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Water Intake during Breastfeeding
Like eating well, staying hydrated is also important for a nursing mom. Around 90% of breast milk is water and hence drinking adequate amount of water becomes important during breastfeeding. There is no particular amount of water you should target to have during pregnancy or breastfeeding. But keep drinking and stay hydrated.
Signs of Dehydration
• Dried Lips
• Muscle cramps
• Lighter breasts
• Lower production of breast milk
How to Stay Hydrated?
1. Keep a bottle next to your bed during early days of breastfeeding when you are usually around the baby.
2. Have some juices, herbal teas, milk shakes and kheer at different times of the day.
3. Set up a routine to sip on water/juices post every breastfeeding session.
4. Don’t skip night time water intake, the time you wake up for breastfeeding, drink few sips of water.
Is it must to have plain water? Can I have juices, soups, flavoured water etc.?
You can have any food that is rich in water content. Juices that are too sweet are not advisable as too much sugar restricts the proper absorption of water. Flavoured water like mint water, lemon water, strawberry water etc. can be taken.
Why is it necessary to keep drinking water?
As we know that a new-born or a small baby below 6 months is completely dependent on breast milk. Frequent breastfeeding causes loss of water from the body as breast milk is 90% water. Staying hydrated avails you with easy breastfeeding. Sufficient water in the body helps a nursing mom produce adequate milk.
Does it affect my baby’s health?
Taking adequate amount of water in a day makes the breastfeeding process easy. It is said that whatever a nursing mom eats or drinks affects the breast milk. Drinking caffeinated drinks or alcohol may affect a baby’s health but drinking water just keeps a nursing mom hydrated and doesn’t affect baby’s health.
I don’t feel like drinking water, what shall I do?
There are many alternatives to plain water during nursing. You can try flavoured water, juices, kheer, soups etc.
Drinking adequate water is important during nursing but it’s not advised to push your limits and drinking more than your capacity. Also, there is a myth that over-drinking of water or any fluid decreases the quality of breast milk or simply dilutes it. Water just keeps a nursing mom hydrated and there is no specific amount of water suggested by any doctor. The amount of water you need every day depends on your weight and frequency of breastfeeding. So watch for simple signs of dehydration like dried lips and watch your water intake.