Are you currently pregnant and have been told a hundred times to drink more water? Or have you been discussing certain symptoms with your doctor and they say, “are you sure you are drinking enough water?” Do you wonder why you should be staying hydrated while pregnant? We all know we are eating and drinking for two, but why exactly is hydration so crucial during pregnancy?
Dehydration in expectant mothers can lead to serious complications like low amniotic fluid, preterm labor, and inadequate breast milk production. Due to a lack of water and nutritional support for the baby, dehydration could also lead to birth defects.
Why is it Important to Stay Hydrated While Pregnant?
Expectant mothers need water (and plenty of it) to keep your system running for both you and the baby. Water is used during pregnancy for several different functions.
- Water is used to form the amniotic fluid. The fluid is a critical part of pregnancy that protects the baby from being hurt, contracting an infection and keeps the baby at a consistent temperature.
- Eases constipation by helping to move solids through the digestive tract. Constipation is common during pregnancy not to mention the constant pressure of the baby can lead to hemorrhoids. (Ew, I know but true.)
- Water helps carry nutrients to the baby.
- When pregnant, your body produces extra blood to support the baby. Water is needed to produce and sustain the extra blood volume.
- Water helps to regulate your body’s temperature and keep you from overheating. With all the changes in hormones, expectant mothers can experience heat flashes.
- Decreases the risk of urinary tract infections (UTI) by keeping the urine flowing and UTI’s at bay.
- Water can help reduce swelling by removing sodium from your body.
How Much Water Should You Drink While Pregnant?
How much water is enough water? The general rule of thumb for expectant mothers is 10 (8 oz) glasses of water a day. However, this can vary depending on your body type, your activity level, where you live, etc. It is best to discuss with your doctor about how much water is enough for you and your pregnancy.
Drinking enough water to remain hydrated during pregnancy can be a daunting task for some. It does not have to be. Here are some tips that will lead to a healthy, hydrated pregnancy.
- Steadily sip throughout the day so you won’t feel so uncomfortably full.
- Keep a bottle of water with you at all times (in the car, at work, at home) for quick and easy sipping.
- If you do not like the taste of plain water, try adding fruits for flavoring. (My favorite is lemon or lemon and strawberries!) Another option is natural flavored essence water, like Hint Water.
- Try something with bubbles, like seltzer water or La Croix.
- Check your urine as it should be colorless or light yellow.
- If you feel thirsty, drink up! Your body could already be on its way to dehydration.
Staying hydrated during pregnancy is one way to contribute to a healthy pregnancy for mom and the baby. If you are rarely thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow, you are most likely doing a good job at staying hydrated during pregnancy. Cheers to staying hydrated and developing a tiny human!