Motherhood is a hood of so many firsts, and breastfeeding your baby is one of the most incredible experiences of this new hood. Breastfeeding brings a strong bond between a mother and her baby.
Most moms are concerned about their nutrition while breastfeeding. If you are a nursing mom and want to know the benefits of coconut water and breastfeeding, we got you covered.
Every breastfeeding mother needs to incorporate coconut water in their diet. Not only is it great for lactating mothers but it is highly packed with electrolytes, minerals and vitamins, which may help increase your milk supply.
Coconut water is also beneficial for expecting moms and I always advise my pregnant friends to start drinking it as soon as they realize they are expecting.
Let us find out why coconut water while breastfeeding is one of the best drinks to consume for you and your baby’s overall health.
What is the nutritional value of coconut water?
Coconut water is not only highly beneficial for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers but for everyone else. It is a highly balanced drink packed with nutrients and low in sugar.
Drinking a glass of coconut water while breastfeeding will add up your daily intake of electrolytes, minerals, and vitamins. You can as well quench your thirst my drinking some coconut water.
Research shows that coconut water is effective in re-hydration and is an excellent immunity booster. However, you should not neglect other drinks. Strive to create a balance so that you achieve equal amounts of nutrients and nourishment.
Here is the nutritional value of coconut water. Measurements are per ounce.
Calories – 5.45
Sugar – 1.3 grams
Potassium – 71 mg
Sodium -30 mg
Fat – 60 mg
Protein – 0.2 g
Benefits of coconut water for breastfeeding moms
Now, we already said that coconut water is safe for consumption when nursing. Let us look at the awesome benefits of coconut water for a breastfeeding mom.
Boosts milk production
Consuming coconut water while breastfeeding is a sure way to increase milk supply. This is one of the reasons you need to consider taking coconut water for breastfeeding.
I loved drinking coconut water while I was nursing my babies, and its one of the reasons I never struggled with low milk supply.
A breastfeeding mom can enjoy a glass of coconut water guilt-free. Coconut water is a natural isotonic drink full of electrolytes, which is more hydrating than water.
It is a perfect drink for hydration since every breastfeeding mom needs to be well hydrated. If you are taking enough fluids, you can produce enough milk for your baby.
Your immune system is often low when breastfeeding. Coconut water contains minerals and vitamins which act as antioxidants in your body, therefore, improving your immune system.
Also, it contains lauric acid, which is present in breast milk. Lauric acid consists of anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that safeguard the body against infections and enhances the immune system, thus, keeping both mom and baby healthy.
Reduces blood pressure
Coconut water may be great for controlling blood pressure for nursing moms. Coconut water contains a whopping 600mg of potassium in 8 ounces.
According to studies, potassium has been shown to reduce blood pressure in people with high or normal pressure.
Another study found out that coconut water contains anti-thrombotic activity, which means it may prevent blood clots formation.
Helps curb indigestion
Even when not breastfeeding or pregnant, I would often suffer from constipation. But since I learned about the benefits of coconut water, especially in regards to helping with indigestion, I am one happy woman!
And for a breastfeeding mom, coconut water will help you deal with stomach upset. Take a glass of coconut water to get rid of heartburn.
Aids in weight loss
Coconut water contains minimal natural sugars, and it is also fat-free. Therefore, it is an excellent choice for moms who are trying to get back their pre-pregnancy bodies.
Coconut water helps to strengthen bone and teeth health
Coconut water is packed with calcium, which is essential for bone and teeth repair. Furthermore, the magnesium found in coconut water not only helps with muscle contraction and relaxation but also aids with energy production and optimum organ function.
Helps the body to respond to stress
Amino acids are vital in repairing body tissue and building protein blocks. Coconut water contains more levels of Alanine, cysteine, arginine, and serine when compared to cows’ milk.
Arginine is an amino acid that aids the body in responding to stress (for your case, the stress caused by childbirth).
Is coconut water safe during breastfeeding?
Yes. It is absolutely safe to drink coconut water while nursing. Coconut milk, coconut water, and coconut oil have incredible health benefits.
Coconut and breastmilk contain healthy saturated fats known as “medium-chain fatty acids” essential fatty acids, and omega-3s help in boosting milk supply in various ways.
One way is by improving the mother’s nutrition which helps in producing the hormones needed for milk production. Furthermore, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are also components of breast milk.
Therefore, when a mom has more EFAs, they are able not only to increase their milk production but also to produce highly nutritious breast milk.
Monolaurin fat, which is also present in coconuts, helps to enhance the growth of brain cells and to reduce the effects of some behavioral issues in later life for babies.
Which is the best coconut water to buy?
Not all of us live in coastal towns. I DO NOT, but I enjoy and love taking coconut water. Although coconut water in a fresh coconut is best, it is not always available. You can buy coconut water from your local grocery or online stores.
Here are my favorite coconut water brands.
I love this one because its all natural and it comes in different flavors. It has a great taste and provided you with all the minerals and electrolytes you can get from coconut water. It doesn’t contain added preservatives or additives. You can buy it from amazon.
This is also another of my favorite go to coconut water that is harvested directly from young, green coconuts in Thailand.
And just like my other favorite, it comes in different flavors such as original, ginger lime and turmeric, espresso and pineapple. No artificial colors or flavors. Get it on Amazon and enjoy free deliveries.
Coconut milk vs coconut water
Often, people who are not used to taking coconut in their diet will refer to coconut water and coconut milk interchangeably. However, these two yummy drinks are very different.
Coconut water is the raw, translucent clear liquid – which is naturally occurring in the fruit, and you only get it when you open the fresh coconut.
On the other hand, coconut milk is human-made. It is produced by grating the white flesh of a coconut, adding some water, and squeezing out the liquid. The result is a creamy white liquid that is similar to dairy milk.
How much coconut water should you take in a day?
It’s essential to keep a check on how much coconut water you are taking in a day if you want to increase your milk supply.
Although there is not enough scientific data on the amount of coconut water you should drink every day, I suggest you take one tender coconut per day.
Furthermore, sipping coconut water from the fruit is not the only way you can consume it. There are so many ways you can add coconut water to your diet if you cannot stand the dull taste.
For instance, you can make a lactation smoothie and add in some coconut water in there. Alternatively, you can also bake healthy lactation treats using coconut water. There are so many ways you can sneak in this precious drink in your diet.
NB: It’s important not to over-consume coconut water. Too much intake may lead to hyperkalemia.
How come the taste of coconut water differs?
The taste of coconut water will differ from each fruit for various reasons. It can be due to the region of harvest. Coconuts that have been grown organically will taste differently from those that have been grown using fertilizers.
Besides, there are several varieties of coconuts such as the dwarf type, the tall type and the hybrid type. The tall kind of coconut tree has coconut water that is sweeter when compared to all the other varieties.
The taste of coconut water may also differ if it has been kept in storage for long as it quickly ferments when exposed to the sun.
Also, the taste of coconut water will also differ depending on where the trees are planted in terms of distance from the seashore and the saline levels of the soil.
How to choose the perfect coconut
If you want to enjoy your coconut water, get the green variety. The coconut water is sweet and has lots of nutrients that are great for pregnant as well as breastfeeding moms.
Before picking a coconut, shake it. You will feel the amount of coconut water present in the coconut. Also, ensure you choose a green coconut. Avoid selecting those that have brown rims or those with visible damage.
Once you open your coconut, it is best to consume it immediately. If you leave it open, the water may become sour and produce a pungent smell.
Is coconut water safe for pregnant women?
Drinking coconut water when you are pregnant is safe. As seen, this drink contains a lot of essential minerals that are essential in your body.
Some women will experience relief from morning sickness and constant nausea that comes with pregnancy.
Stick to one soft coconut a day. However, should you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor.
For some women, breastfeeding is an instinct, while for others, there is some struggle and a bit of adjusting to get the hang of it finally.
At first, you may have a high milk supply causing breast engorgement. On the other hand, you may have a low milk supply, which may leave you and baby frustrated during breastfeeding.
Coconut water is one of the healthiest beverages a breastfeeding mom can take. It is an excellent source of electrolytes that will provide nursing moms with so many benefits.
If you have recently noticed a dip in your milk supply, I’d suggest you try coconut water while breastfeeding to see if it increases your milk supply. I have seen nursing moms on many forums rave about the benefits of coconut water when breastfeeding.
Finally, does coconut water increase milk supply? Absolutely YES! It may take a few hours or even days for you to see the change, but you will notice some increase in your milk supply if you start taking coconut water while breastfeeding.
“You will never know whether it works or not if you never try it.” This is usually my motto. Give it a try and let me know in the comments please.