It is important to stay hydrated during pregnancy. Most doctors recommend pregnant women to drink 8-12 ounces of water a day. 40 ounces of water is more than enough since we also get water from high-water content foods. There are tons of foods we eat like apples and tomatoes that contain water without us realizing it. Think of all the soups and hot teas we drink during the winter months. All of these foods can help stay hydrated during pregnancy. However, our American diet is higher in sodium, causing dehydration to occur easily. Pregnant or not.
Pregnancy and Water
The body is made up of six liters or more, during pregnancy. This is mostly due to the increased blood volume since blood is made of water. A developing baby needs the increased blood volume to grow properly. To supply the baby with its needs, a mom-to-be will naturally retain more liquids. By the end of the pregnancy, the baby will be in almost one quart of amniotic fluid. This fluid is replaced every three hours. Water is truly the source of life for an unborn baby. Another reason and huge benefit of drinking water during pregnancy is that it helps cure constipation. It is a very common problem during this time.
According to the Health and Medicine Division (HMD), the recommended water intake is 12 fluid ounces a day (12 glasses) during pregnancy. This is 50% more water compared to your water intake when not pregnant.
Pregnancy and Dehydration
A good note to point is that there is a link between preterm labor and dehydration. Although research scarce and has not properly defined what the exact triggers are, dehydrated during pregnancy can cause early contractions. The theory is that when a pregnant woman is dehydrated, it triggers the release of an antidiuretic hormone that preserves water. This hormone that is normally found in the kidney promotes oxytocin which leads to contractions.
Many women suffer from preeclampsia, or hypertension, during pregnancy. One of the signs is edema, or abnormal swelling. It is still not certain why this occurs. Scientists believe that there is a connection between high blood pressure and dehydration during pregnancy.
How to Get More Water
To stay hydrated during pregnancy, mom-to-be should drink a full glass of water at mealtimes and during snacks. Try following a steady routine of drinking water at certain times to keep mom and baby healthy. Herbal teas (preferably decaffeinated) and some fruit juices will make this chore less challenging. Another suggestion is to drink water with squirts of citrus fruit.
It’s been all over the news. The birth control found in water. BPA in water bottles. By-products in tap water. What is a good water source for a pregnant woman? Really, the best way to keep hydrated during pregnancy and lifelong is to invest in a good water purification system. A whole house water filtration system will provide quality water without worrying about dangerous chemicals. After all, aren’t you and your family worth it?