Hey Mommy, were you aware that your breastmilk is 90% water? That means drinking water is very important when you’re nursing. Experts recommend drinking water one-half to three-fourths of an ounce of your weight or an estimate of 128 oz. (1 gallon) per day. Or you may check how many times your baby feeds and equate it to the glasses of water you need to drink, usually newborns nurse at least 8-12 times each day this should mean that your daily water consumption should be about 8-12 glasses every day as well.
“Drinking to thirst.” You’ll notice that once you start to breastfeed, you feel thirsty more often. As you breastfeed, your body loses fluids that need to be replenished. One thing to add, this change is triggered by oxytocin that affects your thirst cues making you drink water to hydrate yourself and produce breast milk.
Dehydration will not affect your milk supply as your body will continue to produce milk until you’re significantly dehydrated. However, it will affect your body in a different way, like getting easily fatigued, dry skin, moodiness, headaches, etc. And over hydrating yourself is not the solution either as it risks your milk supply decreasing. Why? The excess water you have in your body becomes urine as it tries to restore electrolyte balance thus diverting the water away from your breasts.
Make sure to drink just the right amount of water each day. Your urine color will tell you if you’re drinking enough water. The clear or pale yellow color means you’re hydrated enough and when it’s dark yellow and urinating less often there’s a possibility you’re dehydrated.
You are not limited to water as any liquids and water-rich foods you consume contributes to your liquid count for the day. Watermelon alone is over 92% water, so the more of that you can work into your diet, the less you’ll need to turn to the Nalgene or Yeti bottles. Consider seeking out a drinking accountability partner to help remind you to keep on pace with your continued hydration efforts.
So don’t forget mama:
Make sure you drink your share of fluids before and after breastfeeding sessions. Have a glass or water bottle near you while you’re nursing so it’s less of a hassle for you.
If you’re not the one to habitually drink water, make sure to drink as soon as you get thirsty.
Don’t over hydrate and don’t get dehydrated. See to it that you drink your daily water consumption.