Coconut water is known for its hydrating effects, vitamins, and minerals, and — of course — its delicious and refreshing taste! However, is it good for breastfeeding?
Overall, coconut water is good for breastfeeding because it contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium. However, it is best to opt for varieties with no added sugar or other preservatives.
In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the nutrition of coconut water and discuss how it can impact you, your baby, and your breast milk. Read on to learn more!
Is Coconut Water Good While Breastfeeding?
Coconut water is not only sweet and tasty, but it is also very good for you, especially when breastfeeding. While you are breastfeeding, staying hydrated is especially important.
It is recommended that breastfeeding mothers consume 16 cups of water per day since a lot of water is needed for breast milk production (source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).
While coconut water surely contains a lot of water and fluids, as the name suggests, it also contains electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium (source: Cleveland Clinic). Electrolytes also help with hydration because they support fluid balance throughout the body.
As a side note, it can be a great alternative to a sugary sports drink!
One of the additional health benefits of coconut water is that it is typically much lower in calories when compared to traditional fruit juices — about half (source: Cleveland Clinic).
What’s The Best Kind of Coconut Water When Breastfeeding?
It is best to opt for a coconut water that is low in sugar, especially since the beverage is already quite sweet! The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than six teaspoons, which is equivalent to 25 grams of added sugar each day.
Look for a variety that states in the ingredients list that it is 100% coconut water and does not have any added sugar or preservatives.
Additionally, while women are advised to steer clear of unpasteurized products during pregnancy, this does not apply to breastfeeding women since bacteria from what they eat or drink, such as listeria or salmonella, cannot pass to their baby through breast milk (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]).
For even more peace of mind, most store-bought coconut waters are pasteurized anyway.
Does Coconut Water Affect Milk Supply?
Coconut water is also a known galactagogue beverage (source: Healthline). A galactagogue is something that can increase the breast milk supply of a breastfeeding mom.
While acting as a galactagogue and promoting increased milk supply, adequate fluid intake and proper hydration also support increased milk supply to feed your baby adequately (source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).
Other tips to increase milk supply are to breastfeed often, ensure proper latch, empty your breast completely, and more (source: American Pregnancy Association).
What to Mix Coconut Water With for Breastfeeding
While breastfeeding, many seek recipes that include coconut water to support healthy breastfeeding, rather than relying solely on it for staying hydrated. Many combine pineapple or cranberry juice with unsweetened coconut water. These can provide additional vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C.
However, with the addition of more juice comes more sugar. Therefore, if you are incorporating fruit juices, make sure to reduce the amount of coconut water so that you are only drinking about four to eight fluid ounces of juice. Also, look for no sugar added and 100% fruit juice.
To avoid adding any extra sugar or calories to your coconut water at all, try mixing it with seltzer water or sparkling water for added fizz and flavor!
In conclusion, coconut water can be a safe and healthy part of a balanced breastfeeding diet. I hope you found this article helpful in breaking down the information about coconut water.