How Much Water Should I Drink While Breastfeeding? Importance of Staying Hydrated

Close-up view of glass, bottle of water, flowers in vase and mother breastfeeding baby behind at home

How Much Water Should I Drink While Breastfeeding? Importance of Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated is necessary for the body to function properly; it regulates your body temperature, keeps your joints in great condition, prevents infections, improves sleep quality and so much more. 

If you’re a breastfeeding mother, it also keeps your milk flowing, ensures your milk is full of nutrients and supports your own health during the post-birth recovery phase. So while staying hydrated is important for everyone, it may be even more critical for mothers providing for their babies. 

But when it comes to staying hydrated, how much water should a breastfeeding mom drink? And what happens if you don’t drink enough water while breastfeeding? These questions and more are answered below.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated While Breastfeeding

Without drinking the right amount of water per day, you may become dehydrated, risk milk production, and even hinder milk quality. Staying hydrated throughout the day, even when you don’t feel thirsty, is essential. Here’s why:

  • Milk production. Did you know that more than 80% of breast milk is made up of water? The more water you drink, the more likely you are to produce an adequate amount of breast milk for your baby. Dehydration can lead to a reduction in overall milk production, making it difficult to meet baby’s needs without supplementation. Signs of dehydration include feeling thirsty and lightheaded, having dark yellow urine and feeling overly tired.
  • Milk quality. Milk is a combination of nutrients, electrolytes, and antibodies. High-quality milk will contain everything baby needs to thrive, and all of this starts with properly hydrating your own body. The better you treat your body, the better sustenance the baby can get.
  • Your own health and wellness. Staying hydrated isn’t only important for the little one you’re caring for. It’s also important for your own health and wellbeing! Breastfeeding itself can be very dehydrating, which can make it difficult for you to function as a content, happy and aware mother. Plus, staying hydrated also supports your health during post-birth recovery. Proper hydration helps regulate hormones, improve digestion and more, which can ultimately make your recovery process easier. This, in turn, can make for a better breastfeeding experience for both you and baby.

Drinking fluids whenever you’re thirsty is the first step toward staying hydrated for you and your little one. Talk to your doctor about hydration if you have any questions or concerns about your current water intake.

Young mother with a water bottle in hand, pushing newborn baby in stroller

How Much Water Should I Drink a Day While Breastfeeding?

If you’re wondering “How many oz of water should I drink while breastfeeding?” there isn’t a one-size-fits-all amount. 

According to Eat Right, an initiative by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, breastfeeding mothers should prioritize about 16 cups of water per day, which equates to about 128 ounces of water. However, this can come from a combination of drinking water and/or eating raw hydrating fruits and vegetables. 

Of course, even the recommended amount of water may not be enough for breastfeeding mothers. If you need more guidance on water-to-food ratios for proper hydration, talk to your doctor.

Other Ways to Stay Hydrated

The best way to stay hydrated beyond drinking water is to prioritize a diet that’s loaded with fruits and vegetables. Raw fruits and vegetables generally have the most water content, so consider this when you prepare meals and snacks. 

Adding more raw fruits and vegetables can involve everything from eating from a sliced veggie tray to combining nutritious fruits and vegetables in a blender to create a delicious smoothie. 

No matter how you prioritize hydration, it’s important to remember to eat and drink with your own (and baby’s) health and wellness in mind.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

If you have a hard time remembering to drink a lot of water during the day, here are a few tips to get the job done:

  • Start and end every day with a glass of water
  • Carry around a water bottle and encourage yourself to refill it multiple times a day
  • Bring a glass of water to every breastfeeding session
  • Slice raw fruits and vegetables in advance for easy snacking
  • Make smoothies for breakfast or lunch every day 
  • Limit caffeine and other beverages without nutrient content 
  • Stay cool in the heat; excess sweating causes fluid loss

Keep the Breastfeeding Journey Alive with KeepsakeMom

Whether you’re wrapping up a breastfeeding journey or you’re in the midst of it with a breastmilk stash in the freezer, we want to help you celebrate your experience. At KeepsakeMom, we want to honor the breastfeeding journey and help mothers cherish their bonds with their babies in a unique and beautiful way. 

From earrings and rings to bracelets and necklaces, we have a jewelry option for everyone. Browse our one-of-a-kind breastmilk jewelry today.

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