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Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant


How much liquid should I drink as a breastfeeding mother?

Posted on May 2, 2015 at 12:56 AM
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.

Categories: How much fluid do I need?