Guest Post by Jenny Silverstone
Today’s blog post is a guest post by Jenny Silverstone. If you haven’t visited Jenny’s blog, MomLovesBest.com, you are missing out! Her blog is full of helpful tips and information about all things parenting and breastfeeding. I am thrilled to feature Jenny today! Thank you, Jenny, for sharing these tips with us! It has been a pleasure following you! ~Heather Grace
The extra snuggles and physical closeness are some of the sweetest benefits of breastfeeding, but as temperatures rise it can start to feel stifling. While you used to spend the time gently stroking your baby’s soft, smooth skin, both of you now finish each nursing session sticky and drenched in sweat.
Are you wondering how to make it more comfortable for both you and your baby even when the sun is scorching? Here are some of the top tips to beat the summer heat while breastfeeding.
1 – Strip Your Baby Down to Their Diaper
One of the best things about having a baby is shopping for adorable outfits, but sometimes it’s just too hot for clothes. When it’s time to nurse, strip your baby down to their diaper and nurse them while they’re naked. Not only will it feel great, but extra the skin-to-skin contact will help to keep your milk supply healthy and strong. If it’s still too hot, then you might want to…
2 – Try to Create Space Between You and Your Baby
If you have a baby who’s mastered nursing, you can get a little creative with their positioning. Try to nurse in a reclined position on your side, so your baby doesn’t have to be held or cradled against you, minimizing your skin-to-skin contact. If your baby still needs to be held while nursing, consider the football hold where the baby’s feet are pointing toward your back, and they are laying along your side. This will create less contact and heat than the traditional nursing position where the baby is cradled across your torso.
3 – Wet a Towel With Cool Water and Place it Over Your Baby
While you are nursing, dampen a towel and lay it across your baby’s bare skin. You can also place it over your chest as well. This can help keep both of you cool as you nurse in warm temperatures.
4 – Take a Dip Before Nursing
If you’re at the beach or by a pool, put a swim diaper on your little one and hop in the water to cool off before nursing. Spending a few moments splashing in the water will make you both more comfortable; when you hop out and settle down to nurse poolside the dampness that is left on your skin will evaporate and help to cool you both throughout the nursing session.
5 – Don’t Forget the Sun Protection
With all the outdoor activities calling your name during the summer, you’re likely to nurse under the sun. And with fewer layers and clothes, more skin has the potential to be exposed to damaging UV rays. Don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen and reapply regularly for both you and your baby (as long as they’re older than six months). If your baby is younger than six months, sunscreen is not recommended so be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight – and use a hat or umbrella even on cloudy days, as UV rays can penetrate clouds and cause burns even if the sun isn’t out.
6 – Choose a Lighter Nursing Cover
Nursing covers and baby blankets come in all different weights and materials. If you’re a mom who chooses to use a nursing cover in public, then in the summer you’re going to want to choose one that is lightweight and made from breathable cotton. Muslin is a particularly lightweight cotton weave that is a great fit for summer. Also, consider light colors that reflect the light as opposed to darker colors which absorb the heat.
7 – Forego Your Nursing Cover Altogether
In nearly every state in the U.S., a woman’s right to breastfeed in public is protected by law. In 29 states, nursing is explicitly stated to not be subject to public indecency laws. Verify the law in your specific locality, but if you and your baby are both overheating while nursing, stop worrying about covering up and allow the air to flow better by removing any nursing covers or blankets.
8 -Drink lots of water
Every time you sit down to nurse, fill a cup or bottle with ice water. Aim to drink the entire glass during your nursing session. While you may be hot, becoming dehydrated or overheated will cause even more problems. Additionally, it’s important that you maintain proper hydration for the sake of your milk supply and your baby’s hydration. Babies get all of their liquids from you, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
Stay Cool Mama, You’ve Got This
Sometimes escaping the heat in the summer is impossible and it makes the closeness of nursing almost unbearable. But more than the discomfort that comes with high temperatures, the dangers associated with overheating can be scary. Using as few layers as possible and finding creative ways to cool down will keep you and your baby comfortable and help you beat the heat while nursing this summer.
About the Author
Jenny Silverstone is a writer, the mother of two, and wanna-be fit mom. When she’s not feeding her coffee addiction, you can find her sharing her experiences with breastfeeding, parenting & more on her blog, MomLovesBest.com