Reference: 2022-06-23; https://mbp-japan.com/jijico/articles/32293/
Modified and translated by CFJA
Eating or drinking cold food lowers body temperature, which in turn lowers the temperature of breast milk.
Nursing mothers need to keep hydrated. During the summer season, she may crave cold foods. In summer, there are many cold meals. When the appetite is low, the desire for cold food is even greater. However, every time we put cold food and drink into our bodies, our body temperature drops. The body works to raise the temperature of the cold stuff to internal temperature. This energy produces heat. This is the “hot flashes” felt inside the body. When hot flashes occur, we become thirsty and crave more cold food. As this process is repeated, the internal organs become fatigued and their ability to maintain body temperature begins to decline. Fatigue and decreased function of the internal organs causes “sluggishness”. This is what is called “summer fatigue”.
When the homeostasis to maintain body temperature decreases, the temperature of breast milk decreases. When the temperature of the breast milk that the baby drinks decreases, the baby’s intestines become less active and constipated. The baby’s poop frequency is usually about the same as the number of times the baby feeds, but if it’s about two to three times a day, the baby is constipated, and then skin of the baby becomes rough. It is similar to a condition known as infantile eczema. If your baby’s body feels cold to the touch when eczema begins to appear, take his or her temperature. If the child’s temperature is more than 0.5°C below 37°C, touch the mother’s body. If the mother’s temperature is below 36.5°C, measures to raise the body temperature are necessary.
When the baby drinks warm breast milk, constipation is relieved and the skin condition improves. On the other hand, nursing mothers tend to crave cold drinks and ice cream because they are fatigued from breastfeeding and feel the heat more easily while holding their babies. After a few bites to satisfy their cravings, they need to eat something warm before their bodies become too cold. People around her should understand the mother’s patience and refrain from eating or drinking cold food around her in the home.
Cooling the postpartum body with air conditioners cause a decline in physical strength.
One of the most common causes of a drop in body temperature is excessive use of air conditioners. Although a cooler temperature of 28°C or higher is considered desirable, many people use it at lower temperatures. Especially when using AC during sleep, the cold air enters through the nose and lowers the internal temperature of the body. AC should be used carefully while breastfeeding.
Pregnant women after childbirth tend to be anemic. Because of their reduced physical strength, their ability to maintain body temperature is difficult to sustain. Thus, they are easily affected by the temperature, so they easily feel hot and cold. This condition is influenced by the time of “Tokoage (floor raising)”. Tokoage refers to “the time when a mother may begin her daily life after giving birth”.
Mothers who continue to breastfeed without adequate rest tend to feel hot and prefer air conditioners. In addition, while breastfeeding, they have less energy and are sleep deprived. Many mothers may want to rest comfortably in the air conditioner, but if it causes hypothermia, the temperature of breast milk will drop and the baby’s development will be affected.
Fathers and other family members who use air-conditioners every year need to put the baby and mother first and avoid using air-conditioners at temperatures lower than 28°C, and they should not use air-conditioners at bedtime. They should take measures such as using a fan to create a breeze and to circulate the air in the room.