We love Esther Anderson for her relatable parenting struggles
For many nursing moms, breastfeeding can come with a whole host of obstacles. One major obstacle is when you’re nursing a baby with a milk allergy. Which doesn’t mean an allergy to breastmilk, thankfully, but rather the milk you ingest. Meaning you can no longer ingest any dairy whatsoever if you want to continue nursing.
Yeah. It’s a struggle.
And no one knows that better than Esther Anderson, mom of three and the face behind the insanely popular Facebook page “Story of this Life.” After finding out her newest baby girl, Aubrey, has a milk allergy, Anderson shared her hilarious and incredibly relatable thoughts on her new dairy-free diet.
“Can we just talk about cows for a second? And how much we love them. How much we appreciate them, and the delicious milk that they make?” Anderson asks, venting in her car as she mourns the loss of said milk. “Having a little bit of a heart attack right now,” she says. “I’m grieving the loss of every delicious food in my life pretty much.”
It may not seem like a huge deal to some, but just sit and think for a second about what this means — do you know how many foods are considered dairy? As someone who went dairy-free during the first couple of months of nursing to help with major gas issues (in my newborn, not me…well OK, maybe both of us), I can tell you: IT SUCKS. Especially when you’re ravenous to begin with, because ain’t no hunger like newborn breastfeeding hunger.
“Can’t have half-and-half,” she recites, reading off the printed out instructions for her new lactose-less life. “Well, I don’t use half-and-half in my coffee. Do you know what I use? WHIPPING CREAM.”
Sorry, but all the almond milk in the universe isn’t gonna cut it as a substitute for whipped cream. Or chocolate. Do you know how hard it is being a mom of young kids and unable to eat chocolate?!
Anderson then goes into the list of foods she can eat while on her new diet. “Canned salmon or sardines,” she says. “With the bones. OH GOOD.”
Ummm, yeah. Hard pass. How is that even remotely comparable to chocolate? Or cheese?
“Dandelion. Did you know you could eat dandelion? It’s on here,” she says.
According to La Leche League, cow’s milk tops the list in terms of triggering allergies based on mom’s diet. Possible symptoms of a milk allergy in a breastfed baby: colic, vomiting, eczema, and sleeplessness.
In my case, my daughter had gas and serious acid reflux. I dialed back the dairy and her doctor prescribed her Zantac. Thankfully, she was able to keep everything down just fine after a few months. It was definitely hard, and I sure as shit wasn’t filling up on dandelions or other backyard weeds, I’ll tell you that much.
“I need some sort of therapy, or a counselor to sit down with me and go through emotions and feelings,” Anderson says. “But I’m gonna go look at my cute little baby, because whenever I look at her — it’s worth it.”
Of course it is. It’s why we do what we do. But come on, we’re still human.
“When I’m not looking at her, and I’m looking at M&Ms…”
We feel you on that one, mama. We really do.