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a rash on the baby's chest and made his own diagnosis. "She's probably sensitive to something in your breast milk," he said. "Try cutting the dairy, soy, and nuts out of your diet."
By some estimates, 2 to 7 percent of nursing babies have a sensitivity to dairy, and my doctor told me that many of those babies also react adversely to nuts and soy. Changing my diet sounded like it could be a miraculously easy solution to our problem. Except that it wasn't easy for me at all. For I was—1 am —a devout type A foodie. In the summer, I make ice cream with peaches from the farmers' market; in the winter, I spread homemade lemon curd on freshly baked bread. My dinner parties are legendary— I swear my white chocolate souffle with a raspberry center caused my previously infertile friend's surprise pregnancy. Some people believe in God; 1 believe in artisanal butter.
The nine months of pregnancy had already felt like an endless exercise in self-abnegation. No sushi! No oysters! No triple-cream Brie or Caesar salad or double espresso! I'd looked forward to the birth of my child as carte blanche to once again indulge in the delicacies I'd missed. Instead, here I was, only five weeks as a free woman, and I was already being put back in food jail.
PANTRY MAKEOVER Still, this was my child we were talking about; her health and comfort trumped any longing for croquc monsieur. So I went home and tossed the gelato, the Greek yogurt, the nutty granola, and the salted edamame. The next morning, for the first time in 20 years, I drank my coffee black. And it worked. Within a week, my daughter's breastfeeding hysterics had stopped. She was sleeping as peacefully as a six-week-old infant can sleep. Her rash had vanished. My fussy baby was suddenly a content baby, and I felt as though I'd achieved some pinnacle of parental piety. Here I was, sacrificing the foods I loved most, for my baby!
My first postbaby dinner party was Thanksgiving dinner for 10. There would be no creamy mashed potatoes, no nuts in the stuffing, no butter on my rolls, and definitely no chocolate cream pie for dessert. I spent hours poring over and rejecting recipes—"Make it simple," my mother implored, futilely. "Give yourself a break"—before whipping up roasted potatoes with shallots, wild-rice stuffing with dried apricots, and poached pears with chocolate sauce. It was a triumph, and I barely missed the mash.
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