Staying hydrated while nursing or pumping can be a big challenge. Here are some quick tips to help keep you at the top of your milk-making game.
Use a dedicated water container. Fill a water bottle in the morning and drink a specific amount of water throughout the day by refilling it as you drink it. My neighbor leaves for work in the morning with a gallon jug of water – she knows if she empties that jug throughout her day, then she has consumed the correct amount of water for herself. Other moms keep a half-gallon pitcher in their work fridge with some lemons floating inside, and they refill it at lunchtime. If they know they’ve emptied the pitcher twice that day, they’ve hit their quota for water. I found that keeping a quart-size bottle next to me all day helps me keep drinking as much as I need – I fill it up in the morning, refill it during a morning break, at lunchtime, and during my afternoon break – and I know I’m well-hydrated.
Take hydration breaks. I’m sure we all know people who still take smoke breaks (and when I worked at a bakery one summer I took muffin breaks, haha)! Try to follow a similar, but healthier, habit of taking hydration breaks. Drink a glass of water before you shower, both before and after a meal, and before bed. Work the hydration breaks into your schedule.
Eat to stay hydrated. Sometimes busy moms don’t have time to think about staying hydrated. If you find yourself struggling with this, try to choose foods that have high water contents and by consuming these at the appropriate times, they can help you keep your hydration. Great choices are watermelon, cantaloupe, or cucumbers. Keep these items sliced or chopped in your fridge or grab them already pre-cut and pre-packaged at the store so they’re conveniently available to you.
Last, drink when your baby drinks. This isn’t always easy but it goes along with the rule of sleeping when your baby sleeps. Try to drink a full glass of water before or during a pump session so you’re staying ahead with your water intake.