Breastfeeding

Coconut Water vs Coconut Milk for Breastfeeding

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Coconut water and coconut milk are delicious, healthful, and nutrient-dense beverages that every breastfeeding mom should drink. If you’ve noticed a decrease in your milk supply, you should try these drinks. They can also help with your overall health.

If you’re still on the fence about whether coconut water or coconut milk is better for breastfeeding, which is more likely to cause you to gain weight, etc., this post will clear your doubts. Let’s read on to discover!

Is Coconut Milk And Coconut Water The Same Thing?

Coconut is a huge nut, but it is precious because we can use it to make many great products such as oil, water, and milk.

Coconut water and milk are two outstanding examples. Although both beverages have the same source, they differ in the following ways:

1. Appearance

Coconut water is the crystal clear liquid found in the core of the coconut. It is organic and unprocessed.

On the other hand, coconut milk is a product made by shredding the flesh, pouring some water, and pressing out the white liquid, much like regular milk.

2. Nutrition profile

You may already know coconut water contains mostly water (approximately 94%) and carbohydrates, with very little fat and protein. On the other hand, coconut milk contains less water (about 50%), with fat being the most important nutrient. However, they do have certain similarities in terms of minerals and vitamins.

Coconut milk contains more fiber, magnesium, potassium, and folate, while coconut water has more sodium and calcium.

If you need fiber but do not want to gain weight, you can combine coconut water with other fiber supplements because it’s low in calories.

If you are underweight during breastfeeding and need folate for milk supply, combine coconut milk with other folate-rich foods or supplements.

Here’s how 100 g of coconut water compares to coconut milk:

Coconut Water Coconut Milk
Calories 19 230
Protein 0.7 g 2.3 g
Fat 0.2 g 23.8 g
Carbohydrate 3.7 g 5.5 g
Fiber 1.1 g 2.2 g
Calcium 24 mg 16 mg
Iron 0.3 mg 1.6 mg
Magnesium 25 mg 37 mg
Potassium 250 mg 263 mg
Sodium 105 mg 15 mg
Vitamin C 2.4 mg 2.8 mg
Folate 3 µg 16 µg

Benefits Of Coconut Water for Breastfeeding

This drink is low in fat and calories, but breastfeeding moms need more than that. Below will explain how good coconut water is for breastfeeding moms.

1. Hydration

Nursing moms may generate an abundance of milk, resulting in breast engorgement. Poor milk production, on the other hand, makes nursing inconvenient for both mom and baby.

Since breast milk is mostly water, remaining hydrated when nursing is essential. Dehydration is a primary factor of insufficient milk production.

Coconut water is primarily water and electrolytes, making it a perfect hydration drink for breastfeeding.

When you start drinking coconut water while breastfeeding, you may not notice any difference for several hours or even days, but you will surely see an improvement in your milk production.

2. Overall Health

Because this fruit includes antibacterial acids and antioxidants, its products are often high in immunity-enhancing properties.

3. Digestion

This drink is high in gut-healthy enzymes and other amino acids, including lauric acid, which helps improve digestion.

4. Weight Gain Control

Many breastfeeding women are health-conscious since they want to consume enough to promote their child’s growth while avoiding overeating. They don’t want to gain any more weight.

Coconut water is only naturally sweet and has a minimal calorie content. So you wouldn’t have to worry about your weight gaining.

5. Enhanced Immunity

When you’re breastfeeding, your immune system often becomes weaker. The drink is high in vitamins and minerals that work as antioxidants in the body, supporting your immune function.

It also has lauric acid, which is abundant in breast milk. Lauric acid’s antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral activities protect the body against diseases. It also strengthens the immune system, keeping both mother and baby in good condition.

6. Bone and Teeth

Calcium is plentiful in coconut water, which is necessary for bone and tooth development. In addition, the magnesium content helps with muscle relaxation and contraction, as well as power generation and optimal organ function.

coconut milk and breastfeeding

Benefits Of Drinking Coconut Milk While Breastfeeding

Coconut milk, like breast milk, belongs to a food group named medium-chain fatty acids, which are beneficial fats.

This feature defines coconut milk as a dynamic, nutrient-dense beverage with numerous health and therapeutic effects that will benefit nursing mothers in different ways.

A few benefits below will show you why coconut milk is good for breastfeeding mothers.

1. Helps to Increase Milk Supply

Coconut milk helps with breast milk supply by enhancing nutrition to support the hormones required. It also accomplishes this by giving the mom vital fatty acids, which are commonly available in breast milk. Breastfeeding moms who drink these necessary fatty acids produce more nutritious breast milk.

2. Healthy Fat Substitute

Monolaurin is a nutritious fat found in coconut milk. This beneficial fat supports and speeds up the development of brain cells.

Monolaurin also works to reduce the frequency of other breastfeeding-related behavioral problems.

It is a wonderful option for vegan and lactose intolerant women because it is a plant-based product and does not have lactose.

4. Weight Maintenance

Since its calorie content is substantial, coconut milk aids in weight maintenance, helps underweight moms gain weight, or ensures a healthy BMI.

5. Helps Control Blood Pressure

Coconut milk is famous for its ability to boost healthy cholesterol levels, which lowers blood pressure. It also contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium that help regulate and improve blood circulation

6. Aids Digestion

Since the milk is a product made from coconut with high fiber, it also helps with digestion and aids in the treatment of constipation.

7. Reduced Fatigue

The diary contains an ideal amount of electrolytes, helping breastfeeding women prevent weariness and exhaustion.

8. Anti-inflammatory Properties

The drink helps to alleviate joint discomfort and stiffness. Sugar, on the other hand, is pro-inflammatory. For those with autoimmune inflammatory disorders such as lupus arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, using coconut milk as a sweetener can have beautiful results. With this idea in mind, you can come up with tons of nutritious recipes.

breastfeeding mother drinking coconut water

Are There Any Risks In Drinking Coconut Water?

This drink is organic, so there will be fewer risks. However, if you buy packaged products, please check the ingredients before taking any of them.

1. Kidney disorders

Potassium concentrations in this drink can lower blood pressure. On the other hand, mothers with kidney problems should minimize their consumption.

Because the kidneys are unable to eliminate potassium, decreased renal function usually results in hyperkalemia. As a result, taking this mineral too much might be dangerous.

2. Allergies and Sugar

The records of allergies to coconuts are rare. However, do not cross out this potential risk as you don’t want to suffer from the irritating symptoms.

Pay attention to the sugar content of the packaged products too. Sugar-sweetened drinks often increase the chances of obesity and diabetes.

Tips for reducing the risks

To guarantee a healthy intake of the drink during the lactation period, bear in these precautions:

  • Before drinking, consult your doctor if you have kidney problems or heart issues.
  • Ask your doctor if you are on any medications or vitamins.
  • Fresh, delicate coconut water is preferable to bottled one.
  • The fresh drink is perishable, so don’t leave it out at room temperature for longer than two hours.
  • If you buy packaged products, be sure they are from a reliable brand.
  • Look at the date on the package and any other ingredients like sugar or preservatives.
  • Keep an unopened package away from direct sunlight in a dry, clean environment.
  • Keep an open pack refrigerated and use it within 24 hours.
  • Do not drink too much because excessive amounts might lead to hyperkalemia.

baby and mother drinking milk

What are The Disadvantages of Coconut Milk?

These coconut milk products come with more risks because they have more ingredients. However, if you use them properly, problems rarely happen.

1. Calorie Content

Whereas the MCT level of coconut milk may help with weight loss, it is still a high-calorie drink. So, aim to control your “calories in vs. calories out” ratio to maintain weight.

2. FODMAP

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-, and polyols, which are a group of carbohydrates that can cause nausea, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and constipation in certain people.

If you have a FODMAP allergy or are on a low FODMAP diet, some specialists advise limiting your intake of coconut milk because it’s a high-FODMAP drink.

Others, on the other hand, consider it a low-FODMAP foodstuff. As a result, you should consider your sensitivity to it to decide whether you should restrict or stop taking it entirely.

Tips for reducing the risks

  • Always ask your doctor if you can use the product.
  • It is best to get products with few ingredients.
  • Keep an eye out for sugar substitutes, preservatives, and synthetic thickeners like gums.
  • Refrigerate these beverages and keep a close eye on their expiry dates.
  • Make sure that you are not sensitive to any ingredient of the product.
  • Ensure you don’t have a FODMAP allergy or are on a low FODMAP diet.
  • Keep an unopened bottle away from direct sunlight in a dry, clean environment.
  • Keep an open bottle refrigerated and use it within seven days.

Conclusion

Both beverages are beneficial to breastfeeding mothers. Coconut water is a good low-calorie hydration drink, while coconut milk is healthier than other fat drinks that help increase milk supply.

As a result, your intention, not their characteristics, determines which of these two is the better option. Consider combining these two drinks with other supplements such as Benefiber, Body Armor Lyte, Goli gummies, etc. into your daily diet to improve milk production and your health.

Hopefully, you will end up with a healthful and delicious drink to relieve your discomfort during nursing time.

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