Advice Column, Baby, Breastfeeding, Health, Lifestyle

Easy Hydration For Breastfeeding Moms

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  • Category Advice Column, Baby, Breastfeeding, Health, Lifestyle

Many of us moms give a lot of thought to eating well while we are breastfeeding, knowing that we are passing on the very nutrients we consume to our precious bundles of joy.  However, apart from avoiding alcohol and minimising our caffeine intake, less thought may be given to what we might be drinking on a day to day basis.  The nutritional impact of what we drink is one important consideration; the other is that it is also vital for breastfeeding moms to stay properly hydrated.

Common advice includes ensuring you get the recommended eight to ten glasses of fluids a day; to drink a glass of water at each breastfeeding session and to give preference to caffeine-free rooibos tea.  Fresh fruit and vegetable juices, that are free of preservatives and other chemical additives, also frequently get the nod of approval from nutritionists.

However, when it comes to hydration strategies for breastfeeding moms, there’s a new kid on block that is grabbing global attention; and that’s coconut water.  Due to its phenomenal electrolyte content, pure coconut water is an isotonic drink which is more hydrating than water.  Now more easily available in South Africa, coconut water provides breastfeeding moms with a refreshingly different and completely health-filled option when it comes to avoiding dehydration.

Unlike coconut milk and coconut cream which are derived from the meat of ripe coconuts; coconut water is the almost clear fluid contained in young, green coconuts.  It’s a traditional, staple drink of islanders in the tropics that has been highly valued for centuries for its restorative and health-giving properties.  Coconut water is packed with the essential electrolytes, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium and phosphorus, which our body needs for all major functions, from muscles and nerves to heart and brain.  It is common for breastfeeding moms to feel fatigued, and coconut water is the ideal energy-boosting pick-me-up that is free of chemical additives.

Coconut water is also rich in vitamins, particularly the B vitamins, as well as trace minerals such as zinc, selenium and manganese.  It is full of amino acids, enzymes and health-boosting plant hormones known as cytokinins.  It is known for its soothing effect on the digestive system and its active support of a well-functioning immune system.  If this wasn’t enough, coconut water happens to be a wonderfully low-calorie option.  It is virtually fat free and very low in natural sugar, which is just perfect for moms trying to shed those last few pregnancy kilos.

In order to optimise on all the fantastic goodness that natural coconut water offers, it is important to read the products’ labels and be aware of the sources of this ‘elixir of Nature’.   Avoid options that are derived from concentrates or that include additives such as sugar or preservatives.  Recently launched in South Africa, CocoZone is a brand that offers 100% pure coconut water that is extracted and tetra-packed for freshness at the source, which is a single origin plantation farmed without the use of chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides.

If you are feeling bored with yet another glass of water during breastfeeding, or you have resolved to cut high calorie drinks out of your diet while you are breastfeeding, consider reaching for refreshing taste from tropics that is nothing but good for you, and good for baby too!

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