What Dairy Products Are Good During Pregnancy?

4 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

What dairy products are good during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a phase that demands extra nourishment. Therefore a mom has to be very careful in choosing her diet, which should meet not just her needs but that of the growing baby as well. Are dairy products beneficial during pregnancy? What dairy products are good during pregnancy? Are all dairy products safe during pregnancy?

Well, dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, protein, Vitamin D, phosphorus, and other vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it goes without saying that a pregnant woman must include dairy products in her diet on a daily basis.

In This Article

What Dairy Products are Good During Pregnancy?

Of the dairy products that need to go into the diet of a pregnant woman, milk, cheese and yogurt are most important. These are essential because they are packed with nutrients that support your baby’s growth and development. Protein helps build tissues while calcium and Vitamin D play a predominant role in the development of healthy bones and teeth.

How Much Dairy Do I Need During Pregnancy?

How Much Dairy Do I Need During Pregnancy_

Normally, 3 to 4 servings of calcium-rich foods are enough to make up for the 1,000mg of calcium requirement in a day for pregnant women. What you need to be careful of is to check the fat content in the dairy products you choose.

Those with a higher fat content can affect your weight gain. Ideally, you could think of 2 cups of cottage cheese (low fat), I cup milk, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup yogurt (1 3/4th if it’s the low-fat variety), 1 cup pudding/custard, 1 ounce grated cheese, 1 ½ cups ice cream/ frozen yogurt.

You could even opt for evaporated milk in your cooking or steamed milk instead of tea. It is also a great idea to go in for yogurt or sour cream dip for crispy veggies. It all depends on how creative you can get to maximize calcium intake in your diet in the form of dairy products.

Dairy Products to Avoid During Pregnancy

Of course, dairy products are extremely beneficial for pregnant women, but not all of them. You must be careful to avoid an unpasteurized product because it could include harmful bacteria that could harm the fetus.

Therefore, it is very important to check the label of products very carefully before you buy. Similarly, you must opt only for pasteurized milk; don’t go for unpasteurized goat or sheep milk.

Also, take care to avoid soft cheese (Brie and Camembert) and soft blue cheese whether pasteurized or unpasteurized. These contain a high level of Listeria, a bacterium that could cause miscarriage or could cause severe illness in your baby soon after birth. Processed cheese, feta, mozzarella, cottage cheese, cheddar, Parmesan can be safely consumed.

[Read: Can Pregnant Women Eat Feta Cheese]

What is Lactose Intolerance During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the functioning of the digestive tract is slower due to the hormones that the body is producing during this period. Many pregnant women suffer from lactose intolerance. This is quite common and is the intolerance towards lactase, which is an enzyme that digests a sugar called lactose.

Lactose is a predominant ingredient in dairy products, so eating them could cause abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, and discomfort. Research has shown that pregnancy alone does not make you lactose intolerant. Also, some studies prove that women who were already lactose-intolerant before pregnancy can actually digest lactose during pregnancy.

Remember, lactose intolerance is not the same as cow’s milk intolerance, though the symptoms might be similar. If you are intolerant to cow’s milk, your body reacts to the protein in the milk. The immune system is responsible for this allergy. Do not confuse between the two.

How Can You Get Enough Calcium During Pregnancy If You are Lactose Intolerant?

getting enough calcium

If you’re pregnant and lactose-intolerant as well, it gets a little difficult to make sure that you get your regular calcium intake without dairy products, but it is not impossible.

  • Drink lactose-free milk/soya milk/ almond milk.
  • There are some over-the-counter enzyme supplements that you could opt for. These supplements help you digest lactase so that you can consume dairy products. However, make sure that you consult your doctor before going in for any supplements.
  • Sometimes it helps to divide it up. For instance, instead of consuming a whole glass of milk, you can drink a half glass of whole milk, four times a day, depending on your convenience. That way, the fat in the milk slows down digestion making it easier to digest lactose.
  • Include lots of green vegetables and fruits in your diet, such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, turnips, brussels sprouts, carrots, figs, berries, guava, kiwi, black currant, and more.
  • Go for yogurt, almonds, tofu, sardines, salmon (with bones), and cheese (it has low lactose content).
  • Your doctor could also recommend calcium supplements to meet the daily dietary requirement.

Pregnancy is a phase when your body is undergoing intense change to support the growth of the fetus. Therefore, it is important to exercise extreme caution with your choice of foods. Some of the nutrients are a must during this period, such as calcium, and what better source of calcium than dairy products?

Take care and enjoy your pregnancy!


1. Can I be Lactose Intolerant During Pregnancy?

Yes, you can. Pregnant women can become sensitive to a lot of things. Milk products can be one of them.

2. Can Dairy Products Cause Indigestion During Pregnancy?

Yes, they can. Your system is very sensitive during pregnancy. Digestion issues are very common during this time.

3. Do I Need More Dairy Intake During Pregnancy?

Yes, you do. You need to increase intake to support the growing baby. You will need about 1000mg of calcium a day.

4. Can Dairy Products be Dangerous During Pregnancy?

Yes, a few can be. Unpasteurized milk is not safe. P roducts made from unpasteurized milk are not safe either.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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