Coconut Water While Breastfeeding: Milk Supply Benefits & Tips

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We know that staying hydrated while breastfeeding is crucial. Are some drinks better than others when it comes to what to drink while breastfeeding?

Coconut water is the drink we’ll be focusing on in this article.

Let’s look at the benefits of  coconut water while breastfeeding, its affect on breast milk supply, whether it’s safe for nursing mothers, how much you can drink and more good-to-know details!

Is it Safe to Drink Coconut Water While Breastfeeding?

There is no definitive research to whether coconut water has been determined always safe for every breastfeeding mother.

However, in general, it is collectively assumed to be a safe drink to have while breastfeeding by lactation experts.

So much so, that it is even regularly recommended for nursing mothers as a healthy drink alternative to other sugary drinks.

Breastfeeding mothers should still take the proper precautions and seek the advice of their medical provider. This is especially true if they have any under-lying health conditions.

Summary

There is no collective data to conclude the safety status of coconut water while breastfeeding. However, among most lactation specialists, it is generally considered safe and better to consume than other sugary drinks.

Is Coconut Water Good for Nursing Mothers?

A study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded a few things as to how coconut may affect breast milk and how it can be beneficial to breastfeeding mothers.

This study showed that lactating mothers who consumed regular amounts of coconut oil and other coconut products had increased levels of Lauric and Capric Acid.

These acids are naturally occurring in breast milk and are beneficial in providing added antimicrobial protection for the nursing infant.

You may find this article all about how food affects breast milk mom and baby interesting.

Coconut Water While Breastfeeding Benefits

Coconut water on its own is low in calories, but that’s not all nursing mothers should know about the benefits of drinking coconut water while breastfeeding.

  • It’s Hydrating: Since breast milk is mostly made of water, drinking plenty of liquids while nursing is critical. Coconut water also naturally has electrolytes responsible for superior hydration, which is why you see it in many sports drinks.
  • Supports Overall Health: Coconut products are rich in immunity boosting properties. Such as antimicrobial acids and antioxidants. 
  • Aids in Digestion: With gut health promoting enzymes and amino acids, such as Lauric Acid – coconut water can also help with digestion.

Summary

According to data, coconut water appears to have a beneficial effect on breast milk and is generally considered good for nursing moms. It is also shown to be hydrating, supports immune health and aids in digestion.

Does Coconut Water Increase Breast Milk?

We know that coconut water is generally safe for nursing mothers, but does it also increase milk supply?

One of the major benefits of drinking coconut water in general is the hydration factor.

As you probably already know, hydration is key to producing more breast milk. Dehydration is the number one cause for low milk supply.

What do athletes reach for after strenuous activity? Usually a sports drink. What is the main ingredient in sports drinks?

Yep, coconut water.

Which is why many moms reach for sports drinks like Body Armor to increase their milk supply.

They also may try Gatorade, Greater Than Sports Drink or even the Pink Drink from Starbucks while breastfeeding.

All these drink have in ONE thing in common…

Coconut water or milk!

How Much Coconut Water to Drink to Boost Milk Supply

There really is no settled amount of how much coconut water you should drink a day to boost milk supply, the best recommendation would be to seek the advice of a nutritionist.

A better way to approach adding coconut water into your breastfeeding diet – is to maintain a balance between healthy eating and hydration.

If you’re looking for healthy breastfeeding meal ideas, I recommend this breastfeeding cookbook you can instantly download.

And if you’re really struggling with low milk supply, try taking this Master Your Milk Supply mini course by Milkology.

Summary

Coconut water is hydrating in nature, which may be a huge factor in why it might increase breast milk supply and there is no fixed amount on how much you have to drink a day to see results.

Best Coconut Water Drinks for Breastfeeding

If you’re wondering how can you drink more coconut water while breastfeeding and not get sick of it, here are some drink ideas for breastfeeding with coconut water.

But before we read on to the coconut water drink ideas for breastfeeding, it’s good to note that I recommend using a sugar free, cold-pressed and organic coconut water whenever possible.

Body Armor Lyte with Added Coconut Water

This is one of my personal favorite ways to enjoy a drink that I know increases my milk supply, but a less-sugary version of it.

All you need is your favorite flavor of Body Armor Lyte Sports Drink plus a sugar free and organic coconut water you like. 

I love this Body Armor and coconut water drink hack because I still get to take full advantage of the boost in milk production it gives me, but with much less sugar!

Lactation Smoothie with Coconut Water

I use coconut water all of the time in my lactation smoothies!

In fact, it’s my go-to form of liquid to put in my smoothies. I personally prefer those tropical flavors. 

Here’s a lactation smoothie recipe using coconut water:

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/2 c. Canned Papaya 
  • 1/2 c. Strawberries
  • 1/2 c. Coconut Yogurt 
  • 1 c. Coconut Water (or more deepening of the consistency you like)

I would also encourage you to add some Milk Dust Lactation Protein Powder to up the postpartum nutrition and breast milk benefits!

Find more of my lactation recipes here: Lactation Recipes

Summary

You can get creative with coconut water by making your own breastfeeding drinks. However, be mindful of coconut water with a lot of added sugar and chemicals. Try to choose a brand that is also organic and cold-pressed.

Coconut Water vs. Coconut Milk 

What’s the difference between coconut water and coconut milk?

You may want to know this when choosing which one to go with when choosing a coconut beverage while breastfeeding.

The first obvious different between coconut milk and water can be seen. Coconut water is a clear liquid that can be drank straight from a young coconut. 

Coconut milk however, is a by product of a mature coconut’s flesh. Coconut milk is commonly used as a cow’s milk replacement.

If you’re a breastfeeding mom who needs to go dairy free, coconut milk is a good alternative to dairy milk.

When you compare the two, there is no doubt they are very different. While one is very high in fat content and calories, the other is pretty much mostly water.

Nutritional Differences 

Even though both products come from the same fruit, their nutritional profile is actually very different. Coconut milk is much higher in calories than coconut water.

Not surprisingly, the fat content in coconut milk is also way higher than coconut water, where it is less than 1 gram. 

One thing to note, is that when you compare the vitamin and mineral properties, there’s not a huge contrast. Coconut milk does go above in Manganese and Folate, but other than that – they are very similar. 

A comparison chart between coconut water vs. coconut milk for nutritional purposes.

Summary

Coconut water and coconut milk are totally different drinks, but with similar vitamin and mineral profiles.

Conclusion

This article set out to answer some of your most important questions about coconut water and breastfeeding.

We looked at the safety of drinking coconut water for nursing mothers and concluded it is generally considered safe.

It also appears to be a good source of hydration for breastfeeding moms since it it mostly water and electrolytes.

You also learned about some benefits coconut water may have on a breastfeeding mom. Benefits like hydration, immune support and better digestion.

You also wanted to know if coconut water increases milk supply, I can’t speak for everyone, but it definitely does for me! Remember, dehydration is usually the cause for low milk supply.

Finally, we broke down what the difference is between coconut water and coconut milk and found they are totally different drinks, but with similar mineral and vitamin profiles.

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References:

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1261.html
  2. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/search-results?page=1&q=coconut%20and%20breastfeeding&fl_SiteID=6122&SearchSourceType=1&allJournals=1
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/coconut-water/faq-20207812#:~:text=Advertisement&text=Coconut%20water%20is%20popularly%20used,water%20as%20the%20coconut%20matures.
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coconut-water-vs-coconut-milk#nutrition

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