Is It Safe to Drink Cold Water after Delivery?

Is Drinking Cold Water Safe After Delivery?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
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When breastfeeding, you should consume at least twelve glasses of water daily to keep your body hydrated. Water is essential for the production of breast milk and in preventing constipation. While many well-meaning family members and friends may have advised you that drinking anything cold is prohibited at such a delicate stage of life, is the temperature of water really that important? Many age-old pieces of advice passed down through generations still call for hot and warm water after delivery, but in recent times, people have found no ill effects on the mother or the baby of drinking cold water after delivery. So, mamas, get ready to uncover the world-class dilemma on the right drinking water temperature after delivery and hand yourself a big gulp!

Can You Drink Cold Water After Normal Delivery?

Drinking cold water after giving birth is often frowned upon, but the evidence to support is non-existent. People usually suggest drinking warm water and beverages after delivery in the line of belief that it helps a new mom heal quickly. While warm water is good to drink and women can often indulge in it during cold temperatures, there are some who are unable to do so, especially when they live in areas with warm temperatures. This ends up being a problem because their water intake starts reducing. Drinking cold water after giving birth is believed to cause colds and prevent the shrinking of the womb, but there is no study to confirm the same. And since there is no evidence to show that drinking cold water is bad for you, even after delivery, go ahead and indulge in it. Just make sure that the water is not too cold, especially if you use the air conditioners on a daily basis.

Can Drinking Cold Water Affect Your Baby?

Your baby will not be affected by the cold water you drink. Your body will ensure that your breast milk is warm and it will still provide enough antibodies to your child, thereby preventing her from catching infections.

Can Drinking Cold Water Affect Your Baby?

Does Drinking Cold Water After Childbirth Slow Your Recovery?

The myth around drinking cold water after delivery is a part of the old wives’ tales. Cold water will not slow down your recovery after delivery unless you are prone to falling sick after drinking cold beverages on a regular basis. If you have never had any problem after drinking cold water, drinking it during your recovery period should not be a problem. However, ensure that you are not doing this if you live in climates that are very cold. You don’t want to fall sick while you are taking care of your baby.

When Can You Start Drinking Cold Water After a C-section Delivery?

It is a standard procedure that women who have undergone C-sections are not allowed to drink anything until the doctor is able to assess how well the post-operation medication is received by the mother. Once the doctor has decided that there is nothing wrong and that everything is going smoothly, you can start drinking water and other beverages, cold or warm, as long as they are not aerated.

Doctor will assess you post your c-section before advising you on what to drink

Why Is It Important for Mothers to Drink Cold Water After a C-section?

Drinking plenty of water is very important after a C-Section as it helps in the healing of the body. Production of breast milk is enhanced, and your body really needs to remain hydrated and free of constipation, something that water is the key to. The temperature of the water that you consume at this time does not make a difference, but cold water is far more refreshing and able to quench thirst better than warm water, especially if you live in warm climates. Drinking water is also said to help in losing weight, especially if taken before eating meals as it allows you to feel full without consuming a large quantity of food.

How to Drink Cold Water After a C-section Delivery?

Now that you know that drinking cold water is not bad for you during your recovery period after delivery, here are some steps to follow when drinking cold water:

1. Determine the Amount

Determining how much water you need to drink on a daily basis is very important, especially since you will need to up your water intake while breastfeeding. At this time, you should be consuming at least twelve to thirteen cups of water per day. Your urine should be pale yellow. If it is dark, that means you are not getting enough water and need to increase the amount you drink.

Lady drinking water after delivery

2. Be Prepared

Set aside a separate bottle or jug of water for yourself so that you can track your water intake every day. Ensure that it is clean and filled with fresh water. Leave it in the fridge overnight.

3. Add to Your Daily Routine

Add water to your balanced and healthy diet, making sure to get plenty of exercises every day. Four and a half cups of fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins that are low fat, as well as whole grain cereals, pasta and bread should make up your daily diet. Check with your doctor on the types of exercises that are all right for you to do after a C-section, and make sure that you exercise for at least thirty minutes, five days a week.

Lady holding water bottle

4. Always Stay Hydrated

You can refill your glass of water as many times as required. Drink water before your meals and during meals to help digest your food better. Make sure that you drink some water before and after you exercise to keep yourself hydrated.

Things to Remember While Drinking Cold Water After Delivery

If a glass of cold water can only quench your thirst, and you want to continue that way, here are some things you might want to remember to prevent any potential discomfort. Your body is in the healing process and needs time to recover before you try any adventure.

1. Drink cold water moderately and in the right amount

After delivery, a breastfeeding woman requires at least thirteen glasses of water per day. Therefore, make sure to keep yourself hydrated by keeping water bottles around the house. 

2. Be cautious of the too-chilled water

After delivery, the task is not fully done; your body has transgressed into the healing stage. Therefore, you have to be very mindful of your body. drinking chilled water can put a strain on your kidneys, especially if you have had a case of kidney issues in the past.

3. Track your water consumption

Many times, we believe that our water intake is at par, but the case is not so. Make sure to track your water consumption by keeping water bottles or water jugs separate for you. You can track your water intake by checking your urine. Dark yellow means dehydration, and light yellow means optimal hydration.

4. Drink clean and freshly stored water

Drink only filtered or boiled water that is stored in a clean vessel. Do not drink water that was stored days ago in the refrigerator; drink fresh water.

Cautionary Tips

If you have an infection or notice that you are not healing properly, consult your doctor. If you notice swelling, redness, warmth or oozing at the site of your incision, contact your doctor immediately. Drinking water at this point will not help you as you require medical attention.

FAQs

1. Does consuming cold water after childbirth have any impact on breast milk production?

Certainly not! The water temperature does not affect the mother’s breast milk production. Therefore, you can drink the hot, lukewarm, or cold water of your choice at any time without worrying about the breast milk supply.

2. Are there any traditional beliefs regarding cold water consumption after childbirth?

As per traditional Indian beliefs, many people advise breastfeeding mothers to avoid drinking cold water as it could induce the uterus to contract, which could delay recovery and cause pain. Some also believe that cold water can reduce breast milk supply. Rest assured, there are no scientific claims that support any of these beliefs. The same follows in the Chinese and Iranian postpartum recovery – no cold fluids.

If your body does not heal, it will cause more harm to your child as she will be hungry and will not get enough antibodies needed for a healthy immune system. So stay hydrated at all costs, not just for your benefit, but for your baby’s too.

References/Resources:

1. Postpartum care: What to expect after a vaginal birth; Mayo Clinic; https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/postpartum-care/art-20047233

2. Recovering From Delivery; Nemours KidsHealth; https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/recovering-delivery.html

3. WOMEN SHOULD REST FOR A MONTH AFTER CHILDBIRTH—MYTH OR FACT?; University of Utah; https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/health-library/all/2018/05/women-should-rest-month-after-childbirth-myth-or-fact; May 2018

4. Derakhshani. M, Asgarian. A, Tousi. H, et al.; Cultural Beliefs and Practices in Postpartum Women in Iran: A Qualitative Study; J West Afr Coll Surg.; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10395854/; July-September 2023

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Weakness After Delivery
Precautions to Take After Delivery
Benefits of Ajwain Water After Delivery

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