Tips For Staying Hydrated While Breastfeeding

Tips For Staying Hydrated While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is full of precious bonding moments, nutrients that are perfect for your baby and much more. While there are so many benefits to breastfeeding, there are also many challenges, one being hydration.

Why is it so hard to stay hydrated during breastfeeding?

Generally, the average person requires eight 8oz glasses of water a day, or 64oz. But a breastfeeding mother is encouraged to almost double these numbers.

That brings it to 13 to 16 8oz glasses of water per day, or up to about 100oz! Holy H2O! That is a lot of liquid intake to manage on top of a nursing baby! No wonder moms are so mighty.

Amidst the diaper changes, feedings and lack of sleep, we have to consume up to 100oz of hydrating liquids PER DAY! 

What Is Considered A Hydrating Liquid?

  • Water
  • Cow or nut milk
  • Decaf coffee or tea
  • Fruit or vegetable juice (the lower the sugar content, the better)
  • Soups

Why Does Staying Hydrated While Breastfeeding Matter? 

Considering breast milk is around 90% water, a mother that is hydrated will have and maintain a healthy supply because she is always replacing what is lost.

This is also important to help keep up with the demands of your baby. So does more water equal more milk? Not necessarily.

Staying hydrated does not mean you will have an abundance of breast milk, but it does mean you are replacing what the baby is consuming and what they are consuming is very healthy.

It's important to note that exceeding the recommended daily ounces is not going to give you extra supply.

Thirst Is Your Body’s Cue To Replenish What Is Lost

The oxytocin released during breastfeeding will trigger this cue. If you are feeling very thirsty, odds are you are already depleted and on the road to dehydration.

The times when you may need to drink more than the recommend amount is if you: live in a hot climate, are nursing more than one child, exercise frequently or have signs of dehydration. 

Signs Of Dehydration

Here are a few signs of dehydration in mama: 

  • Dark colored urine
  • Constipation 
  • Decreased milk supply
  • Abnormal fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headaches

While staying hydrated doesn’t mean more milk supply, dehydration does mean you may take a hit to your supply.

And, a large dip in your supply could lead to dehydration in your baby since breastmilk is their main, and often only, source of hydration (if you are exclusively breastfeeding). 

Signs of dehydration in baby:

  • Dark yellow, brown or orange urine
  • Dry lips/mouth
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Irritability

If you or your baby are experiencing any signs of dehydration, be sure to seek medical assistance. 

The Benefits Of Staying Fully Hydrated

Other than maintaining a healthy supply for your baby, there are actually a lot of other benefits to staying fully hydrated, such as: 

  • An increase in energy (yes, please!)
  • Flush out toxins (be gone, toxins!)
  • Improved skin complexion (ooh la la!)
  • Maintain regularity (much needed postpartum!)
  • Promotes healthy weight (woohoo!)
  • Promotes better moods (another PP must have!)

Now Is The Hard Part...

HOW do you stay hydrated while breastfeeding? I am busy and tired! Here are some tips and tricks that are approved by mamas!

  • Find a cup you love! Preferably with a straw. This will make it easier to both measure and consume. 
  • Drink when baby drinks! This is a great way to start a habit of replenishing what is lost. 
  • Drink 8oz with every meal. 
  • Find a mix in that you love, like USiip.

- Megan Cadenhead