Not drinking enough water during pregnancy is more likely to affect you than your baby, according to the KellyMom website. Your pregnancy hormones will make enough nutritious and fluid-filled milk for your baby even if your diet is not ideal. A breastfeeding mother should always eat and drink as healthy as possible, even if you have enough nutritious milk for your baby. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, breastfeed every two to three hours during the first four to six weeks to ensure an ample milk supply.
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Drink 13 cups of water daily while breast-feeding, according to the American Dietetic Association. Drink even more if you're thirsty. You don't have to drink only water. You can also drink low-fat or fat-free milk or juice. Drinking milk provides necessary calcium and vitamin D and most types of juice provide vitamin C. A good sign that you are getting enough fluids is if your urine is pale yellow.
Is Baby Constipated?
Your breastfed baby's stool changes after he is born and he establishes a feeding schedule. By 4 weeks of age, the average breastfed baby has 4 yellow, seedy stools daily, although a different pattern may be completely normal for your baby, indicates the DrGreene.com website. Grunting and straining is normal during the passage of stool, though crying might indicate constipation. A constipated stool is hard and dry because water is sucked out of it as it spends too much time in the intestine. Passing it is likely painful for your baby.
Is Baby Getting Enough Milk?
Breastfed babies are rarely constipated because of the composition of breast milk. If your baby is producing soft, yellow and seedy stools, he is getting enough milk, which means he is getting enough water. Your baby should also produce four to six wet disposable diapers daily by the fourth day after birth and six to eight cloth diapers, according to AskDrSears.com. Signs of your baby becoming full after a feeding are that he falls off your breast and lets go of the nipple, falls asleep, or relaxes his body and opens his fists.
Seeking Out Assistance
See your doctor or lactation consultant if you have concerns about water intake while breastfeeding. If you have concerns that your baby is constipated, take her to the pediatrician for an evaluation and treatment if necessary. If there is blood in her stools, she is vomiting or she cries excessively when she passes a stool, seek medical attention immediately.
- Oklahoma State Department of Health: Frequently Asked Question About Breastfeeding
- KellyMom; How Does a Mother's Diet Affect Her Milk?; Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC; May 1998
- American Dietetic Association: How Much Fluid Should You Drink When Breastfeeding?
- DrGreene.com; Babies and Constipation; October 1997
- AskDrSears.com: Getting Enough Milk? How to Tell