Sip While You Nurse
Have water nearby during every feeding. Making hydration a part of your nursing ritual can help ensure that you’re remembering to drink regularly. Some moms also report getting thirsty while breastfeeding—especially with a newborn. A nearby water glass is a good way to help with that, too.
Count to 13
As a new mom, you have a lot of questions. Don't let "how much water should I drink while breastfeeding?" be one of them. As a general rule, 13 8-oz.-servings of fluid per day is a good number to keep in mind.
Take It to Go
With a little one around, you’re not leaving the house without a diaper bag. Be sure you’re never without water and pack a bottle to go. Just remember to restock your water supply every time you restock diapers and other necessities.
Listen to Your Body
As a new parent, having one more thing to keep track of may feel overwhelming. Don’t worry. You don’t have to count every sip. Just make sure you’re not ignoring your body’s signals. Feeling thirsty and dark, concentrated urine can be signs of inadequate hydration—if you notice either, it’s probably time for a big glass of water.
Eat Your Water
Many fruits and veggies have high water content. In fact, foods account for roughly 20% of total daily fluid needs. These can help supplement (but not replace) the water you drink and are nutrient-rich choices that you and your baby need!
Staying Hydrated While Breastfeeding
Breast milk has incredible health benefits—it contains all of the nutrients your baby needs to grow and special antibodies to benefit her young immune system. It’s a great way for mother and baby to bond, and can even have a positive impact on mom’s health down the road. But when contemplating the long-term benefits of breastfeeding, don’t forget to cater to your immediate needs – like proper hydration while nursing!
Any nursing mom will concede that breastfeeding is a commitment – and a lot of work! Lactation demands extra fluid and energy to produce breast milk. Lactating women are typically advised to increase calories as well as fluids – specifically water – while breastfeeding. If you’re wondering “how much water should I drink while breastfeeding?” there are indeed some general guidelines. According to the Adequate Intake (AI)1 guidelines from the Health & Medical Division of the National Academies of Sciences, a woman’s average daily fluid intake increases from roughly 2 liters a day to 3 liters while breastfeeding.
Establishing healthy hydration habits – like choosing water over sugar sweetened beverages – is not just good for you—it’s good for your baby, too. Children are more likely to adopt behaviors that are modeled by parents. Be mindful of how you hydrate while breastfeeding and remember to start your day hydrated and stay hydrated throughout.
1AI [Adequate Intake] does not represent a requirement; it is an amount that should meet the needs of almost everyone in the specific life stage group under the conditions described.
How to Stay Hydrated While Breastfeeding
While taking care of your baby, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself, too. That includes drinking water while breastfeeding. Breastmilk is the primary source of nutrition—and hydration—for exclusively breastfed infants, and your body works hard to make it possible. Find a breastfeeding hydration routine that works for you so you’re consistently hydrating throughout the day.
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