We’ve heard from many of you recently, concerned your milk supply is suffering. What many moms don't take into consideration is the hot summer weather. In some cases, moms have said they're yielding 10-15% less during each pumping session.
We thought it necessary to address this concern, calm your fears, and offer a few helpful tips for breast pumping in hot weather.
The best explanation for any weather-related dip in your milk supply is dehydration.
How Much Water Do I Really Need As a Breast-pumping Mom? “The general rule is to drink enough water to meet the needs of your thirst. According to La Leche League International, women feel thirstier while they breastfeed (and pump). Drink to your thirst, but do not feel obligated to drink beyond to any point of discomfort. The amount of water you consume does not equate to the amount of milk you will produce. Rather, you yield good milk output when your complete diet (including water intake) is balanced.
Check the colour of your urine if you’re concerned. As long as it’s a light colour, it’s likely you are sufficiently hydrated.”
In hot summer months, especially if you spend a lot of time outside, your body works harder to regulate your body temperature and you are likely to perspire more. All this means it’s likely you need to drink more water during the hotter months.
Before you begin to panic that your milk supply is dwindling, make sure you’re not thirsty, your urine is not yellow, and you’re getting at least eight 8/10 glasses of water daily.
Another explanation is anxiety.
When the weather is hot it’s more likely that you’ll be uncomfortable. If you pump when you're uncomfortable you’ll probably yield less milk because you’re not relaxed and letting down. If you’re yielding less milk you’ll likely get frustrated and then anxious. It’s a cyclical problem.
Don’t pump where you’re uncomfortable. If you can try not to pump outside or in a warm room. Find an air-conditioned space or a fan or a calming breeze. Before you begin pumping re-centre yourself with a series of calming breaths to quiet any anxiety. Then turn on the pump, close your eyes, and use the time to relax as best you can.
Happy pumping mamma
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