As we get into the summer and the temperature rises, I am reminded of my days of nursing my little one. Since she was born at the very beginning of summer, I really had to figure out quickly how to make sure my baby was getting enough milk without getting hot and frustrated! There were many sessions of cranky baby and a hot and sticky mommy.
I figured it out eventually and realized that the summer heat does not have to sabotage your strong nursing relationship with baby. Here are some tips to stay cool while breastfeeding this summer.
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is the best thing for your milk supply and it is also good for staying cool. Always keep ice water readily available and drink it often. If plain water sounds boring add some fresh fruit or sliced cucumber for flavor. Just remember that water is not recommended for newborns, and breast milk is 80% water anyway. So if your little one is thirsty then nursing is the best thirst quencher for him.
2. Pack a Light Blanket
Depending on your level of comfort while nursing in public, choose a light blanket made of muslin or bamboo to help cover you and baby without overheating.
3. Pump Ahead
If visiting family and friends, who may enjoy being able to feed baby, then pumping milk ahead of time and bringing a bottle is the best for them and you! Grandma will be happy and you will be saved from a sweaty nursing session. Remember you may need to pump to avoid feeling overfull and to maintain your milk supply while baby has a bottle.
4. Invest in Lightweight Nursing Clothes
In the winter, layering a nursing tank top under cardigans made for easy access. Of course nobody wants to wear layers in the heat of summer. So purchase some light weight t-shirts, wrap dresses and PJ's to help you stay cool and comfortable without having to lift your entire shirt to feed baby. All of our nursing tanks and tops are perfect for public breastfeeding without any cover!
5. Sunscreen for All
Protection from the sun is critical for both baby and mom too! Make sure to take sun protection seriously and talk to your doctor about age-appropriate sun screen for infants and toddlers.
6. Nurse in Water
Of course for this one you have to be in the right setting, but you can truly relax and stay cool by nursing in the water. Do not try this in the ocean waves, but sitting on a step or bench in a shallow pool, for example, would be a perfect way to comfortably nurse.
7. Pool side or Ocean side Nursing
If you are not too keen on nursing in the water, you can always nurse near it. Relaxation is the key to successful breastfeeding and lounging by the pool in the shade is a great way to do it! Invest in a beach umbrella so that you an baby can have a siesta and listen to the ocean waves while you nurse.
8. Plan for Comfort during Outings
When preparing for a day out, whether it be the mountains or the oceans, make sure to plan ahead. Scope out the area for air conditioned shops or restaurants so you can nurse comfortably on a hot day. Call ahead to amusement parks and zoos to find out if they have a place for nursing moms.
9. Snacks for All
The breastfeeding mom's calorie intake is crucial. So make sure you have the right amount of calories to insure milk supply and a happy mommy! Hangry moms do not help make a happy baby - that's for sure! If you have started your baby on foods, try fruit and veggie pouches or other snacks that can be kept cool in the pool bag. Make sure you always have something on hand to stave off hunger.
10. Join the Public Breastfeeding Movement
Many moms, especially first time moms, can find breastfeeding more comfortable with a private cover. However, summer is the perfect time to exercise your right to breastfeed anywhere. Don't worry most people do not even notice and you won't need to bring any accessories.
Summer is such a wonderful time to spend outdoors with baby and make lasting memories such as their first swim or trip to the seaside. Prepare in advance to make sure that breastfeeding is smooth and you will have a ton of fun in the sun!