Pregnancy and lactose intolerance

The article was consulted professionally by Specialist Doctor II Nguyen Thi Phuong Loan – Obstetrician and Gynecologist – Obstetrics and Gynecology Department – Share99 Hai Phong International Health Hub.

Lactose intolerance in milk (lactose) is a phenomenon encountered in quite a few people. Milk is an important food, helping pregnant women to supplement a variety of nutrients, including calci. So in case of lactose intolerance, how should pregnant women do?

1. What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a condition where a person cannot completely digest lactose contained in milk (lactose) when eating or drinking lactose-containing products, resulting in bloating or diarrhea after eating. Another name for this condition is poor absorption of sugar from milk. Lactose intolerance is usually harmless, but it causes a lot of inconvenience, discomfort to sufferer.

The cause of lactose intolerance is derived from a deficiency of the enzyme lactase in the urinary rectum. The enzyme lactase plays a role in the digestion of lactose contained in food and drink. Typically, lactase resolves lactose into glucose and galactose, after which these two sugars are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the intestinal mucosa. In case the enzyme lactase is missing, lactose is not resolved, which will move down the colon, interacting with bacteria that exist naturally in the colon and causing signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance. However, many people have low levels of lactase but can still digest lactose-containing products without any manifestation, and the fact is that the majority of people with lactose intolerance can control the condition without completely eliminating lactose-containing foods (typically milk).


Lactose intolerance (found in sugar milk) in pregnant women

Various factors that cause deficiency of the enzyme lactase will lead to different forms of the disease, including three forms of lactose intolerance:

  • Primitive lactose intolerance: the original lactose intolerance is the most common type of lactose intolerance, which has a genetic edicts, affecting mainly adults. People with primitive lactose intolerance characterized by the enzyme lactase produced by the body less gradually go over time, thus not ensuring the sufficient amount of enzymes necessary for the diet of an adult. The incidence of prime lactose intolerance varies greatly depending on geographical location, most commonly found in northwestern Europe, decreasing as it descends into southern Europe and the Middle East, and has a low rate in Asia as well as much of Africa (but lactose intolerance is quite common in the african non-profit community).
  • Lactose intolerance: also known as lactose intolerance, affecting both children and adults. A primary lactose intolerance occurs when the urinary corolla reduces lactase production after illness, post-traumatic or post-surgery involving the sub-duodenum. The causes of a second lactose intolerance are gastroenteritis, coeliac disease, Crohn's ,… Second-party lactose intolerance can be restored, somewhat restored or iable, depending on the cause of the second lactose intolerance.
  • Congenital lactose intolerance: this form of lactose intolerance is extremely rare, has a genetic dent, occurs on babies who do not produce the enzyme lactase from birth. These children will be completely unable to digest lactose, even if they have grown up as adults. And also because these babies cannot tolerate lactose, they are completely unable to eat breast milk. Before the 20th century, children with congenital lactose intolerance were often unable to survive, but mortality declined as medicine became more clear about lactose intolerance as well as lactose-free products that were born as substitutes for traditional milks.

2. How do lactose intolerance pregnant women need to do?

For many women, lactose digestion increases during pregnancy, especially during the last trimonth of pregnancy , so it is common for pregnant women to drink fresh milk and consume other dairy products without any problems.

Milk is an important food for pregnant women, because it is a good source of nutrition and an abundant source of calcium. The demand for calcium in pregnant women is quite high. During pregnancy a woman needs 1000 mg of calcium per day, especially pregnant minors who need up to 1300 mg of calcium per day.

Regular pregnancy check-up at Share99

Routine pregnancy check-up to get advice from your doctor about lactose intolerance abnormalities

If you encounter lactose intolerance during pregnancy,or simply do not like the taste of fresh milk as well as other dairy products, pregnant women can refer to the following tips:

  • Add calcium-rich foods to your daily diet, such as cashews, broccoli, whole soybeans (edamame), chickpeas, pinto beans, tofu, spinach, and other calcium supplements. If you like to drink cashew milk, pregnant women should choose one with calcium supplements.
  • Use calcium supplements.
  • A lot of people with lactose intolerance can often still consume small amounts of fresh milk during meals, such as half a cup of fresh milk, with no signs or only very mild symptoms.
  • Refer to using products that contain less lactose or are completely lactose-free, including milk, cheese and yogurt.
  • Fermented yogurts and products, such as cheeses, are generally more tolerable than regular fresh milk products. Especially in yogurt, lactose has been operated by partly resolved bacteria, making yogurt a more tolerable product.

Vitamin D is an component that helps the body absorb calci, especially in the second half of pregnancy. Therefore pregnant women do not forget to take vitamin D supplements in addition to the addition of calcium.

Share99 International Health Hub offers a full maternity care program for women from the very beginning of pregnancy from the very first months with a full range of pregnancy examinations, 3D ultrasounds, 4D ultrasounds, ultrasounds of pregnancy malformations periodically and routine tests to ensure the mother is always healthy and the fetus develops comprehensively. In addition to regular visits, women will also be consulted on nutrition and exercise so that the mother can gain weight properly and the fetus still absorbs nutrients well.

For direct advice, please click hotline number or register online HERE. In addition, you can register for remote consultation HERE

Source reference article: and


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About: John Smith

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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