Well Being

How Much Water Does a Breastfeeding Mother Need to Drink?

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breastfeeding-basics-logo-2.jpgWhen I was out of town for a funeral (nursling in tow), Sinead tagged me for a meme. I'm finally getting around to sharing a picture of my water glass and talking about how much water a breastfeeding mother needs to drink!

glass-of-water.jpgHere's my beautiful glass of water. When we renovated our kitchen recently we treated ourselves to a new set of water glasses from Pottery Barn! I like them because they're sturdy and weighty — they feel good in your hand! They also come in three different sizes, perfect for a small glass of juice, a healthy serving of milk or a refreshing drink of water.

What's the rule about drinking water when you're breastfeeding? It's the same rule for everyone, breastfeeding or not: drink enough to satisfy thirst. Drinking any more than that can actually decrease your milk supply! One study showed that consuming 25 percent more fluids than the “drink to thirst” recommendation led to a decrease in milk supply. I also learned from lactation consultant Linda Wieser at the LLL area conference that drinking more than 80 ounces of water per day can reduce a woman's potassium levels and have a negative impact on milk supply.

So, while it's a good idea to keep a glass of water handy next to the place where you typically nurse, there's no need to force yourself to drink extra water. Just enjoy a glass as you feel the need!