Postpartum and Breastfeeding recipes

Breastfeeding and Hydration: Essential Recipes from Needed's Team

Paula James-Martinez

Breastfeeding and Hydration: Essential Recipes from Needed's Team

Table of contents

  • Why Hydration Matters
  • How Much Water Do You Need?
  • Signs of Dehydration
  • Tips for Staying Hydrated
  • Needed Teams Favorite Recipes for Hydrating Drinks:

0 min read

Breastfeeding is a nutritional powerhouse for your baby and can be a wonderful bonding experience. However, it’s not always easy and requires significant energy and hydration. Many mothers ask about how to support their milk supply.

As a breastfeeding mother, your body works overtime to produce the milk your baby needs, burning 400-500 calories a day. Staying properly hydrated is crucial to support this process, maintain milk flow, and avoid depleting yourself.

But how much water do you really need to drink while breastfeeding, and why is it so important?

Why Hydration Matters

  1. Milk Production: Breast milk is composed of about 87% water. To maintain an adequate milk supply, your body needs a steady intake of fluids. Dehydration can lead to reduced milk volume, which may affect your baby's nourishment.
  2. Energy Levels: Dehydration can cause fatigue and decreased energy levels. As a new mother, you need all the energy you can get to care for your baby and yourself.
  3. Overall Health: Adequate hydration supports your overall health, aiding in digestion, circulation, temperature regulation, and the elimination of waste. It also helps keep your skin healthy and can prevent urinary tract infections.
  4. Recovery Postpartum: Staying hydrated is essential for your postpartum recovery. Proper hydration can help your body heal more quickly and can assist in the prevention of postpartum complications such as constipation.

How Much Water Do You Need?

The amount of water you need can vary based on factors such as your body size, activity level, and climate. However, general guidelines suggest that breastfeeding mothers should aim to drink about 3.1 liters (13 cups) of fluids per day. This is an increase from the standard recommendation of 2.7 liters (11 cups) for women who are not breastfeeding.

    Signs of Dehydration

    It's important to recognize the signs of dehydration, which can include:

    • Dry mouth and lips
    • Headache
    • Dizziness or lightheadedness
    • Fatigue
    • Dark yellow urine
    • Decreased urine output
    If you experience any of these symptoms, increase your fluid intake immediately. In severe cases of dehydration, seek medical attention.

      Tips for Staying Hydrated

      1. Listen to Your Body: Thirst is a natural indicator that your body needs fluids. Pay attention to your thirst signals and drink water whenever you feel thirsty.
      2. Keep Water Accessible: Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, especially during breastfeeding sessions. This can make it easier to remember to drink.
      3. Incorporate Other Fluids: While water is the best source of hydration, other fluids like milk, herbal teas, and diluted fruit juices can also contribute to your daily intake. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages, as they can have a diuretic effect. Needed has designed our Hydration Support, to both make water consumption have some variety while replenishing electrolytes and trace minerals that are also needed to support lactation.
      4. Eat Hydrating Foods: Foods with high water content, such as fruits (watermelon, oranges) and vegetables (cucumbers, celery), can also help you stay hydrated.
      5. Set Reminders: Use alarms or apps to remind you to drink water throughout the day, especially if you have a busy schedule that makes it easy to forget.
      6. Monitor Urine Color: A simple way to gauge your hydration level is by the color of your urine. Light yellow or clear urine typically indicates good hydration, while darker urine can be a sign that you need to drink more fluids.

      Needed Teams Favorite Recipes for Hydrating Drinks:

      Olivia’s Recipe: 

      • Immune support
      • Ginger kombucha
      • Splash of grapefruit juice
      • Lime Hydration Support
      • Garnish with thyme.

      Paula's Recipe:

      • Lemon Hydration Support
      • Fresh lemon juice
      • Seltzer water
      • Fresh mint

      Maggie's Recipe:

      • Hibiscus Tea bags
      • Agave 
      • Lime Hydration Support
      • Fresh Rosemary sprigs
      • Coconut flavored sparkling water
      • Orange zest
      • Fresh limes

        Monica's Recipe:

        • Lime Juice
        • Grapefruit Juice
        • Grapefruit Hydration Support 
        • Agave syrup
        • Soda water
        • Lime wedge 
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        Paula James-Martinez, Filmmaker and Editorial Director

        Paula James Martinez is a writer, filmmaker, and women's health advocate. She is the director and producer of the documentary Born Free, which investigates the truth about birth and maternal health America. Sits on the boards of non-profit organization "The Mother Lovers" and "4Kira4Moms" to raise awareness of the US maternal health crisis, and co-hosts the parenting podcast "Scruunchy."