Babies don’t need water -- breastmilk is just fine. Babies don’t need additional water when it’s hot outside. According to WHO, and our in-house experts agree, breastmilk is more than 80% water, especially the first milk that comes with each feed. Therefore, anytime you feel baby is thirsty feel free to nurse. No water needed.
On the subject of water… hydration for [the breastfeeding person] is important. Of course, we all know on the hottest of days it’s important to stay well hydrated. But it’s a critical aspect of milk production too so keep drinking that water. Our IBCLCs recommend drinking to thirst. Parents tend to be more thirsty when nursing therefore always have a water bottle close by.
Pack a light blanket. It’s great to get outside in the summertime, so having a lightweight nursing cover is important if you chose to cover up when you nurse in public. Pick something like muslin, a light cotton weave, which are easy to find at Target or on Amazon.
Dress to stay cool and comfortable. There are a lot of clothing options for a breastfeeding parent to stay cool in the summer and accessible to baby. Things like nursing bra tanks and dresses that button up the front usually work best. For more recommendations, check out “What to Wear When Breastfeeding in Summer” by Morgan Manages Mommyhood -- there are a lot of great tips and recommendations.
Plan ahead for high temperature forecasts. Consider staying mostly indoors on very hot days. Need to get out with an older child? Consider your local library, a shopping mall, or other breastfeeding friendly locations - check out the pumpspotting app to find some near you!
These are just a few quick tips but if you have any questions about staying cool this summer -- contact our lactations consultants and they can help!
This post first appeared on the Breastfeeding Resource Center (BRC) website. With two locations (Abington and King of Prussia), the BRC offers consults and free classes to families in the Philadelphia area. For more information, please visit: breastfeedingresourcecenter.org
Annemarie Nagle is a Board Member of the Breastfeeding Resource Center (BRC), a nonprofit corporation committed to providing expert clinical and educational breastfeeding services. Annemarie lives in Plymouth Meeting, Pa with her husband, their two year old daughter Amelia, and their dog Dutch.