Can I Eat Watermelon While Breastfeeding? Safety and Benefits

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Watermelon is a juicy and sweet fruit that many love to enjoy in hot weather. However, can breastfeeding women safely have watermelon? Are there any health benefits? 

Overall, when food safety and cross-contamination precautions are appropriately taken, watermelon is a safe and healthy fruit to consume while breastfeeding. 

Let’s talk more in-depth about the safety and benefits of consuming watermelon while you are breastfeeding. Read on to learn more!

Is Watermelon Safe When Breastfeeding? 

Watermelon is a safe fruit for breastfeeding women to consume. However, there are some considerations to take to ensure maximum safety. 

Mainly, ensure the outside of your watermelon has been thoroughly washed under running water and scrub well with a clean vegetable brush to remove any dirt. Washing the exterior rind is more critical for a watermelon than a fruit that is peeled, such as an orange or a banana, for example.

This difference is because when you slice through a watermelon, the bacteria that is present on the outer skin will get on the knife and go throughout the fruit of the watermelon.

Slices of yellow watermelon on a cutting board

In other words, make sure you wash your watermelon well to ensure it is safe to eat.

While it is relatively common to eat a seed or two in your seeded watermelon accidentally, some also consume sprouted watermelon seeds because of their protein, healthy fat, vitamin, and mineral content. 

The word “sprouts” often brings alarm to those who are pregnant due to the recommendation to avoid them. However, this rule applies to raw and uncooked sprouts only. Additionally, this concern does not apply to breastfeeding women. 

Additionally, unlike in pregnancy, where pasteurization of juice was crucial, breastfeeding women can consume unpasteurized juice without risking their baby’s health. However, even though it is safe for the baby, there is always an increased risk to the mother (or anyone) who consumes unpasteurized juice.

This is because pasteurization heats the juice to high temperatures to kill any potential bacteria or pathogens that may be present. 

Consuming juice that is unpasteurized can increase the risk of developing a foodborne illness, such as listeria. 

Are There Benefits of Watermelon When Breastfeeding? 

Watermelon is a fruit that not only tastes great but has many wonderful health benefits for the consumer as well.

watermelon juice in a glass and fresh watermelon

As the name suggests, watermelon is an excellent source of fluids and promotes adequate hydration, which is especially important for a breastfeeding mother and her baby. Watermelon is made up of over 90% water (source: U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA]). 

Hydration is of such importance to everyone because it helps regulate body temperature, gets rid of wastes in the body, lubricates joints, and so much more (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]). Without enough water, you could notice brain fog, mood changes, and more. 

Especially for breastfeeding women, adequate water intake impacts breast milk supply and production. Since breast milk also has a high water content, drinking adequate amounts of water will help to increase the amount of breast milk you produce (source: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center). 

Additionally, many women wonder if watermelon can cause gas or any digestive discomfort. Foods that cause gas are typically high in dietary fiber. However, watermelon is pretty low in fiber, with only 0.4 grams per 100 grams of watermelon (source: USDA).

For reference, 100 grams of watermelon is approximately two-thirds of a cup. Therefore, watermelon is not likely to cause gas or discomfort. 

In conclusion, I hope this article was helpful in breaking down the risks and benefits of consuming a slice of delicious watermelon while you are breastfeeding.