Nursing your infant is a round-the-clock task for new moms. Sometimes in an effort to make sure the baby is completely satisfied, you may forget to take care of yourself. It's a fact that what you consume while nursing will have some effect on your baby. This is why it is so important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated while breastfeeding. Here we have some helpful tips on how much water you should be drinking per day, and ways to avoid getting dehydrated.
Understanding Hydration, Your Baby, and You
- Depending on your age, activity level, and general health, you will require between 0.5 oz - 0.75 oz of water, per pound of your body weight.
- This means if you weigh 120 pounds, you should be drinking roughly 64 oz of water per day.
- Your baby requires a higher amount of hydration, at 1.5 oz of fluid per pound of body weight.
- They, however, obtain this through your breast milk. If your baby is formula-fed, they will require more water.
- Excessive amounts of water are not recommended for infants as it can cause them to fill up quickly, which replaces nutritional calories.
Breastfeeding and Hydration
- As you begin to breastfeed your infant, you will want to take special note of the foods and drinks you are putting into your body. Drinking enough water is crucial to your health and well-being, as well as your baby's. Keep a glass of water next to you when you breast-feed, to remind yourself to stay hydrated. You should also drink whenever you feel thirsty to avoid dehydration. A great and simple way to make sure you are getting enough fluids is to check the color of your urine. Light colored urine indicates healthy levels of hydration, while dark-colored urine points to a lack of fluids in your diet.
How Can I Drink More Water?
This is a great question! For many it seems like a difficult task to drink 8 or more full glasses of water a day. Luckily, there are some very simple, yet effective ways to incorporate more water into your daily routine.
- As mentioned earlier, keep a glass of water by you when you breast-feed as a helpful reminder to drink up!
- Get in the habit of carrying a bottle of water with you wherever go. Whether it's to work, the grocery store, or over to a friend's house, having the water bottle with you in your car or purse will signal you that's its time re-hydrate.
- Spice up you water by infusing it with fruit. Many may find that water is too plain for them, so instead they skip it for something with a more pleasing taste. Instead, infuse a pitcher of water with strawberries, peaches, cucumbers, or lemons, to give your water a fruity, refreshing taste, without all the extra sugar.
- You can also eat foods with a higher water content to help stay hydrated throughout the day. Some great choices are watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery.
What to Avoid
Staying well-hydrated is about not only drinking enough water and eating the right foods, but also avoiding things that can negate the positive benefits of eating and drinking right. If you are trying to avoid being dehydrated while breastfeeding you should avoid:
- Caffeine: Since your baby receives his/her nutrition from your milk, caffeine can actually be quite troublesome. Caffeine may cause your infant to be agitated or interfere with his/her sleep. To avoid this problem, drink no more than 3 cups of caffeine a day, or avoid it whenever possible.
- Diuretics: Diuretics cause your body to urinate more frequently, which will deplete your body of water. Some examples of diuretics include caffeine, soda, tea, and alcohol.
- Sugar: Too much sugar interferes with your body's natural absorption of water. For this reason it is best to avoid soda, sweetened fruit juices, or sweet teas.
Beginning to breast feed your infant is an awesome experience! Make sure to focus on the needs of your baby, without forgetting to take care of yourself too!
Always consult a doctor before making changes to your diet even in regards to drinking water.