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16 glasses of water a day??!!

(21 Posts)
lisianthus Sun 20-Sep-09 19:18:36

I was recently reading one of the Baby Whisperer books and it mentioned that breastfeeding women should be drinking 16 glasses of water a day. This seems a HUGE amount. Is this right? I don't drink anywhere near this amount.

Also, I don't express that often, but the last time I expressed (2 weeks ago) I was hugely pleased to be able to express 150mls on one breast (my baby is 2 months old). However, I hear lots of women casually state things like "I expressed 10oz" on this site. Am I producing the right amount of milk for the age of my baby?

choufleur Sun 20-Sep-09 19:20:47

No expert but you'll be producing enough for your baby.

How much is a glass of water? adults are meant to drink 2 litres of water a day. I've no idea how much more you may need if you're breast feeding though. I do remember how thirsty i used to get while i was feeding though

CharCharGabor Sun 20-Sep-09 19:25:20

Baby Whisperer knows very little about bfing so take any advice with a pinch of salt. All you need to do is drink to thirst. It will probably be more than you normally drink but not massive ime. As for expressing, the amounts vary depending on the woman. 150mls is excellent smile I managed to express 0.5oz at the height of my expressing, and have been bfing for 2.1 years. HTH smile

DaisymooSteiner Sun 20-Sep-09 19:26:24

If you need more fluid then you will feel thirsty and you will drink more! You really don't need to be worrying about whether you're drinking enough as your body will guide you.

Expressing is not a good indication of how much milk you're producing. I was never really able to express milk but my babies grew and thrived.

logrrl Sun 20-Sep-09 19:52:57

GRr!! I agree with CharChar but in a ruder way shock!

Another reason for throwing the book in the bin.

Confusedfirsttimemum Sun 20-Sep-09 21:28:33

Yes, the Baby Whisperer is not good on breastfeeding. All that stuff about putting small circular plasters on your breasts to learn where to hold them when nursing (sounds like a recipie for a blocked duct to me- even if you need to support your breast, surely it shouldn't be the exact same spot every time) and how a feed should take 40 minutes or whatever to start with (tell that to my DD, whose longest ever feed is 15)

CharCharGabor Sun 20-Sep-09 21:57:05

Wow, I've never heard of the plasters thing. How farking barmy is that?!

stirlingstar Sun 20-Sep-09 22:05:39

I will make the embarrassing confession of being quite (ok very) constipated when starting BFing (with each of two babies). HV told me to aim to drink 1 pt of water for each feed. This seemed a lot - and realistically didn't actually make it to 1pt for every feed, though the advice did get me drinking a LOT more than I was before and all poo problems ceased and milk supply felt greatly improved (didn't express so don't actually know that).

Got busy with baby #2 at about 5/6 weeks, stopped doing the drinking, and was back to square one. Lots of drinking sorted me out again.

By about 3/4 months, could stop thinking about the drinking as everything just seemed to balance itself out again.

mawbroon Sun 20-Sep-09 22:23:10

I agree with what others have said about drinking to thirst (and also eating to hunger) when breastfeeding.

16 glasses? How big is a glass? It's just nonsense really isn't it!!

I remember taking a 2L jug of water for overnight when ds was small, plus I probably drank 6 pints of so through the day. I was really, really thirsty.

If you are following your baby's cues and feeding when s/he needs, then you will be producing enough. Expressing varies enormously from woman to woman. I was never very good at it, but my ds was more than happy with just my milk.

Beware of other baby "experts" who give out pants breastfeeding advice btw. <not naming any names> wink

MrsGokWantstogocampingagain Sun 20-Sep-09 22:48:33

I was told by my midwife that normally you drink 2 litres a day and when breastfeeding you should aim for at least 3 litres a day. So I bought myself a 3 litre jug and filled it in the morning then just topped my glass up from thst. Sometimes I would have to fill the jug again and some days I didn't, but it gave me a good indication on how much I am drinking.

FaintlyMacabre Mon 21-Sep-09 07:42:29

1 pint for every feed! That sounds like potentially dangerous advice if you have a baby that feeds frequently. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyponatremia

Not to mention if you start to believe that drinking that much is necessary for successful breastfeeding it may put you off trying in the first place.

As everyone else said- drink to thirst (and breastfeeding made me very thirsty in the early days) and make sure your own urine is pale yellow- that will be sufficient without faffing about with measuring jugs!

Kissmybooty Mon 21-Sep-09 08:00:27

You do need to drink more water than the average 1.5 litres a day when breast feeding to keep your hydration levels optimal for producing lots of milk. If you wait until you are thirsty your body is already quite dehydrated so try and never do this. Some Women find they don't have enough milk but if they up their water intake they would find their milk production increase.

There is a lot of advice out there from professionals and Mums alike. You have to take advice that feels right for you, try it, if it works fine, if it doesn't move on and try something else until you find something that does. You Motherly instincts will guide you in the right direction most of the time, I feel.

tiktok Mon 21-Sep-09 08:22:52

There is no evidence I know of, despite a number of studies in this area, that women need to drink more than their bodies 'tell' them they need in order to produce sufficient breastmilk. In fact one study showed that deliberately drinking more fluids led to less milk, and posed an explanation of why this might be so (it's to do with the way the body copes with excess fluids).

Drinking these vast quantities, or even deliberately drinking more without going into this mad 16 glasses a day territory will make you wee a lot and potentially feel uncomfortable. It will have no effect on breastfeeding.

Drink more water if you want - within reason. Any impact on breastfeeding is totally coincidental, but it won't do any harm.

Especially, don't tell other women to drink more than they feel they need This just makes bf sound something physiologically special and different, and it isn't.

Bf does make you a bit thirstier, sometimes, esp at the beginning - easily dealt with.

tiktok Mon 21-Sep-09 08:23:59

And sorry, and all that, but my 'motherly instincts' are rubbish when telling me how much extra water to drink

weegiemum Mon 21-Sep-09 08:32:01

I drink 16 glasses (approx 8 pints) a day - but this is due to the fact that I have a long term kidney condition that needs a lot of fluids (if I don't have enough, I get kidney stones which are VERY painful).

What I was told was - never get thirsty. Drink to prevent thirst, not to quench it.

apart from that - don't drink too much (my levels are higher than most) - enough to stop you getting thirsday is enough for everyone, inc bf mums!

tiktok Mon 21-Sep-09 08:39:03

weeiguemum, your situation, I'm sure, is improved by avoiding thirst and drinking enough to avoid it.

Breastfeeding mums can do the same, of course, but they don't need to worry at all if they do get thirsty!

weegiemum Mon 21-Sep-09 08:41:27

tiktok I think you are right, they don't need to worry.

But my urologist did tell me that everyone would be healthier if they didn't get thirsty - thirst is a sign of incipient dehydration, and any level of that can be detrimental to your health.

Best not to get thirsty, but for most people, its not a dangerous issue, just something to consider!

tiktok Mon 21-Sep-09 08:43:14

I think you're right, weeigiemum. Thirst is not a 'good' situation to be in. Luckily, our bodies are good at making us 'feel like' a drink even when we are not actually gagging!

BonsoirAnna Mon 21-Sep-09 08:51:01

I, like lots of other new mothers I know, needed to have a huge vase glass of water by my side when breastfeeding my newborn baby. I was literally gagging for water the minute she started suckling - it really isn't uncommon.

lisianthus Mon 21-Sep-09 12:29:28

This is really interesting. I know I have been thirstier, but not to the extent of drinking 4 litres a day.

It's probably a good thing I didn't come across that plasters thing either - that really does sound "unusual".

Your baby sounds beautifully efficient, Confused! Mine feeds for ages (a couple of hours at a time - I think she is just doing it for comfort after a while). But then, it does give me a good excuse to spent ages MNing. blush

nappyaddict Tue 29-Sep-09 01:27:52

If they are about 200ml glasses then that sounds about right as you are supposed to drink 3 litres of water a day.

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