Breast Feeding and Lemon Water

by Valerie
(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.


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.

Return from Breast Feeding and Lemon Water to Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Comments for Breast Feeding and Lemon Water

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Jul 13, 2015
Lemon water lowers milk production
by: Anonymous

It is true lemon water lowers production of milk. I took it a few months ago, my baby was 6 weeks old. I wanted to lose some weight but contrary, my milk dried.

I only had to stop taking the juice and I got back the milk. For me, drinking lemon water when exclusively breastfeeding, please it's a NO.

Jul 04, 2015
Lemon drinks dilute breast milk
by: Anonymous

I've been told that lemon water can affect your baby's weight. Lemon drinks dilute the breast milk and that is why babies of lemon drinking mothers decreases in weight. It is better to avoid lemon drinks until the baby is 6 months old and has started eating.


You may be right, but I have never seen any credible evidence or research to prove that mothers drinking lemon water affects the weight of a breast feeding baby.

Would you like to tell us who you heard this from? Was it a medical professional or other credible reference?

As a health practitioner, I am always seeking the truth in regards to health issues, so I would like to know if this is true.

I hear all kinds of things about different foods and supplements and would just like to confirm if your source is credible or just hearsay. Thank you!

Nancy Hearn, CNC

Jul 01, 2015
Can lemon water help my baby lose weight?
by: Nalisa

Hi, my baby is nine months old and is 33 pounds. So I was wondering if I can take lemon water to reduce some of his weight. I just want my baby to be healthy. I am breastfeeding.


I cannot give advice since I am not a doctor, but in general if a mother is breastfeeding (and not giving the baby solid food yet), I believe a mother does not need to be too concerned about her baby being overweight.

And personally, I do not think it is a good idea for a breastfeeding mother to try to do anything to get her baby to lose weight other than reducing the mother's own intake of sugar and excess animal protein and starchy foods (the key culprits for weight gain).

If the mother is eating a healthy diet, rich in fresh vegetables and fruit, healthy fats (such as avocados, nuts and nut butters, seeds, salmon, olives and olive oil), plant-based protein or fish or lean animal protein (turkey, chicken), the breast milk should not contain anything that would cause the baby to be overweight.

For the healthiest breast milk, I recommend no dairy in the mother's diet, little or no sugar (except some fruit), and if you eat grains, preferably choose gluten-free.

If a baby has been breast fed, the baby's weight will usually normalize as he or she grows and begins to walk and move around more.

If you are also giving your baby some solid food in addition to breastfeeding, then that is another issue. What is really important for your child's health and weight is knowing how to introduce solid food and what to feed him or her.

I highly recommend mothers do their own research online to understand what is a healthful diet for an infant and toddler. Or talk to a naturopathic doctor who specializes in pediatric nutrition.

This is the age when you are setting eating patterns for life. So introducing the healthiest foods and creating a healthy eating environment is very important.

I recommend not giving a an infant or toddler any dairy foods and not feeding too many grain-based foods. Vegetables are the foundation of a healthful diet! But we also need quality protein, healthy fats, and fruit.

You can read more here about my comments on a Dairy-Free Diet.

And consider some of the dairy alternatives that I recommend in that article based on my experience with my own children, as well as my nutrition clients.

May 12, 2015
Lime water affects baby weight
by: Chifok

Good day all. As regards to whether lime and warm water burns fat, it DOES actually but it REALLY affects a baby too (rather mine so to say).

I have tried this for months now and anytime I take it, my baby's weight really goes down. So I concluded it isn't just a coincidence. Guess I might be taking too much of it.

Fellow moms, please as you take anything of fat burning purpose, always check your baby's weight, as mine always loses weight alongside me (might not apply to other babies). Thanks

Mar 19, 2015
Will lemons dry up my milk?
by: Anonymous

I've been dying to drink my water with lemon (once a day) but I'm worried it'll dry up my milk! Please help.


I can't think of any reason why it would dry up your milk. You might want to start with a very small amount of lemon juice, say 1/4 fresh lemon, squeezed into 12 or 16 ounces of water. And see how it goes. If you notice any change in your milk flow, then stop.

But your overall diet and levels of stress are going to have far more impact on your milk flow than just a small amount of lemon juice in your water.

Nancy Hearn

Mar 02, 2015
by: vanessa

Hi, thank you for replying. The thing here is its not like I allow my mother in law to control me or even about knowing whether i do facials or not.

I live with my in laws and the problem is by not doing what she asks me to I would be hurting her feelings and my behavior would be considered rude according to her.

She believes lime would make my baby catch a cold and she strictly forbade me from using lime in any way..!! What do i do?? my mother in law is a very superstitious lady.
Thank You, Vanessa.


Your question is beyond the scope of my expertise. haha.

If you are asking my humble opinion, I would say that in your current "dictatorship" situation, it probably is not worth upsetting the peace of your home just to drink lemon water. I hope that you will have the freedom to live in your own home sooner than later!


Mar 01, 2015
Does lime leach bone tissues
by: Jasleen

I am a breastfeeding mother. I was confused to have lime but your article helped me a lot. Somebody told me that having lime daily will leach the bone tissues. What says?


Does lime leach bone tissue? Not likely. It sounds like a science fiction movie.

Limes and lemons help to alkalize the body. Just look up any acid-alkaline food chart on the internet and you will see that limes and lemons are two of the most alkalizing foods there are.

What this means in regards to bone health is that maintaining a normal pH (slightly alkaline) in the body fluids will also help to preserve bone density. As far as I am concerned, drinking a moderate amount of lemon or lime water will help to preserve bone strength and density.

Nancy Hearn

Feb 23, 2015
mother in law belief
by: vanessa

Hi, my mother in law thinks that an intake of lime could cause my baby to have a cold and she does not even allow me to do facials because of this!!


I don't know what to say. Why would you let your mother-in-law dictate what you do or don't do? I don't understand why she would even need to know whether you do facials or not.

In my humble opinion, you and you alone are responsible for your body and your baby's health.

Jan 04, 2015
How long to wait after delivery to drink lime juice
by: Faith

Thanks for the time taking to explain each question properly. I am really enlightened now about using lime juice and water. But I want to know how soon can i start taking lime juice after delivery because I am heavy now?


Hi Faith, I cannot advise anyone as to when or how much lime juice to drink after delivery. However, just remember that a lime is a food, not a drug or an herb.

I also do not think you should drink lime juice in water for the purpose of trying to lose weight if you are breastfeeding because you may be tempted to drink too much.

If you eat primarily fresh foods and avoid processed food and all forms of sugar, you will naturally lose excess weight as you breastfeed. It also helps to minimize starchy carbohydrates (breads, pastas, cookies, crackers, chips, etc.).

Drinking a small amount of fresh-squeezed lemon or lime in water can help keep your immune system strong, alkalize your body, and help with digestion and elimination.

But as I have mentioned throughout this site, drinking much more than about 1/2 lime or lemon in 8 to 12 ounces of water once a day, can cause the body to detoxify.

Thus, with pregnant and nursing mothers, I recommend starting with just 1/4 lemon or lime in water once a day. Gradually increasing that to 1/2 lime, as needed.

The key during breastfeeding is that you do not want to drink a high concentration of lemon water or lime water at a time and you don't want to drink it too often because it can encourage your body to start to detoxify. And you wouldn't want toxins to get into your breast milk.

So, in summary, a little lime water for most breastfeeding mothers is going to be highly beneficial and will most likely not cause any detoxification, but a lot of lime water could potentially be a problem for breastfeeding.

To answer your main question about how long to wait after delivery:

I would say that, in general, as long as a woman is healthy after delivery and does not have any stomach issues or citrus allergies, she could start drinking a small amount of lime or lemon water at any time.

As always, one should check with their own doctor if in doubt or if taking any medications.

Nov 13, 2014
Baby Is Losing Weight
by: Chifok

Please I took lime and water and I think my breastfeeding baby is losing weight. I don't know if it is due to the lime I took. Does anybody have an explanation? Please I need help asap, if I am to continue or quit. Thanks all.


Chifok, if a mother drinks a small amount of lime in water (1/4 to 1/2 lemon in 8 to 12 ounces of water), it should not cause a breastfeeding baby to lose weight. However, it depends a lot on the mother's health and overall diet.

Do you know for sure if your baby is losing weight? Did you actually weigh him or her?

What is even more important than whether you drink lime water or not -- is what you think and feel about it. Nobody else can tell you what is best for your body and your baby. You have to trust your intuition. Thus, if you have any doubts about the lime water, stop drinking it!

Be at peace and eat the foods and drink the beverages that will make you feel calm and comfortable. Remember that your thoughts and feelings are feeding the baby also.

You might want to check out our article on how Thoughts Affect Health because what affects your health will also affect your baby's health.

I wish you and your baby health and happiness!

Nancy Hearn, CNC

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