These 7 benefits of drinking water during your pregnancy in adequate amounts reduce your risk of complications for both your body and your baby.
Ensuring you drink 8 glasses of water a day will not only improve your energy levels and decrease your risk of swelling but have a positive effect on your babies development too.
During pregnancy your body needs more water to grow and protect your baby, specifically:
- to produce amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby
- for optimal kidney function and your baby’s kidney function
- to help the extra blood your body is making flow around the body efficiently
- to form new tissue (fascia that covers your muscles)
- to carry nutrients to your cells
- to help healthy digestion of food
- to flush out toxins and waste
The 7 main benefits of staying hydrated during your pregnancy are:
- Less risk of constipation or hemorrhoids
- Reduces swelling or oedema which may be caused by excess sodium in the body causing typically the ankles to swell. Drinking water helps flush this excess out of the body. which often sounds strange
- Softens and nourishes your skin and decreases the signs of ageing
- Increases your energy
- Regulates your body’s temperature
- Decreases your risk of urinary tract infections
- Decreases your babies risk of preterm labor and preterm birth
How much water should you drink?
Aim for 8-12 glasses of 240 ml each.
Monitor whether you are drinking enough; if your trips to the toilet are frequent and the colour of your urine is pale and without smell, you are on track.
Your sense of taste may become more acute during pregnancy; some women find they can taste the minerals in the water they drink! To counteract a taste which you may not find as pleasant as usual, here are some tips and alternatives for increasing your fluid intake to help prevent dehydration:
- For more flavor and taste add a slice of lemon, lime, or berries such as raspberries or blueberries, which can be frozen and act as ice cubes, to your glass of water.
- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake, as they contain water too. Ones that have a high water content are:
– cucumber – 96%
– tomatoes – 95%
– spinach – 93%
– oranges – 86%
– apples – 85%
- Drinking sparkling water, milk (any type), herbal tea and soups all count towards your fluid intake.
Avoid these as they may dehydrate you:
- Caffeine. Caffeine is a mild diuretic, meaning it causes your kidneys to flush out extra sodium and water from your body through your urine.
- Overheating during pregnancy, exercise in a well-ventilated room indoors or in the shade outdoors.When exercising during pregnancy increase your fluid intake when you increase your activity level.
Signs that you are dehyrated:
- Overheating or feeling hot
- Slugglishness or lethargy
- Headaches or dizziness
- Dark or concentrated urine
Dehydration may increase the risks of:
- Producing Low amniotic fluid which may affect your babies development
- Kidney stones
- Swelling or odema
- Birth defects
- Urinary tract infections, which may cause preterm labor and preterm birth.
Your mission for this week!
Aim to increase your water intake to 8-12 glasses a day If you are currently on about 2-3 glasses then aim to increase that gradually to 4 and then every 2-3 days increase by another glass. That way it won’t feel overwhelming and you’ll make more of a habit!
How much water are you currently drinking?💧👇