If you’ve recently given birth and started experiencing headaches and problems with going to the bathroom, you could be losing too much water while breastfeeding. Breastmilk is 90 percent water, and if you’re actively nursing, your body is likely making anywhere between 20 and 40 ounces of it each day. While the average person should drink approximately eight glasses of water each day, people who are nursing require more. Follow these tips for staying hydrated while breastfeeding to keep your health in check.
Keep Fluids Nearby
The key to drinking enough liquids is to always have them near you. Get a reusable water bottle—preferably one that holds between 20 and 30 ounces—and take it everywhere you go. You can keep it near your favorite nursing location for easy access.
Pro Tip: Make sure your water bottle fits in your vehicle’s cup holder. You’ll want to take it with you to run the smallest of errands and on the longest of road trips.
Track Your Water Intake
If you find that you’ve been spending a lot of time on your phone, a water tracking app is a productive way to use that time. You can track your water intake to ensure that you are staying hydrated. For those who are pregnant or postpartum, adequate hydration is key to managing incontinence, constipation, headaches, cramps, and fatigue.
Drink When Baby Drinks
Nursing mothers lose more water throughout the day than the average person. Experts recommend that people who are nursing drink 13 glasses of water to stay hydrated. Most infants nurse 6–10 times per day, so if you drink a glass of water each time your baby nurses or you pump, you’ll be well on your way to proper hydration.
Enjoy Water-Rich Foods
Water is not the only way to stay hydrated while breastfeeding. You can get plenty of fluids from the foods you eat. Fruits and vegetables are especially rich in water and nutrients that help your body stay hydrated. Some of the best foods to eat to stay hydrated include:
- Cottage cheese
Pro Tip: While you may make coffee with water, and it can certainly add to your fluid consumption, caffeine can dehydrate you. It is best to limit your intake.
When you feel your best, you are more likely to be in a good mood and project those vibes to everyone around you. If you’ve been experiencing headaches or cramps since giving birth, consider these tips for staying hydrated while breastfeeding. While these symptoms can be a sign of a larger issue, more water is sometimes all you need.
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.