To keep up with your milk supply, it is important to stay hydrated while breastfeeding. Water is the best but can get little boring. Here are 8 Beverages to keep breastfeeding moms hydrated other than water.
If you are breastfeeding, you know how much water you have to drink to quench your thirst. While water is best to keep you hydrated, it can be little dull when you have to drink a lot.
Staying hydrated shouldn’t be boring anymore. There are plenty of alternatives that are not only flavorful but also energy boosting and helps boost your milk supply.
How much Fluid should a Breastfeeding mother Drink?
According to Institute of Medicine, breastfeeding mothers typically consumes 3.1 liters (13 cups) fluid compared to 2.3 liters/10 cups for pregnant women and 2.2 liters/9 cups for non-pregnant/lactating women.
But there is no ground rule about drinking exact amount of water while breastfeeding. Fluid intake depends on your individual metabolism, environmental factors such as in hot climate vs cold climate and your activity level.
According to Kelly mom, “It is not necessary to force fluids; drinking to satisfy thirst is sufficient for most mothers to stay hydrated”.
Why do I get Thirsty while Breastfeeding?
On average, lactating mothers produce more than 750 ml/day milk for their babies resulting in thirst stimulus in breastfeeding mother.
You may have noticed that you felt thirst soon after you start nursing your baby. Thirst during lactation may be mediated by oxytocin that your body releases during breastfeeding. It is your body’s natural way of ensuring that you are getting enough fluid to drink to make milk (1).
One way to check whether you are drinking enough fluid is to pay attention to your urine. If your urine is almost clear or a pale yellow color, then you are getting enough water. If it is dark yellow or you are urinating less often than usual, it could be sign of dehydration.
Does Water intake affect Breast milk Supply?
If you got busy with your newborn and didn’t drink your 13 cups of water, do not panic mama!! Your body will pull necessary amount of fluid it needs for your baby from itself until you are significantly dehydrated.
One research study showed that women who increased or decreased their fluid intake by 50% were still able to produce milk for their babies and there was no significant difference in milk production among them (2).
Unless you are severely dehydrated, drinking extra amount of water won’t increase or affect your milk supply. Drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated is important for breastfeeding mothers.
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Tips to Ensure You Get Enough Fluid while Breastfeeding
It is easy to forget about drinking fluid when you are taking care of your newborn. Finding a time to drink fluid while caring for your baby will help ensure your baby has the nutrition they need to thrive. Following tips will get you drinking enough fluid;
- Keep water bottle near you: Always make sure that you have a full water bottle that you can reach while nursing. Breastfeeding session could last up to 45 min and there is nothing worse than feeling thirsty when you are breastfeeding.
- Use a Cup with Straw: Sometimes it is hard to open water bottle to drink water when your other hand is busy holding your baby while breastfeeding. So, I always had a large cup with straw like this one. It is easy to drink water with one hand using this cup.
- Carry water bottle with you: Always carry water bottle in your purse or diaper bag wherever you go. Making sure you always have water nearby will help remind you to drink it throughout the day.
- Avoid drinking too much caffeinated beverages, it can have diuretic effect.
- Set Hydration reminder: There are many ways you can set reminder to yourself about drinking fluid. You can set a reminder on your phone or download a hydration app on your device. I really like this smart water bottle. You can sink it with your device and it will remind you to drink water. Sometimes all you need it a bit of a reminder to keep you on track.
Great Beverages for Breastfeeding moms
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We have established how important it is to stay hydrated while breastfeeding and also got few tips to remind us about staying hydrated. Now, lets look at 8 Great Beverages for breastfeeding moms.
1. Infused Water
Plain water is flavorless and may not please your palate when you have to drink a lot. Have you tried infusing water with your favorite fruit or herbs? Infused water tastes great and will satisfy your craving for a sweet drink without adding extra sugar to your diet.
All you have to do is fill the pitcher with 8 cups of water and add 1 cup of fruit of your choice to it. Refrigerate it overnight. You can mix and match with fresh fruit and herbs. Start with following suggestions;
- Water + Lemon + cucumber slices
- Water + Strawberry slices + blueberries
- Water + Strawberry Slices + fresh Basil
- Water + Lemon + Orange slices
- Water + Watermelon + Lime slices
- Water + Watermelon + chopped Basil leaves
2. Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are great option for mamas, who likes their drink hot. Herbal tea tastes great and it is soothing. However, you need to be aware of herbs you use for your tea as some herbs are used medicinally to decrease milk supply.
Mother’s milk tea and Earth mama Milkmaid tea are famous among breastfeeding mother to boost their milk supply. Both brands of teas are formulated with galactagogues herbs traditionally used to support breast milk production and promote healthy lactation.
If you are looking for some home made options for herbal teas, then try ginger tea. Ginger is traditional herb that add flavor to food and treat variety of health issues. Ginger not only helps in relieving motion sickness and digestive problems or help relieve cold and flu symptoms but also been used to increase milk supply while breastfeeding (3).
Ginger root is very healthy addition to your diet and is not known to be harmful to mom or babies if consumed in moderation.
Ginger tea recipe
- Freshly grated ginger – 1 tbsp
- Honey – 1 tbsp
- Fresh lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Hot boiled water – 1 cup
In one cup of hot boiled water, add grated ginger and cover it. Let it steep for 5 min. Add honey and lemon and it is ready!! You can enjoy ginger tea hot or cold.
Ginger should be taken in moderation while breastfeeding as it may cause heartburn for mother.
3. Sports Drink
Drinking sports drink may keep you energized due to added vitamins and electrolytes. They do taste great and easy to grab and go.
Like herbal teas, BodyArmor sports drink is popular among breastfeeding mothers and few claims that it helped them boost their milk supply.
However, it contains a lot of added sugar. You should watch out for amount of added sugar if you consume multiple per day. Fortunately, Body Armor offers lyte version of sports drinks that are less in added sugar compared to regular ones. Here you can access flavors of lyte version of Body Armor.
4. Coconut Water
The main ingredient that helps boost milk supply in BodyArmor sports drink is coconut water. If you are not a big fan of sports drink, you may want to try plain coconut water. Coconut has been used for ages to boost milk supply soon after birth by several cultures.
Coconut water is rich source of natural electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and Lauric acid making it an ideal hydrating drink for breastfeeding moms.
I loved Vita Coco Organics Coconut Water when I was pregnant and breastfeeding. It tastes amazing and great for hydrating. I even give it to my elder son in his lunch bag instead of juice. I think it is must have for your pantry.
5. Fruit Juice
Another healthy option to keep you hydrated is fruit juice. However, store bought fruit juices are high in sugar, your best bet is juicing your own fruit juice at home.
You may want to watch your citrus fruit juice intake as too much may cause digestive issues in newborn.
6. Vegetable Juice
Add extra vitamins in your diet by juicing your own vegetable juice at home when you are breastfeeding.
If you are sort on time as many moms with newborn are, you have an option to get your daily dose of vegetable juice from V8. They offer many different flavor combinations.
7. Seltzer Water
If you want a kick in your drink without added sugar, caffeine or artificial sweetener then seltzer water
is your go to drink until you breastfeed. Seltzer is a caffeine-free bubbly drink without any additive.
It is available in different favor. Also, you can get Seltzer plain flavor and add your on natural flavor water drops to fancy it up.
8. Nut Milks
Almond milk or Coconut milk is a great alternative if you need to cut dairy but still want milk in your diet. Almond milk is available in different flavor so will be easy to transition from regular milk to almond milk.
Starbucks “Pink Drink”- The Strawberry Acai Refresher is well-known among breastfeeding mothers as a milk boosting drink. Main ingredient of this drink is Coconut milk. As you know, lots of electrolytes is good for increasing milk supply while breastfeeding.
If you like to make your own version of this pink drink, here is copy cat Pink Drink recipe that I used a lot when I was breastfeeding. It tastes a lot like the real Pink Drink!
- ½ cup of Ocean Spray WhiteCran – strawberry juice
- ½ cup of Coconut milk
- Dehydrated Strawberry
Freeze the strawberry juice in ice tray to nice slushy consistency. Crush iced strawberry juicy with coconut milk in your blender and top with frozen pureed strawberry or add in dehydrated strawberry.
What can I Drink to increase Breast Milk Supply?
Staying hydrated is very important to keep up with your milk supply. If you are looking to increase your milk supply, then there are many products available in the market that legit increase your milk supply and many breastfeeding mamas swear by it. Let’s look at my top 3 choices.
This plant based, gluten-free, dairy-free, lactation protein powder is favorite among breastfeeding mothers to boost their milk supply. It is loaded with lactation building ingredient like coconut milk, fenugreek, milk thistle, chia seed, brewer’s yeast, flax seed, fennel seed, red raspberry seed.
The great thing about this protein powder is it tastes great unlike chalky flavor of other protein powder.
It is very simple to make
Just mix 1 scoop of powder with 12 oz of water and its ready, you don’t even need a blender for it. Milk dust is also a great addition to your lactation smoothies.
This supplement is blend of natural herbs and very hydrating making it an ideal supplement for mamas who wants to boost or maintain their milk supply.
It comes in single-serve packets making it very convenient for working moms, and comes in variety of flavors such as Chai Tea Latte and Chocolate.
You can mix this supplement in water, sparkling water, fresh juice or a lactation smoothie.
Many breastfeeding mothers loves Pink Stork lactation tea because it is loaded with galactgogues such as fennel, fenugreek and blessed thistle. This is really soothing and calming. It comes in two flavors, Smooth Vanilla, and Herbal Mint.
This tea is perfect for mamas who wants to increase their breast milk supply.
There go mamas! Now you have variety of beverages choice to keep you hydrated.
As a mom of newborn, you have plenty of things to worry about and worrying about staying hydrated shouldn’t be one of them. Get your large sippy cup, fill it with one of these beverages and keep sipping.
If you are looking to boost your milk supply naturally, check out this article about How to increase your milk supply naturally.
How About You?
Have you used any beverages other than water to keep you hydrated while breastfeeding? Please leave your comment below!
- Bentley GR. Hydration as a limiting factor in lactation. Am J Hum Biol. 1998;10(2):151-161. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6300(1998)10:2<151::AID-AJHB2>3.0.CO;2-O. PubMed PMID: 28561446.
- Morse JM, Ewing G, Gamble D, Donahue P. The effect of maternal fluid intake on breast milk supply: a pilot study. Can J Public Health. 1992 May-Jun;83(3):213-6.
- Paritakul P, Ruangrongmorakot K, Laosooksathit W, Suksamarnwong M, Puapornpong P. The Effect of Ginger on Breast Milk Volume in the Early Postpartum Period: A Randomized, Double-Blind Controlled Trial. Breastfeed Med. 2016;11:361-365. doi:10.1089/bfm.2016.0073