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Hydration and Breastfeeding: How much water do you really need?

by Whitney Poma |

That first latch:

Such an exciting moment and the beginning of your breastfeeding journey. For many moms this excitement is quickly overshadowed by a sudden and seemingly insatiable thirst! It’s for this reason that hospitals give their postpartum moms a large drinking cup –ready for that first run for a refill!

Hydrating throughout the day is important to everyone.

Water makes up over 50% of the body’s composition yet studies consistently show that it’s hard for people to get the general guidance of eight 8-ounce servings of water per day with one study showing that 75% of 3000+ participants were chronically dehydrated.

Making hydration a priority becomes even harder to a mother caring for children

despite hydration being especially important to her wellbeing. A general rule of thumb is to consume 1 to 1.5ml of water for every calorie consumed so a typical 2000 calorie diet would suggest 67 to 101 ounces of water per day. To keep this simple, its often said that eight 8-ounce glasses of water should be consumed. Women who are breastfeeding are generally encouraged to consume about 300 – 500 more calories per day which would yield a target range of ten to fifteen 8-ounce glasses per day!

The thought of drinking that 10+ glasses of water per day can feel pretty unrealistic.

To keep things simple, experts recommend drinking to satisfy your thirst. A manageable and effective habit for a breastfeeding mom would be to drink a glass of water at each meal and during each feeding session. To help meet this goal, have a large bottle of water easily accessible in areas you commonly nurse and dine. Remember that hydration doesn’t have to come only from water – your body will find hydration from teas, soups, fruits, and other foods, too.

Hydration Recommendation for Breastfeeding Mom: Eleven 8oz Glasses per Day

Enjoying a calming hot tea (or one of those seemingly magical Starbucks pink drinks!) may offer you some stress-relieving self-care

to encourage your let down but excessive hydration has not been shown to increase breastmilk supply. Similarly, drinking less water will not correct an over-supply concern.

Breastfeeding moms have increased needs for vitamins, minerals, and a focus on good nutrition.

Meeting these needs can be particularly challenging for a busy mom while she cares for a young child. Having water that’s easily accessible will help her to feel great throughout her day. Momful’s vitamins are designed specifically for the needs of  breastfeeding and postpartum women with a focus on being easy to take during chaotic mom-life.

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