Return to all articles
Electrolytes during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Electrolytes during pregnancy and breastfeeding

The joys of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Your body and baby crave more of just about everything- calories, protein, vitamins and minerals, sleep!

 

Having 1-2 sachets of Elyte electrolytes daily has been an absolute GAME CHANGER to my energy levels during pregnancy.

 

Unfortunately, many women following conventional wisdom actively limit sodium to prevent preeclampsia, a condition of high blood pressure plus swollen hands and feet that can develop halfway through pregnancy. I say “unfortunately” because sodium is important for both mother and child, and not just for milk production.

 

Adequate sodium intake is particularly essential for a developing fetus. Restricting sodium intake below 3 grams per day has been shown to slow growth, reduce birth weight, shrink the cardiovascular system, and impair kidney function in the fetus. As a result, the baby is more likely to develop high blood pressure later in life.

 

Babies need electrolytes too, most of which they get via breastmilk or formula. If you’re using formula, you’ll want to confirm that — like breast milk — it’s rich in electrolytes. A mom’s dietary sodium intake directly correlates with the amount of sodium in her milk. Sodium concentrations in human milk are elevated in the early stages of breastfeeding when the milk takes the form of colostrum, the antibody-rich “first milk” that seeds the infant’s immune system. Some research suggests that inadequate breast milk electrolytes could adversely affect the child’s future health.

 

Sodium is especially important for cognitive function down the road. In one study, giving salt supplements to prematurely born infants was linked to better motor function, IQ, and memory when these kids turned 10–13. This result doesn’t mean, however, that all babies should be given extra salt. Some evidence suggests that too much salt early in life can predispose them to future cardiovascular issues. My suggestion to nursing moms is to keep their own salt intake in moderate ranges and let their breast milk provide salt to their babies.

 

Salt status is also correlated with milk production volume. Some studies have suggested that sodium supplementation increases lactation in mammals, and dairy farmers have long known that increasing sodium boosts milk production in cows. On the human front, I’ve heard many stories from moms who insist that elyte has increased their milk supply.

 

So, how much sodium do women need during pregnancy and while breastfeeding? The latest science shows that consuming 4–6 grams of sodium daily appears to be the sweet spot for optimal health outcomes and to avoid sodium deficiency in adults. Diet and lifestyle factors like exercise can increase those needs. Pregnant and nursing women may find they feel better with slightly more sodium to replace what’s going to their child. But since everyone is different, some women may need less. Test it out and find what feels right for you based on your energy levels and cravings (AKA if you find yourself craving salty foods, don’t be afraid to listen to that urge).

 

Potassium balances the effects of sodium and helps women maintain healthy blood pressure during pregnancy.

 

Pregnancy increases magnesium needs, and magnesium deficiency during pregnancy can affect fetal growth and spike the mother’s blood pressure.

 

Our formula will support your hydration needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

 

On that note, I hope this article taught you something new to help you along your journey.

 

- Annelies Grimshaw, Qualified Nutritionist 

  • Maximising Performance: The Essential Guide to Incorporating Electrolytes into Your Exercise and Nutrition Regime

    Maximising Performance: The Essential Guide to ...

    One key component of proper hydration and nutrient balance for athletes is electrolytes. These essential minerals are vital for maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, muscle contractions, and overall energy levels....

    Maximising Performance: The Essential Guide to ...

    One key component of proper hydration and nutrient balance for athletes is electrolytes. These essential minerals are vital for maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, muscle contractions, and overall energy levels....

    Read Article

  • Electrolytes during pregnancy and breastfeeding

    Electrolytes during pregnancy and breastfeeding

    The joys of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Your body and baby crave more of just about everything- calories, protein, vitamins and minerals, sleep!   Having 1-2 sachets of Elyte electrolytes daily...

    Electrolytes during pregnancy and breastfeeding

    The joys of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Your body and baby crave more of just about everything- calories, protein, vitamins and minerals, sleep!   Having 1-2 sachets of Elyte electrolytes daily...

    Read Article

1 of 2