As a breastfeeding mother you have a job that doesn't end; sometimes the hardest part about breastfeeding is looking after yourself!
When a breastfeeding mother is dehydrated, her baby may continue to receive copious amounts of milk to the detriment of the mother. The mother may experience headaches, nausea, muscle weakness will start to feel irritable, tired, dizzy, constipated, and may even notice saggy skin.
How much water does a breastfeeding mother need to drink?
On average an adult needs between 2 - 3L of water, per day (67 - 100 ounces). While pregnant or breastfeeding a mother will have higher water needs. A breastfeeding mother should drink an extra 1L (32 ounces), per day. On hot or active days you will also need to drink additional water. A rule of thumb is to check your urine. If your urine is anything other than clear, you need to drink more water.
Try to pay attention to what your body is telling you, most mothers will completely miss their body’s early thirst signals. By the time you are feeling thirsty, your body is usually already quite dehydrated.
Limit all diuretics such as coffee, alcohol, and soda; these will cause dehydration.
Set out the amount of water you need to drink for the day. Put it somewhere where it will remind you. Ensure that your containers are empty by the end of the day.
You could alternatively keep a certain amount (depending on the size of your bottle) of rubber bands around your water bottle. Each band represents a refill. Remove a band with each refill. By the end of the day, you should have no more rubber bands around your bottle.
You could also try a free hydration reminder app. There are many of those apps to choose from.
Try to include foods in your diet that contain water; such as vegetables, fruit, and soup.
If you are not too fond of drinking water, you could consider adding a few squirts of lemon juice.
Thirsty While Breastfeeding (Dry mouth)
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
"Hi, I am a breastfeeding mom for 6 months now.
I feel so thirsty every time I breastfeed, to the point that my mouth is extremely dry. I want to know if this is normal.
Does breastfeeding make you thirsty?"
What you are experiencing is normal, and many moms encounter this.
It is often recommended that moms keep a glass of water (or beverage of choice) nearby while breastfeeding.
Your body will let you know when it is dehydrated. Many moms also get headaches during this time for the same reason. Drinking at least eight glasses of liquid (it does not have to be water - but is optimal) per day is fine and should keep you well hydrated."
(Tracy Behr - Breastfeeding helper, mom of two and avid breastfeeding supporter, founder of this website, studying breastfeeding counselling via Childbirth International)