In the last blog, we talked about how important it is to stay hydrated during pregnancy and the impacts dehydration can have on your baby. Insufficient water intake during pregnancy can result in serious complications, such as low amniotic fluid levels, premature labour & birth, and neural tube defects; but it can also affect the levels of breast milk production, resulting in insufficient milk for your baby.
Breast milk is made up of around 90% water, so it makes sense that there would be a link between your fluid intake and production levels. Breastfeeding has long-term health benefits for both you and your baby and is recommended by health professionals because:
- It is perfectly designed for your baby
- It protects your baby from infections and diseases
- It provides health benefits to you
- It can help reduce your baby’s risk of diarrhoea and vomiting
- It can help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- It can help prevent obesity
- It can help prevent cardiovascular disease in adulthood
Breastfeeding can also lower your risk of:
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Cardiovascular disease
How to tell if you are dehydrated
Maintaining optimum hydration levels are vital for breastfeeding. Not drinking enough water can directly affect the levels of breast milk production. The signs of dehydration to look out for are:
- Dark-coloured urine
- Urinating less frequently
- Extreme thirst
Mild dehydration can affect mood and memory; it can also affect how well you process information. Many women notice that, soon after they start breastfeeding, they feel much more thirsty than usual. This heightened thirst is triggered by the hormone Oxytocin, which naturally affects your thirst mechanism, encouraging you to drink more water in order to keep yourself hydrated.
Experts recommend drinking 2.5 - 3.5 litres of water a day while breastfeeding, to maintain healthy levels of hydration and ensuring there is no drop in milk production. However, the reality of doing this is not always straightforward; life with a new baby means it is not easy to remember things and sometimes looking after yourself can take a back seat! A simple solution to this could be drinking a glass of water before and after each time you feed your baby. Newborn babies need to be fed little and often throughout the day; by drinking a glass of fresh water each time, you’ll be making an unbreakable habit to stay hydrated, which is one less thing to worry about.
Drinking high-quality, fresh water, that is free from chemicals, bacteria, plastics and other nasty particles, is the best way to maintain the health and hydration of you and your baby.
Our range of prestige, ceramic water filters can provide you with great-tasting, safe water in your own home and will ensure that you are giving your baby the best possible start in life!
Doulton has been the home of fresh, great-tasting water for nearly 180 years. Our filters are tested and certified by independent laboratories to reduce bacteria, particulates, turbidity, cysts, chlorine, limescale and heavy metals including lead.