After graduating with my degree in Dietetics, I worked for the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program. It was there that I received extremely valuable breastfeeding education. I had so much knowledge and had been able to help women struggling to breastfeed their own babies.
It was my experience with my second daughter that led me to write this post.
With the text book knowledge and real world breastfeeding experience under my belt, I thought breastfeeding my second daughter was going to be easy.
After a few weeks of struggling with latch issues and engorgement, everything was finally going well. By the time she was a month old, she became extremely fussy. Every night she would struggle to go to sleep only to be awakened screaming with nothing obviously wrong with her. This would go on for hours every night and eventually she began doing it during the day too. I felt helpless as I tried everything to soothe her but nothing I tried would calm her down. Every night after she finally went to sleep, I would search online for answers. I finally found a breastfeeding article on food allergies that listed all of her symptoms and I spoke with her doctor who suggested I cut back on my dairy intake.
I was ready to take action and began removing all traces of dairy from my diet. Although I am a Dietitian, it was still quite overwhelming. When reading food labels, I wasn't used to looking for dairy as an ingredient in a product. Eventually, I got the hang of it and was dairy free. Her symptoms were better but not totally gone. That's when I decided to eliminate soy too. This was another huge lifestyle change to make because so many products contain dairy and/or soy. When I accomplished this, my daughter was a normal, happy baby again.
Now that I discovered her allergies, the struggle is over, right? Think again. Have you ever tried to avoid dairy or soy products eating out? Or what about when you go over to your family's or friend's house for dinner or a party? I had to make sure I planned ahead when eating away from home to either eat something beforehand or pack my own food. I got good at picking out safe foods at restaurants and looking at menus or calling ahead so I was prepared. I slowly started discovering products that I could enjoy and how to make substitutes in recipes.
My daughter eventually outgrew her allergies and this experience has helped guide me to find my passion in the field of Dietetics. I decided to open my own business so that I can help other people identify and avoid their food allergies and sensitivities. I support and empower my clients so they are able to navigate the grocery store, cooking, and eating out with ease and confidence.
Check out my Pinterest page for some of my favorite allergy friendly recipes!