The Importance of Drinking Water for a Breastfeeding Mom
There is a whole slew of things to worry about as you're becoming a mother.
Breastfeeding is no different and comes with so many questions we've never considered in our lives.
One of the most important of these is "how much water should a breastfeeding mom drink?"
My friends are constantly making fun of me for stating that absolutely every bad feeling you're having can be fixed by drinking water. It's my cure-all.
But, especially in this case, it's far truer than you may think.
Let's get right to it...
How Much Water a Breastfeeding Mother Should Be Drinking?
We knew that already but let's break this down:
An adult needs at least 8 8-oz glasses of water per day. 64 ounces of water is what the average adult should be drinking, at minimum.
A breastfeeding mother needs to keep hydrated for her and her feeding baby and failure to do so can lead to complications in milk supply as well as you feeling like, well, garbage.
Here's a link to a nice and handy water intake calculator. Use it to find out how much water you should drink daily - http://rehydratepro.com/hydration-calculator.php
On average, nursing mothers should be drinking about 3/4 of a gallon per day. If that seems like a lot, you're just going to have to get over it. You will have a far easier time of feeding your little one if you stick to that amount.
Why Drinking a Lot of Water is So Important While Breastfeeding?
Nursing takes dedication from both you and your baby.
While baby has the natural urge to suck, you will have a much easier go of the whole process if you take care of your body.
Lack of rest can certainly take a toll on your milk supply but, let's be honest here, "rest" is a four-letter-word that makes you daydream of greener pastures when that newborn comes to the party.
To make up for that, you will need to pay very close attention to your diet. Your eating habits matter immensely while feeding your child.
Be sure to get those nutrients you need from fruits and veggies. Not only will they keep your vitamin and mineral levels up, and in turn keep you feeling more energetic, they are also a fantastic source of water. For example, if you can eat melons, you'll be hydrating more than you realize.
Why Water Is Your Life Source
1. You need water to stay healthy. It helps you maintain a healthy balance of body fluids as your body is composed of about 60% water. Water plays a crucial role in every process your body undertakes including digestion, absorption of those vitamins and minerals, salivating, nutrient transport, and maintenance of body temperature.
2. You need water to keep your body moving at a healthy speed. Your body is a machine and all of the working parts need to be, well, working in order for it to function properly. We've all heard "the chain is only as strong as the weakest link."
This should be in mind when it comes to hydration because it's such an incredibly important part of making your body work as a whole, and in turn, keeping your breasts full and working properly to feed that little one.
3. Water is also the ultimate energy drink. We live in a society where caffeine plays an immense role in our day-to-day lives and we seem to have forgotten that our ancestors seemed to do just fine plugging away outdoors for twelve hours a day drinking only that Earth-given magic liquid.
What to Avoid While Breastfeeding
When it comes to breastfeeding, caffeine intake and diuretics in general (tea, soda, etc) can have a very negative impact on your milk supply. This is most likely due to dehydration.
While you won't dry up because of your morning cup of Joe, keep in mind that the more you opt for water, the more smoothly all bodily processes are going to function.
Avoid alcohol as much as possible while breastfeeding. One can of beer can lead to four hours of only 20% of your milk's supply. Shockingly, it also causes dehydration. Experts suggest avoiding any alcoholic beverages during the first three months of nursing your little one.
More info in this great video:
In short, you need to keep downing that water.
It's fantastic for all of us and we need to keep our bodies running as smoothly as possible for the benefit of you and your child.
You'll be grateful to not have to wake up every forty-five minutes to re-nurse due to lack of milk supply in the first feeding and your baby will be grateful to eat a hearty meal at feeding times.
The first stages of motherhood can be exhausting but if you don't forget to take care of yourself, you'll make it through with flying colors. Enjoy those bonding moments, keep your body happy, and enjoy every precious moment. Good luck!