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Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant


Fluids - tea, soup, and more

Posted on November 11, 2017 at 11:23 PM Comments comments (104)
When we think of drinking enough fluid, the first to come to mind is water and many of us now carry a reusable water bottle or have it nearby during the day. As mentioned in some of my previous posts, don't forget that soups and other light liquids can also provide us with fluid and some nourishment.

Rosemary tisane (recipe):
Currently I am making a rosemary tisane, a refreshing drink.  (In case you were going to ask, I understand it is caffeine-free). I have a rosemary bush in my garden and I cut 3 or 4 sprigs from that and place it in a 2-cup teapot. I pour boiling water over the sprigs and allow them to steep for a few minutes. (My teapot is glass and so I judge when the tisane is ready  by the colour of the water.) I have a cup of rosemary tisane beside me now. I prefer it unsweetened, but a visitor the other way preferred a tiny amount of honey in hers.

You might like to read my earlier posts in this blog about soup. Do you have a recipe for an easy soup you would like to share?

Sugary drinks:
The current health and nutritional advice is that sugary drinks, such as cola, soda, and other soft-drinks and even fruit juice, are not good choices. This, however, is a different topic.

How much fluid does a breastfeeding mother need?

Posted on September 26, 2015 at 2:02 AM Comments comments (86)
It is good to see more people are carrying refillable water bottles - computers on the train, school kids, breastfeeding Mums, fitness fans, busy Mums on the go, bike riders. It is one of those positive practices that has sprung up, to maintain hydration conveniently - without having to look for a drinking fountain or a shop. It's also good for the environment. So it is win/win.
Keeping the water bottle hygienic I guess means one user - not sharing it - and regular washing and draining it to dry it. On days that I use a water bottle I wash it in really hot water at the end of the day, before refilling it. When I have time I try to remember to let it drain on the sink, not every day, before refilling it. What do others do?

Other fluids:
Earlier in this blog I mentioned soup as a way of drinking enough fluid. I'd love to have your comments about your favourite soup - chicken soup, pumpkin soup, congee, or other soups. While I enjoy many soups, I particularly enjoy the pumpkin and sweet potato or pumpkin and lentil soup in a cafe on campus.  It's my occasional treat.
Do YOU have a favourite soup recipe you want to share, or a story about why you enjoy it?

How much liquid should I drink as a breastfeeding mother?

Posted on May 2, 2015 at 12:56 AM Comments comments (93)
So often busy mothers with new babies wonder if they are drinking enough fluid, particularly if they hear conflicting ideas, often involving a number.

A set number doesn't account for changes in the weather or your activity. For instance, in hot weather you will of course need to drink more fluid, especially water. The same applies if you start more intense physical activity, such as going to the gym or playing a sport.

A quick guide is a) to drink according to thirst and b) increase intake or water or other fluid if your urine looks darker than usual. You will probably find you are thirsty and need to drink more while you are making milk for your baby.  Many mothers now carry a water bottle so that they can take a drink anywhere, any time, to make sure they drink enough. This is a good idea as it is so easy to forget one's own needs when caring for a baby.

Drinking an excessive amount of water to try to meet a goal that doesn't suit your needs can make you feel uncomfortable, and may even hamper the milk-ejection reflex, if taken to extremes. As mentioned, the amount you need may vary according to the weather and your level of physical activity.

Besides water, don't forget that soup and other drinks, and the cow's milk added to breakfast cereal, also count as fluid intake.