Breastfeeding – surviving the summer heat
Summer can be great, if you spend your time in an air-conditioned room or out in the pool. It’s not so fun when you have a baby attached to you most of the day and half of the night. The two of you are sweating; you are overheating and completely grumpy. You are longing to enjoy your breastfeeding time with your baby, but how are you expected to do it when you are both so cranky?
On top of this, you also worry that your baby might become dehydrated from the heat. You may doubt that your breastmilk isn’t providing enough water for them to keep up with the warmer days. Not matter how many people tell you otherwise, trust that your breastmilk is more than sufficient for your baby during hot days. You do not have to give them additional water.
Those summer months are tough (and sweaty), but don’t let them bring your breastfeeding journey down. Just keep a few things in mind and you should be able to manage those hot days just fine.
It’s okay to go indoors – There seems to be a lot of pressure on moms to constantly be out doing ‘fun’ things with their kids. When you have a new-born, they don’t know the difference between sitting at a restaurant and sitting at home. They will more than likely be more comfortable at home. Staying in most days is absolutely fine, and you will be able to remain cool in the air conditioned environment. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be out and about, both you and your baby will be happier and more comfortable feeding and nursing at home.
You need more water – Your baby might be getting all he needs from your breastmilk, but you still need additional hydration during the hotter months. Increasing your water intake will really help you feel cool during the warm summer. You will lose a lot of water and liquid through sweat and breastfeeding. If you aren’t a fan of drinking plain water, flavour your water with lemon, mint or any fruit. There are also water drops that flavour your water for you. Increasing your consumption of watery fruits like watermelon will also really help.
Pump extra breastmilk – With the summer heat, sometimes you just are not in the mood to have your little one attached to your breast. It’s ok to give yourself a break. Consider pumping extra milk and having your partner help during feeding time. If you find pumping is just uncomfortable, you can try breast pump cushions to add more comfort to your pumping experience.
Don’t fuss too much – Many moms take too much out with them, or worry about blankets, muslin wraps, swaddles and teddies when they feed. Your baby needs you and your milk, the rest can just cause heat and discomfort. Let your baby wear a vest and a nappy, and if you really need a blanket then use a muslin blanket that is light and airy. Don’t be too skin-to-skin crazy if you are really hot. GIve yourself a break.
Summer months can seem like a nightmare, but if you are prepared then they can be some of the most wonderful days around. The warm, summer haze is there for days of fun, days of sitting back and relaxing, and days bonding with your precious little one.