Breastfeeding & Summer
Hi everyone! It’s almost the hottest season of the year (for most parts of the world)….SUMMER. Many beautiful things happen in the summer, but so does heat and sweat! So this calls for a refresher on Summer Breastfeeding Tips!
Surviving Nursing in the Summer
- Drink more. Yes, drink more. Drink more water! It’s hot, you sweat more, listen to your body for your thirst needs. If you aren’t a fan of plain water, spruce it up with some fruit like lemon. Or try to include more watery foods into your diet. I personally love watermelon and cucumbers but click here for a list of high water content foods. Caffeine in drinks like coffee and sodas are of course better than no fluid, however, caffeine is a diuretic which pulls water out of your body. It is ideal to stay away from a lot of caffeine from a hydration standpoint, especially in the summer.
- Storage guidelines for pumped milk. In hot temperatures it is important to remember safe handling guidelines of milk! Fresh milk:
- Room Temperature (77 degrees F or below) safe for 4 hours.
- 4 days in refrigerator (40 degrees max)
- up to 6 months in freezer (0 degrees F)
- Pumped milk transferred in a cooler is good for 24 hours as long as cooling pack is still frozen!
- Keep room temperature milk away from sunny window! It will be hotter than room temperature there and can spoil.
- Storm? Power went out? -> If breastmilk still has ice crystals (I like to say sloshy slushiness) it is safe to return to working freezer! Or you may use it! The USDA reports a full freezer when door remains closed will keep foods frozen for approximately 48 hours. And a half full freezer for approximately 24 hours. You may reference here.
- Your exclusively breastfed infant does not need added water. Human breastmilk is made up of 90% water. If your baby is nursing on demand breastmilk is all they need. See here and here.
- Nurse frequently. It is normal for your breastfed baby to be more thirsty in warmer weather. Allow them more frequent nursing sessions to compensate for heat and water loss.
- Lightweight Clothes. For mom and child! But don’t feel you can’t have fun with summer fashion. I for one am NO fashionista, but many moms love a light weight V-neck dress for easy nursing access!
- Avoid being a sticky mess skin to skin. Try a lightweight receiving blanket rolled up between you to absorb any sweat while you’re out!
- Minimize time in peak sun hours. This is generally 12-3pm.
- Traveling on vacation? Check out TSA guidelines and print out a copy to have with you! See here.
- Don’t let nursing stop you from getting out! Summer is fun. If you have other kids, its a time to go to the pool, practice bike riding, have a lemonade stand! Don’t let nursing stop you from making the best of this season. Grab an SPF nursing blanket or practice open nursing in public. A colleague gave useful advice to help with this! Look at yourself in the mirror when you nurse. It helps you practice gaining confidence and ALSO makes you realize what is looks like to others, very little is actually seen! Always do what you are comfortable with!!
HAVE A HAPPY SUMMER!
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