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Should you increase your water intake or change your diet during breastfeeding?

Your water intake during breastfeeding is essential explains an expert.

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : March 14, 2017 10:11 AM IST

During pregnancy and while breastfeeding a women s diet is given a lot of importance. Advise galore from all sides on what to eat and what not. But less is spoken about the water intake during breastfeeding. However, one should not forget that being hydrated during breastfeeding is essential. As breast milk, apart from being rich in antibodies, minerals and other macro and micronutrients also constitutes of water and so it is essential for a mother to remain hydrated during this phase. Here are some diet dos and don ts during pregnancy.

This is not to say that diet doesn t hold importance. In fact, the diet requirement during breastfeeding increases by 500 calories for the mother. However, this should not be fulfilled through packaged foods and other kinds of preservatives being added to the foods. As Ms Avani Oke Principal K. J. Somaiya College, School of Nursing explains, Since a mother s diet affects the quality of breast milk, the best way to make healthy diet changes during nursing is by adding nutrient dense food to the diet, which should include two to three portions of fresh green vegetables, fruits, fibre through grains and roughage, milk products and plenty of liquids. Here are foods that can help increase breast milk supply.

It is necessary that a mother has at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily. Sometimes, however, it becomes difficult to keep a tab on one s water intake. The best way to keep up with your daily water requirements is to drink at least one-and-half glass of water before and after a feeding session. Apart from helping a mother fulfilling her daily water requirement, this will also help the mother to fight lethargy and tiredness that is so common during breastfeeding, says Oke.

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Many mothers resort to bottle feeding if they get tired or worked up during breastfeeding. One should realise that dehydration is one of the factors that leads to such hasty decision and brings exclusive breastfeeding to an abrupt halt. So one way to ensure that you don t give up on breastfeeding during the first six months after your baby s birth is to keep yourself hydrated enough to take on the challenges. Here are 10 reasons why breastfeeding is better than bottle feeding.

Another way to ensure that you get enough liquids to avoid dehydration is to have healthy beverages like buttermilk, fresh fruit juices and a mix of vegetable juices.

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