Getting comfortable while breastfeeding can be a challenge in itself. Add in the summer heat, and it can be enough to break a worn-out mama!
I don’t want you to fall short of your breastfeeding goals because of the challenges of the season. Here are my top 18 tips for breastfeeding in the summer.
1. Stay Well Hydrated
Breastfeeding can make you extremely thirsty. Add in the summer heat, and it gets worse. Make sure that you are constantly replenishing by drinking water.
Staying hydrated is not necessarily for your baby as they will get all of the fluids they need. It is more for yourself!
Breastfeeding consumes a lot of energy — between 500 and 1,000 calories a day. Drinking enough water is key.
Keep a large, insulated water bottle nearby at all times to ensure you do not get dehydrated and are able to keep up your milk supply.
2. Wear Lightweight, Breathable Clothing
When you are breastfeeding, comfort and convenience take precedence when it comes to your wardrobe.
During the hot summer months, you will want your clothes to be lightweight since holding a baby close to your body to feed will likely trap some unwanted heat.
Keep the rest of your body cool by wearing breathable clothes that are light in color and not too tight.
3. Don’t Overdress Baby
Your little one will get just as hot as you will while nursing in the heat. Keep his/her outfits cool and simple, like a short sleeve onesie and shorts or a romper.
You will also want to avoid putting socks, hats, or heavy blankets on your baby to keep him cool and comfortable during feedings.
4. Summer Nursing Tops
There are so many wardrobe options for breastfeeding women that are both cute AND make nursing or pumping in public easy and comfortable.
I mean, look at these nursing tank tops! They are both comfortable and stylish, and you would never guess that they are made just for nursing.
Say goodbye to pulling up your shirt or throwing a blanket over yourself to nurse in public!
- 10+ different design combinations
- Over 2,500 Amazon reviews
5. Head Indoors When Uncomfortable
On extremely hot days, nursing outside might just be too much. Take a break from the sunshine and sit in the AC, whether that be inside your home or in your car, while you feed your little one.
6. Allow Baby To Nurse as Often as They Like
Just because it is hot doesn’t mean that your baby won’t get hungry or that your milk production will slow down.
You will still need to feed your baby as often as they need for their health and for your own comfort.
7. Place a Light Cloth Between You and Baby
Skin on skin can get very hot and sweaty, especially in the summer.
To help keep you and your baby cool and less sweaty, place a light cloth (such as a receiving blanket) on your stomach while your little one is nursing.
And in case you didn’t know, they actually make skin-to-skin tops for mamas.
8. Stay in the Shade
Find a shady spot under a tree at the park or sit under a pavilion/canopy if you must nurse outdoors.
It is often cooler in the shade and will be a more comfortable environment for both you and your baby.
9. Lightweight Nursing Cover-Ups
If you want to cover up while nursing in public or in private, you will want a lightweight nursing cover (like this one) that will keep you and your little one cool while being covered.
The ideal cover-up will be large enough to cover you, loose, and made of lightweight, breathable material. Muslin is a lightweight cotton weave and a great material choice.
Another helpful tip is to choose a light color that will reflect the sun, rather than a dark color that will absorb more heat.
10. Discreet & Portable Breastpumps
Summertime is a busy time for most families, filled with a lot of fun day trips and activities. Unfortunately, figuring out breastfeeding on busy summer days can be a challenge, but it shouldn’t keep you from enjoying them!
Lucky for us mamas, there are a variety of portable breast pumps available that make breastfeeding in public or on the go so much easier and more convenient.
Most fit discreetly under your shirt and allow you to move freely while pumping.
Here are a few highly rated and well-loved portable pumps that you can purchase on Amazon:
- Willow Wearable Pump (read my full review here)
- Medela Freestyle Pump
- TSRETE Double Wearable Pump
- MomCozy Double Breast Pump
11. Nursing Swimsuit
Going poolside while breastfeeding? No problem! Grab a nursing swimsuit, and go have fun knowing that you can feed your baby at any moment with ease without missing a moment of the summer fun.
- One-piece nursing swimsuit with tummy control
- Flip-down nursing flaps
- Sizes Small - XXL
12. Keep Water and a Clean Cloth Handy To Wipe Off Sweat
Breastfeeding in the summer will yield some sweat; there is no getting around it.
It might be helpful to keep a misting bottle and a clean cloth handy to help keep you cool and allow you to wipe off while you are nursing.
13. Avoid Sunscreen on Breast Area
While putting sunscreen on the rest of your body is important, you will want to avoid putting it on your breast area.
This will keep your baby from swallowing and/or coming into contact with harmful chemicals or having the taste of sunscreen plague his/her milk.
14. Gel Pads
These gel pads can really do the trick when it comes to keeping you cool while your baby is feeding.
Provides instant relief and helps heal sore nipples. Store in fridge for extra cooling effect.
Keep them in a cooler, and then simply lay them on your breast area while you are nursing to keep you from getting overheated.
They also double as a soothing treatment for sore nipples, which we know is a plus!
15. Try Different Nursing Positions
If you will be nursing outdoors or somewhere warm, you may opt for trying a “cooler” nursing position.
Instead of cradling your baby in your lap and against your stomach, try to breastfeed with their feet pointed toward your back.
In this position, their body is lying along your side and there is less contact to create excess heat.
16. Use Damp Cloths on Yourself and Baby
Before you begin nursing, you can grab a cloth and run it under cold water to dampen it.
Keep the cloth near you so that you can periodically dab it on yourself and your baby throughout the nursing session. This will keep both of you cool and will make it a more comfortable experience.
17. Go for a Swim Before Nursing
If you know your baby’s schedule, try going for a quick dip in the pool just before it is time to nurse again. This will allow you to cool off and feel refreshed before nursing in the heat.
18. Cooling Towels
You know those microfiber cooling towels that athletes use? Why not use them to cool you down while breastfeeding?
They are light and portable, so you can just toss one in your purse, diaper bag, or pool bag! They only require water to work and will stay cool for a long time.
Wrap one around your neck, drape it over your back, or use it as a nursing cover to keep you and your baby cool.
Keep up the good work, mama! Breastfeeding isn’t easy, especially in the summertime, but it will be worth it!
Hopefully, these tips will make it a little bit easier. Now go figure out which tips and tricks work best for you, and enjoy your summer!
Charlynn is an educator and mom to fraternal boy/girl twins. She loves learning through the experiences she has with her littles and using her knowledge to help other moms as they embark on the journey of motherhood.