I often wonder how new moms survived without the Internet and all of the amazing message boards, Facebook groups and blogs that provide advice and first-person experience.
While I was nursing my LO, for example, I spent lots of time Googling for tips and tricks. How could I increase my supply? Oatmeal, water and more calories. Is this pain normal? Probably, as long as it doesn’t persist. Is my LO getting enough milk? Count the number of diaper changes.
As the temperature rises, I’m reminded of another area I could have used advice: how to nurse successfully through the heat. Too many sessions resulted in a cranky baby and a hot, sticky mommy.
But the summer heat doesn’t have to sabotage your strong nursing relationship. Here are 10 tips to stay cool while breastfeeding this summer.
1. Stay Hydrated
Water is good for your milk supply and it’s good for staying cool. Always keep ice water on hand and drink regularly. If you’re bored of water, you can add muddled fruit or sliced cucumber to spruce it up. Just remember that water isn’t recommended for newborns, and breastmilk is 80% water anyway. So if you think your nugget might be thirsty, nurse away!
2. Pack a Lightweight Blanket
Depending on your comfort level with nursing in public, a lightweight receiving blanket (like muslin or bamboo) can help cover you and baby without overheating. Also, if baby is getting sweaty, you can wrap him up in the blanket before bringing him to the breast to avoid sticky skin-to-skin discomfort.
3. Pump Ahead of Time
We’ve all seen the joy grandparents, aunties and cousins receive from being able to feed baby. If you’re headed to a family party, pumping milk ahead of time and bringing a bottle will give someone else the opportunity to feed baby and save you from a sweaty nursing session. Don’t forget that you may need to pump to avoid feeling overfull and maintain supply while grandma gives the bottle.