We all know it’s true… skin-to-skin contact is great for bonding, but during the summer months, it can get a bit uncomfortable and hot. Breastfeeding can be more challenging during the hot months (and you thought being pregnant in the summer was bad)! However, with these six great tips, you will feel cool, calm and collected while continuing to provide your little one with the nutrition and hydration.
1. Stay hydrated
Your body is an amazing self-regulating machine. And since it is made up of about 75% water, maintaining a well-hydrated body is an important part of regulating your temperature. To maintain hydration, keep a bottle of water on you at all times. Pack one in your diaper bag (or breast pump tote) that you can manage with one hand - no screw top lids! Keep one by your baby’s rocker or wherever you do most of your nursing sessions so you never go thirsty.
2. Cover with a light-weight blanket
If you choose to cover while nursing, it’s important to choose a blanket or cover that breathes (allows air to ventilate to you and your baby) while nursing. Choose covers or blankets with natural fibers like cotton or bamboo.
Or accessorize with a large, gauzy scarf for a light cover ready-at-hand – no need to add extra items to an already full diaper bag!
Babies are often happy to eat whenever they are offered the opportunity. If you want to have an outdoor adventure but do not want to nurse in the heat, try “topping baby off” by feeding her before heading outdoors.
Pumping a bottle with a breast pump before heading out is another great option. From breastmilk cooler sets to disposable storage bags, there are a variety of products that make breastfeeding convenient for busy mothers.
4. Find a cool spot
The spring and summer months are wonderful times to bask in the beauty of the outdoors. But as a nursing mother, you may find yourself more comfortable in shady or indoor spots. Plan ahead to make yourself as comfortable as possible. If going to the beach, pack an umbrella. If going to a park, scope out a bench in the shade.
Don’t forget to bring something to entertain your older child within eyesight if you prefer a shady bench away from a crowd. Do not be afraid to go online to find nursing accommodations wherever you may be. Many places that cater to children, like theme parks, have areas specifically designated for nursing mothers.
5. Dress for the heat
As the weather gets hotter, layering with nursing bras and tanks can get uncomfortable and hot. Consider wearing less or no layers and use a lightweight cover when nursing (if you choose to cover), instead of layering clothes and be sure to get a breastfeeding-friendly swimsuit. When choosing fabrics, opt for natural breathable fibers like cotton and bamboo.
6. Keep baby cool
If baby keeps cool, you are more likely to be cool when nursing. When outdoors, always keep your baby covered from the sun. Stay in the shade or bring an umbrella. Always bring a sun hat and keep your baby well protected with a mineral-based sunblock (note - sunblock is only recommended for children over 6 months).
Water play is a wonderful opportunity to keep your child cool while she explores the world around her. Invest in a small plastic kiddie pool or fill a large plastic storage container with cool water and a few bath toys. If your baby is not sitting up well alone, get in the pool with her and support her from behind while she plays. This is a great opportunity to bond through play and keep cool!
Have you found respite from the heat as a nursing momma? What are some tips that we missed?
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