Is Pregnancy a Cure for Lactose Intolerance?

Lauren Flynn Kelly
29


Ice cream has always been my weakness. I would go out of my way to get a fix and have to work twice as hard at the gym afterward. But one day my body had enough, and I just couldn't digest dairy anymore. Yep, I became lactose intolerant.

But lucky for me, I then became pregnant

Now, I've heard of women complaining about a decreased tolerance for milk during pregnancy. Perhaps this is because they're upping their dairy intake to give baby more calcium or because digestion tends to slow down when you're preggers. But an increased tolerance for dairy?

Before pregnancy, I couldn't eat ice cream without taking Lactaid or even think about touching cream cheese -- fooling myself into believing that the tofu version is just as good -- but, when I became pregnant, my cravings for dairy were suddenly so strong I couldn't ignore them.

So I started experimenting. I'd have a glass of milk here and there, then a little ice cream, some hard cheeses, some more ice cream, and finally, cream cheese ... all with no trouble. Amazing! I felt like shouting from the rooftops.

And it turns out, this isn't totally unheard of. A 2008 study on lactose intolerance found that 44% of its female participants regained their ability to digest dairy during pregnancy, although it's unclear if that was permanent.

Now that my baby's here and I'm breastfeeding, I've had to watch my dairy intake out of concern that it's giving my daughter digestive troubles, so soy milk remains in the mix. But I'm hoping this milk miracle will last.

Have any of you miraculously regained your ability to digest dairy?

 

Image via Flare/Flickr

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