Breast Feeding and Lemon Water
(Las Vegas, NV)
Question: I am a breast feeding mother and I was wondering if drinking lemon water will do anything to my baby . . . Good or bad? My baby has a lot of gas and I was hoping that drinking lemon water would help him.
WBH response: First and foremost, hydration is the key to a healthy milk supply. If putting lemon juice in your water will help you to drink enough water daily to maintain optimal hydration, then you and your baby will benefit.
Drinking enough water is top priority
I know there are a number of popular recommendations about how much water to drink daily, but I recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water. You can review my article on Drinking Enough Water for details. As mentioned in this article, pregnant and breast-feeding mothers should increase their average daily water intake.
Breast feeding and drinking lemon water
Secondly, when adding fresh-squeezed lemon juice to your water, I recommend starting with ¼ lemon in 8 to 12 ounces once a day and increasing that to ½ lemon in 8 to 12 ounces once or twice a day, preferably 30 minutes before a meal.
Drinking lemon water 30 to 60 minutes before eating will provide numerous benefits to your digestive system, as explained in my article on Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water.
Benefits for the baby
Since you are breast feeding, the better your digestive system is working, the less likely your baby will have digestive issues -- including the gas, bloating, cramping, irregular bowels, etc.
The more complete you can digest your food, assimilate nutrients, and eliminate waste, the more likely your baby will also get optimal nutrition and “clean” milk.
In addition to the digestive benefits (helping to break food down), drinking lemon water is known to improve toxin elimination in the body. It does this in several ways—by helping the bowels to remove waste efficiently, by promoting healthy liver function, and by helping to cleanse the blood. Most importantly, lemon water can help clear the liver and detoxification system of the mother’s body without dumping toxins into the milk.
Disadvantages or cautions?
I am not aware of any disadvantages of drinking lemon water while breastfeeding. The only caution would be to start with the ¼ lemon in 12 ounces of water dilution (weak dilution) and only gradually increase the amount of lemon to make sure you or your baby have no possible allergic reaction to lemons.
Also increase amount slowly (if at all) to make sure that your body does not start to detoxify too fast. A little goes a long way. Do not overdo it.
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