As a breastfeeding mother, you have a job that doesn't end; sometimes, the most challenging part about breastfeeding is looking after yourself!
When a breastfeeding mother is dehydrated, her baby may continue to receive copious amounts of milk to the detriment of the mother. The mother may experience headaches, nausea, and muscle weakness and will start to feel irritable, tired, dizzy, constipated, and may even notice saggy skin.
How Much Water Does a Breastfeeding Mother Need to Drink?
Adults need 2 - 3L of water per day (67 - 100 ounces). While pregnant or breastfeeding, a mother will have higher water needs. A breastfeeding mother should drink an extra 1L (32 ounces) daily. You will also need to drink additional water on hot or active days. A rule of thumb is to check your urine. If your urine is anything other than clear, you need to drink more water.
Pay attention to what your body tells you; most mothers will completely miss their body's early thirst signals. When you feel thirsty, your body is usually already quite dehydrated.
- Limit all diuretics such as coffee, alcohol, and soda; these will cause dehydration.
- Set out the amount of water you need to drink for the day. Put it somewhere where it will remind you. Ensure that your containers are empty by the end of the day.
- You could alternatively keep a certain amount (depending on the size of your bottle) of rubber bands around your water bottle. Each band represents a refill. Remove a band with each refill. By the end of the day, you should have no more rubber bands around your bottle.
- You could also try a free hydration reminder app. There are many of those apps to choose from.
- Try to include foods in your diet that contain water, such as vegetables, fruit, and soup.
- If you are not too fond of drinking water, you could consider adding a few squirts of lemon juice.
- Add electrolytes to your water or drink 1 - 2 body armor drinks during the day too. These are safe while breastfeeding and boost supply!
Thirsty While Breastfeeding (Dry mouth)
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
"Hi, I have been a breastfeeding mom for six months now.
I feel so thirsty every time I breastfeed, to the point that my mouth is parched. I want to know if this is normal.
Does breastfeeding make you thirsty?"
What you are experiencing is normal, and many moms encounter this.
It is often recommended that moms keep a glass of water (or beverage of choice) nearby while breastfeeding.
Your body will let you know when it is dehydrated. Many moms also get headaches during this time for the same reason. Drinking at least eight glasses of liquid (it does not have to be water - but is optimal) per day is fine and should keep you well hydrated."