Staying Hydrated – Tips for Breastfeeding Moms To Keep Water Colic At Bay
Breastfeeding requires not only an adequate intake of nutrients in order to supply our baby, but adequate fluid intake as well. Without enough water, colic can develop due to a less-than-optimal ratio of nutrients, which in turn leads to digestive troubles.
Adequate fluids are not just essential for baby; breastfeeding moms can develop constipation and mild dehydration if these circumstances continue.
Fortunately, there are several ways to be certain you are getting the fluids you need while you breastfeed your baby:
Drink when baby drinks
Keep a glass of water on hand whenever you are breastfeeding your baby. By having some water or juice when your baby is nursing, you will be able to regulate your fluid consumption.
Don’t try to drink “extra” fluids however – drink when you are thirsty and drink enough to satisfy that thirst. Drinking more than is necessary may actually decrease your milk supply, and can disrupt your potassium levels.
Avoid caffeinated drinks
Caffeine can act as a diuretic, and may increase your urine output, thereby reducing your overall fluid consumption. Additionally, caffeine is not easily metabolized by infants, and your baby could have a buildup of caffeine in her system that will lead to wakefulness and fussiness down the line.
While an occasional cola or cup of tea is fine, you may want to reduce or eliminate the morning coffee routine, or replace your usual caffeinated beverage with a non-caffeinated substitute.
Alcohol consumption can have various detrimental effects, and not only on fluid intake. Regular alcohol consumption can lead to health problems for both mother and baby. The occasional glass of wine is not at issue, but moderate drinkers will need to continue to abstain until the baby is weaned.
If you want to imbibe without passing the alcohol on to your baby, you will need to express the milk produced in the 1-2 hour time frame after your drink. Another option is to breastfeed your baby before you have a drink. That way, the alcohol will have a chance to metabolize and be eliminated from your body before the next feeding.
Pay attention to ingredients
Drinks such as herbal teas may contain ingredients that aren’t recommended for babies. Before you drink any herbal tea, be sure to ask your baby’s pediatrician if it’s safe to consume. Goldenseal St. John’s Wort, and other herbs that are perfectly safe for adults are not safe for babies and should not be consumed by breastfeeding mothers.
Mix it up
Don’t just drink water, or only juice. Drink a variety of different beverages, and experiment with different flavors to keep things interesting. Don’t forget that foods such as soup can count as fluids as well. So if you don’t want a glass of water, you can substitute a cup of broth for your hydration needs.
Adequate fluid intake is one of the more important aspects of breast milk production that can be overlooked. When there is not enough water, colic can develop in newborns and breastfeeding moms can have additional complications due to the dehydration factor.
While it can be difficult for moms on the go to remember to drink water regularly, adjustments in routine and a schedule that deliberately emphasizes the need to have water or other fluids at regular intervals can help to correct this problem.
Set a common sense goal.
You can look up what the recommended quantities are but if you use your intuition and a bit of common sense, you’ll know what to do to set your own goal. You body loses about half a glass of water every hour of the day.
Even if you don’t see it, there is natural perspiration and moisture loss through the skin. It is the reason a human being can survive a couple of weeks without food, but not without water.
Take an average normal glass. If you lose half that every hour, you’d need to drink 12 glasses to compensate for the water loss.
But there is water in food as well, so depending on what you eat, there is already some water intake because usually, we eat three times a day.
Set an alarm on your mobile phone if need be.
Logic also tells us that if you drink for two, you should add a bit. A good estimate would be 10 to 12 glasses of water. To set your goal, pour the 12 glasses in a jar to find out how much it is at the beginning of the day and set yourself the goal to see to it that it is empty before going to bed.
Mothers of newborn babies are under intense pressure from all sides; this is combined with more than usual fatigue; is it any wonder that they would sometimes forget about themselves?
It is not shameful to put one’s self first and to take good care of one’s self, because a mother that has taken good care of herself will also be a better mother to her baby and ultimately, the baby will be better cared for; a classic win-win situation if there ever was one.