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Optimal Hydration for Breastfeeding Mothers: Your Comprehensive Guide

Start your breastfeeding journey with a focus on optimal hydration. This guide gives you tips and tricks to ensure breastfeeding mothers stay well-hydrated.

Woman filing up water bottle

The Vital Role of Water:

Water, the foundation of life, makes up about 60% of the human body. It plays an essential role in regulating temperature, lubricating joints, and flushing out toxins. If you're breastfeeding, it's important to drink enough water so you and your baby can stay healthy.

Navigating Your Hydration Needs:

The question of "how much water should I drink while breastfeeding?" often leads to so many recommendations which can be overwhelming. Recommendations range from 8 to 16 cups a day, 1 gallon, or even half your body weight in ounces. Let's clarify these varying guidelines.

Fluid Intake: A Personalized Approach: (1)

How much water you need can change based on where you live, how active you are, and your health. Here's what to consider:

  • General Hydration Guidelines: If you're not breastfeeding, you should try to get about 11.5 cups of water every day from food and water. This means around 9 cups of fluids should come from drinks, preferably water or other non sweetened options.

  • Diverse Sources of Hydration: Your water intake can come from various sources, not just water. Broths, herbal teas, and water-rich fruits like watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges also contribute to your daily intake.

  • Breastfeeding Mothers' Needs: If you're breastfeeding, you should aim for about 13 cups of fluids every day to help make milk and stay hydrated.

Woman drinking a glass of water

Pro Tips for Staying Hydrated:

  • Listen to Your Thirst: It's a reliable indicator of your body's need for more fluids. Keep a water bottle close by to sip throughout the day. Fun Fact: did you know that if you have a water bottle with a straw you are more likely to drink more?

  • Hydrate Before Feeding: Make it a habit to drink a glass of water before or during each breastfeeding session.

  • Drink Water Throughout The Day: Instead of drinking a lot at once, drink a little bit throughout the day. 

  • Moderate Caffeine and Alcohol: These can lead to increased fluid loss. If you drink caffeine or alcohol, drink a little extra water.

  • Embrace Hydrating Foods: Add fruits and vegetables with high water content into your diet

How to Know You're Hydrated:

A simple way to check your hydration is by checking the color of your urine. Aim for light yellow or pale; darker colors or cloudiness may indicate dehydration.

Overcoming Hydration Hurdles:

Breastfeeding can present challenges in maintaining adequate hydration. Ranging from busy schedules and the demands of motherhood to juggling childcare, household chores, and other responsibilities. This can make it challenging to prioritize hydration. It might be helpful to set reminders on your phone or create a schedule to ensure you're regularly drinking water throughout the day. ​​Some moms may find it inconvenient to drink water while nursing. Try to keep a water bottle within easy reach, or use a straw cup that can be easily accessed with one hand.

Woman breastfeeding an infant


Hydration plays a pivotal role in your breastfeeding journey. It helps you and your baby stay healthy. Remember, whether it's plain water or flavored, getting enough fluids is key. Let this guide inspire you to stay hydrated, healthy, and empowered throughout your breastfeeding journey!

If you’re looking for a more personalized approach, book a FREE 15 minute discovery call to see if we would be a good fit to work together!

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