For nursing mothers, they are hydrating their selves and their little ones. Therefore, it is always important to satisfy their thirst and consume more liquid before and after they breastfeed. Read more about breastfeeding topics from the World Health Organization in this website.
When a mom is feeding her baby, she can feel thirsty even if she has been drinking lots of water beforehand. This is normal, and this is nature’s way of reminding her that she needs to drink extra to meet her body’s and her baby’s needs.
How Much Is Enough?
In general, the rule of thumb is that people should consume at least 8-ounce glasses of water every day. That is a total of 64 ounces of water. Some people can function with less and more, but this is a good starting point.
When it comes to nursing moms, they need to drink more way than the average, especially if the baby is under six months old. Most moms can produce 25 ounces of breast milk a day, and this can be an extra fluid loss. To make up for this, you need to drink an additional 25 ounces or more daily to stay hydrated. Therefore, instead of the regular 64 ounces, you might need at least 89 ounces to 104 ounces to stay hydrated.
Tips in Staying Hydrated and Healthy
Before this section, it is essential to note that drinking a lot of water will not increase the supply of breast milk. This is because the supply increases only when baby nurses frequently and breastfeeding is exclusive. You can know more about exclusive breastfeeding FAQs here: https://rehydrate.org/breastfeed/faq-exclusive-breastfeeding.htm.
Moms need to be hydrated because they are lactating. However, forcing large amounts of water and fluids in their bodies each day won’t make them produce more ounces of breast milk. On the other hand, when they don’t drink enough, dehydration can cause many health issues in a mother’s body.
To be hydrated while they are feeding their little one, here are some tips that moms can follow:
Have Drinks Nearby Especially in the Feeding Location – Most moms may now realize that when their baby starts to feed, they won’t be able to do anything else. What they can do is to keep a drink handy inside a large container to make sure that she will be able to drink when she becomes thirsty. It is also a great idea if she can pack a drink on the diaper bag while she and the baby are out.
Limit Diuretics – Most diuretics such as cranberry juice or caffeine will make moms thirstier. It’s fine to limit coffee to about 1 to 2 cups a day. However, it would be best if you did not go further than that as this can have a dehydrating effect. You can balance the one cup of coffee with extra water if needed.
Enjoy Food Rich in Fluids – You can cook broths and soups with your every meal to ensure extra fluids. Most moms prefer vegetables such as spinach, pumpkin, tomatoes, and carrots. There are also fruits such as avocados, papaya, bananas, and cantaloupes that are rich in vitamins and nutrients.
Consider Taking Supplements – Your health care provider may recommend vitamins and other supplements that you can take to stay healthy and boost your little one’s brain development. There are sites such as Top Hydration Strategy For Nursing Mothers – Greater Than Sports Drink, where you can gain more information about drinks rich in calories and electrolytes that your body needs.
Track Fluid Intake – You should keep track of your fluid intake if you want to make sure that you stay hydrated. If you often browse through your phone while your baby drinks, you might want to download a mobile application to know whether you are drinking enough.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Most mothers that experience dehydration can feel symptoms that other dehydrated people frequently feel. These can include the following:
- Dry Mouth
- Too Much Fatigue
- Dark Urine Color
In cases of severe dehydration, a mother may be hospitalized for several days, and this can affect milk supply and composition. If you are pumping, you also need to drink before and after so to make sure that you won’t feel light-headedness and dryness around the mouth. Lactating women should drink before they get thirsty, and they should pay careful attention to their fluid intake, especially in the summer months, to stay healthy.