Saturday, 16 July 2011

Staying Hydrated While Breastfeeding.

At the beginning of the month, when I was pregnant [which oddly feels like ages ago!] I blogged about staying hydrated during pregnancy. It seems only right that I follow that up with the importance of staying hydrated whilst breastfeeding.

Once again I am breastfeeding my baby, as I did with Charles. There were times with Charles that I would sit down, latch him on for what was to become a mammoth feed, and totally forget to get myself a drink. So I would sit there, sometimes for up to half an hour if not more, desperately needing to drink but being unable to move whilst pinned to the sofa by a hungry and thirsty baby.

The following is taken from kellymom.com

Do breastfeeding mothers need extra fluids?

It is not necessary to force fluids; drinking to satisfy thirst is sufficient for most mothers. Pay attention to your body's signals - busy mothers often ignore thirst if there is nothing nearby to drink – try to keep a drink near where you usually breastfeed baby or at your desk at work. Signs that you are not getting enough fluids include concentrated urine (darker, stronger smelling than usual) and constipation (hard, dry stools).
Breastfeeding mothers are sometimes warned that "Only water counts!" when it comes to fluid intake, but this simply doesn't make sense – your body can utilize water from many sources, including vegetables, fruit, soup, water, fruit & vegetable juices, milk, tea and other beverages. Some fluids are certainly more nutritious than others, but even soda will provide the fluids you need (although it may also provide sugars, caffeine, etc. that you do not need)
Lull My Baby gives the following advice:

Stay hydrated

To avoid de-hydration while breastfeeding, make sure you drink a glass of water every time you nurse your baby. It will be easy to do that if you keep a glass full of water next to the place you usually nurse. Lots of fluids will really help keep trouble (plugged ducts, mastitis and so on) away.
With this in mind I planned to be a good breastfeeder this time, and to look after my body and keep it well hydrated. I do 2 things:
1: Have a jug of water or squash in the lounge with me at all times [this also helps when Charles decides that he needs a drink when I am feeding as I can just top up his juice bottle too]
2: Have an old squash bottle filled with water/squash next to the bed at night, or in the lounge.
I find my worst time for needing a drink is during the night and so far have found myself going through a lot of water and squash at this time. Without the bottle next to the bed I'd be a very thirsty mama and finding myself making constant trips downstairs throughout the night to get a drink from the kitchen.

Once again my SIGG bottle has come in handy during this time. Rather than having to manovure myself, and my baby, into a position where I can drink from a glass I am able to drink comfortably in almost any position. At times I've even just stuck a straw in the bottle to help for the really awkward positions I am in.
My bottle is 0.6l and I find this is sufficient enough for me to stay hydrated through each feed. All I do is then fill up the bottle after each feed and its ready to go for the next one!
A definite must have accessory for a breastfeeding mummy!