Breastfeeding is important to provide your child with all the necessary nutrients but the process of breastfeeding depletes the water content from your body. This loss must be compensated by drinking plenty of water to maintain your 70 percent physiological water balance. If you continue to blissfully forget to replenish the water losses, you may soon start reeling under the onslaught of dehydration. Dry mouth, tiredness or sleepiness, decreased urine output or change in the colour of urine to a darker yellow, constipation or dry skin, and headaches are all symptoms of dehydration.
How much water should you drink?
There are many opinions given by experts and experienced parents. We summed them up as follows:
Whenever you feel thirsty, drinking water should be your first choice. Since breastfeeding makes you thirsty, you should drink enough to satisfy that thirst, after every breastfeed.
Experts believe that you should drink eight times in an 8-ounce glass, per day especially after every time you breastfeed. In addition, you must take two glasses more.So, in total, you should be taking drinking 10 glasses of water per day.
Sometimes it is all right to take other fluids and semi-solid foods like milk, smoothies, vegetable or fruit juices, soups and yogurt to quench your thirst. Just remember not to substitute them for drinking water as semi-solids especially do not provide you with enough liquid in your diet.
In your quest to quench your thirst, remember to limit intake of diuretics such as coffee, soda, and alcohol, as they are known to cause dehydration. In fact, coffee in the morning can deplete your energy level and may make you feel miserable for hours together.
How often should you breastfeed your baby?
Experts opine that you should breastfeed as often as your baby wants. And, the more you drain your breasts, the more milk you will produce for your baby.
Disclaimer: This article just gives a generic view on water intake and breastfeeding for mothers. It is advisable to approach your doctor or a nutrition expert to chalk out your diet and water intake, suitable to your unique health needs while nursing your baby.