woman drinking water while breastfeeding

When it comes to feeding your child, what you eat matters a lot. Human breast milk must have a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, and other nutrients, so the baby can have better health. If your breast milk misses anything, it can significantly deplete the baby’s health. Since your breast milk has 80% water, how much water you drink while breastfeeding is critical to quench your baby’s thirst.

The reason why sometimes babies drink a little milk despite it not being their feeding schedule is that they are thirsty. On average, a mother should intake 16 cups of water per day. Now, that doesn’t mean you should drink this much water, you can eat water-rich plants or vegetables or drink beverages. That way, you won’t get dehydrated, and your body will easily make water for the breast milk.

How Much Water Should I Drink While Breastfeeding?

Water is necessary for every human to keep their health in optimum condition. However, drinking excessive water can bring health side effects. So, it is important to keep yourself hydrated while breastfeeding, but you also have to keep the water intake in check. It is better to consult your doctor to learn more about the optimal water intake based on your BMI. 

On average, drinking 12-16 glasses of water daily is better, but your doctor might alter the amount that suits your body’s needs.

But how does water help? At the initial stages of breastfeeding, your body is already recovering from delivery, chances are that milk supply starts to wane. Drinking enough water can boost up the supply and won’t let your milk run out of proper nutrients. Studies have shown that drinking plenty of water can increase milk supply.

The idea here is to ensure that your body stays hydrated as long as you are providing milk to your child. Once they start eating other foods, then you can lower the water intake. However, staying hydrated should be your priority as it is better for your health as well as your child.

Symptoms of Dehydration

If you believe that you are drinking enough water but still face the following symptoms, it means you are dehydrated. At such times, it is better to call your doctor and tell them about the situation so they can prescribe you some medicines to counter the dehydration.

  • Feeling Thirsty

The most common symptom of dehydration is that you feel thirsty a lot. Despite drinking lots of water, if you feel thirsty a lot, it means your body requires more nutrients than water can provide. Simply drink juices and other drinks that can provide your body with the necessary nutrients so you won’t feel thirsty.

  • Lack of Energy

Your body requires lots of energy right after you give birth, and you need to coop with it so you can feed your baby properly. If you eat properly but still feel that your body doesn’t have enough energy, it can cause dehydration. Try taking liquids with multiple nutrients or drink plenty of water during the day to keep yourself hydrated.

  • Headache, Moodiness, and Nausea

Having mood swings while pregnant or after delivery is common, but most people don’t know that dehydration is a major reason behind this. This also leads to headaches since lack of water won’t allow blood to flow properly which is another cause of nausea. The best way to get rich with such problems is to drink juices that have vitamin C. Do not breastfeed your child if you are experiencing headaches or nausea as the conditions might get worse.

How to Stay Hydrated

The best way is to get a thermos flask and keep it filled with water. Take a sip often without any need to keep your throat wet and your water needs filled. Another option is to drink a cup every hour and drink some juices after four or five hours. Even a cup of juice daily would be enough. However, if you live in a hot area, then you might need to drink to keep yourself cool.

Taking a bath frequently is a good option, as your body needs to stay cool from the outside too. Eating on time can also keep you hydrated and your energy levels on optimized levels.

Resting a lot can also lead to dehydration, so while you rest, ensure that your sleep schedule is not over. Your body requires nutrients more than rest, so make sure to eat and drink more than you rest.

On the other hand, don’t eat food that causes thirst like fish or other sea foods. You can ask your doctor for more details but avoid any food that immediately wants you to drink water.

What to Avoid While Breastfeeding?

Most people are concerned about the use of caffeine while breastfeeding. While a small take of caffeine is fine while breastfeeding, it is recommended to talk to your healthcare provider before using it. If you drink coffee like usual, it might disrupt your newborn’s sleep schedule.

The use of alcohol while breastfeeding will not bear good results at all. It will significantly affect your newborn’s health. However, if the feeding schedule is well established and your baby is showing good growth, you can take a small amount of alcohol at night. Make sure that the alcohol effects are gone before you breastfeed your baby.

While drinking wine or beer, remember to drink a double amount of water to wear off its effects. Timing is the key, it will take a couple of hours for the alcohol to get out of your body, so it is better to check your kid’s sleeping schedule before drinking. You don’t want them to wake up and ask for milk while the alcohol is still in your body.

Final Words

How much water should I drink while breastfeeding? In simple words, drink enough water so you won’t feel dehydrated. Consult with your doctor so they can let you know about the necessary water intake based on your BMI.

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