Summer is finally here which is really lovely unless you’re a little person, not quite used to the heat. Many of my clients have called me today in a bit of a panic, concerned and frustrated at their baby’s inability to feed well or in some cases at all.
The quickest way to get things back on track is to keep your baby cool. This will ensure that he or she is comfortable and alert enough to feed well. As a breastfeeding mum, your chest area will drop a couple of degrees to help regulate baby’s temperature in hot environments, so you may find breastfeeding in a cool room actually does the trick.
I know that this is very worrying and you want to ensure that your little one is well hydrated so I wanted to put together a few quick practical tips to help make things a bit easier whilst it is so very hot.
Firstly, if you are up early, open every window that you have to allow fresh cool air into the house. This will allow you to cool your possie so that you aren’t starting on the back foot. We are expecting it to be around 19 degress Celsius by 8am tomorrow, so it will need to be early if you want to get ahead of the heat.
Once you have had a chance to cool your space down, keep your windows open but shut the blinds or curtains. When you allow sunshine into your rooms, it heats surface tops, turning them all into mini heaters. You can wipe the surfaces down with a cold wet cloth if you find that they heat up anyway.
If you have a fan you can create an air conditioner by filling a deep bowl with ice (and a dash of lavender oil). Place the bowl infront of the fan, point the fan onto the bowl and shut the windows and door to create a semi concealed space so that it cools down quicker.
Your winter hot water will also be very useful if you fill it and freeze it. You can then keep both yourself and baby cool during breastfeeds or if you are trying to get some sleep. Use it to cool baby’s crib before you put him or her down, remove it when you put baby to bed as baby can’t regulate his or her body temperature well enough yet. You, however, can keep it close in your bed, mums often place it behind their back or by their feet to keep cool.
Before and during feeds, use a cool wet cloth to wipe baby’s face, hands and feet. You can then blow on baby to cool and refresh him or her. You can even go all the way and give baby a nice cool bath (luke warm water) if necessary.
Another tip is to use a water misting bottle or a water spray – see the Evian range. Keep it close and spritz both you and baby during the feed too keep cool.
You may find that even doing all this, you breastfeeds are only marginally successful. Don’t worry, your baby will make up for all the milk he or she missed out on during the day.
So if your baby is not feeding, express as often and as much as you would normally feed. This ensures that your breasts are drained as expected and you are able to accumulate some milk for when your baby finally decides to have a feed. You could even try feeding your baby expressed breast milk which is cool.
As temperatures get back to normal, you’ll see that your breastfeeding does too. Until then, do your best to keep baby cool, keep your breasts drained regularly to avoid a drop in supply or mastitis and offer your baby milk in any way that works for you both.
Uk summers don’t last long, so things will be back to normal sooner than you think 🙂