions and spread out during the day instead of eating a couple of large doses.
- Lactose is easier to digest when mixed with other foods, in particular high-fiber foods such as whole grains or cereals. So pour milk into your cereals or eat your bread with cheese.
- Look for lactose-free milk at the supermarket; choose lactose-free calcium fortified milk.
- Take lactase in pill form whenever you eat or drink a dairy product. Check with your doctor on this.
- The closer a dairy product is to milk, the more likely it is to upset your stomach. Aged cheese such as cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss) may be easier on your stomach because more than half the lactose is removed during processing.
- Active cultures found in yogurt, known as acidophilus help break down lactose without the need for supplements
- If milk in any form, even lactose reduced is intolerable, stay away from the foods that are in anyway dairy-related. Read labels carefully.
- Since it is quite challenging to get adequate calcium without eating dairy products, you will need to search high and low for alternatives. Try juices, especially juices fortified with calcium. Turn to canned fish with bones such as salmon and sardines; tofu, greens, broccoli and calcium-enriched soy milk and cheese are good sources.
- Calcium is not the only nutrient milk provides; milk is a major source of vitamin D. If you are not drinking your milk, you will need to try other methods to get this nutrient. A few minutes each day in the sun will help; stay away from the sun during peak hours since your pregnant skin is more sensitive now. Take a supplement that contains vitamin D, eat enriched cereals and breads and vitamin D-enriched soy milk and juice.
- If you are not getting adequate calcium through your diet, ask your doctor to prescribe a calcium supplement that won't be upsetting to your pregnant tummy.