I have heard many times that the more water you drink, the more breastmilk you make. This is not necessarily true. Although drinking enough water is important for your milk supply, drinking more than your body needs is not going to make you produce more milk.
So, how do you know how much water your body needs?
The answer to this question varies from person to person because we come in all different sizes. It also depends on how active you are as well as weather; for example, you drink more water on really hot days or when you’re working out.
A general rule is that a non-breastfeeding person needs about 8 cups of water a day (64 fl.oz / 1.8 liters) so a breastfeeding mom needs about 12 cups of water a day (100 fl. oz / 2.8 liters). This is what you should aim for.
However, the most important thing that you can do is to listen to your body. You should drink enough water to quench your thirst plus a little more. You can accomplish this very easily by drinking a glass of water every time your baby nurses. Most babies nurse between 8-12 times a day so you’d be getting in at least 8 cups of water this way.
It’s also important to point out that tap water contains contaminants that should be filtered out by using a good quality filter. However if you can’t afford a water filter, it’s best to drink tap water than not to drink water at all.
How do you know if you’re NOT drinking enough water?
- You will feel thirsty: this is obvious but sometimes we’re so busy we can forget to drink water.
- You will urinate very little.
- You urine will be darker and might have a strong smell: if you’re urine is a light yellowish tone then you’re drinking enough.
- You will feel dizzy: you really want to avoid getting to this point.
My tip to drink enough water:
Besides drinking a glass of water every time your baby nurses, I’ve found that the best way to drink water is to carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go.
I always have one with me when I sit down to nurse and I carry one in my diaper bag everywhere I go. I prefer this one made from stainless steels to avoid plastic leaching chemicals into my water. It’s also spill-proof which is a must for me because I carry my bottle sideways in my bag.
What to do if you don’t like to drink water?
Fluids are important so skipping them is not an option. There are other way to get fluids in your body if you don’t like the taste of water.
My favorite is to flavor water with fruit, it’s very easy to prepare and gives it a nice flavor. You can make many fruit combinations to give the water different flavors. Check out my favorite combinations here.
You can also drink homemade smoothies or juices. If you buy a store bought juice I would dilute it in water so you’re not drinking too much sugar.
Lastly, if you’re not used to drinking water make sure you set an alarm on your watch or phone to remind you. Eventually it’ll become part of your daily routine and you’ll be hydrated enough.
Water is so important for your overall health and proper functioning of our bodies that creating a habit to be hydrated will not only benefit you while nursing but it will benefit you throughout life.
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