Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Keeping Hydrated During Pregnancy

Staying hydrated during pregnancy is so important. Doctors recommend moms-to-be drink ten 8 to 12 ounce glasses of water a day. 40 ounces of water should be enough since we also get water from high-water content foods. Eating foods high in water content can help pregnant women keep hydrated. These foods include fruits, vegetables, and soups. However, the American diet can be somewhat high in sodium, keeping pregnant women dehydrated. Despite its importance even when a woman is not pregnant, drinking enough water has its challenges.

 

Why Do Pregnant Women Need So Much Water?

During pregnancy, the body is composed of six liters plus. Normally, it is only about five liters. Mostly, this is due to the increased blood volume. Blood is made up mostly of water, and a developing baby needs the increased blood volume. To properly supply the baby with its needs, a pregnant woman’s body will naturally retain more fluids. At the end of the pregnancy, a baby will be immersed in almost one quart of amniotic fluid which is replaced every three hours.

“Since the women’s blood volume will double before the baby is born, water is key to this life-saving reality,” says Dr. Kenneth Johnson, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the College of Osteopath Medicine and director of the Women’s Health Center at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Secondly, proper hydration during pregnancy will help prevent and, if needed, cure constipation, which is a very common problem during pregnancy.”

 

Preterm Labor and Dehydration

There seem to be a link between preterm labor and dehydration. Research has not accurately defined the exact triggers for contractions. It is believed that dehydration can trigger the release of an antidiuretic hormone found in the kidney. It preserves water excretion and upon its release, it promotes oxytocin, leading to contractions.

 

High Blood Pressure and Dehydration

Abnormal swelling, also known as edema, may be a sign of pregnancy-induced hypertension, or preeclampsia. Why do pregnant women experience hypertension? Scientifically, it is still unclear, but it is believed that there is a connection between high blood pressure and not staying hydrated during pregnancy.

 

Don’t Make It A Chore

It is undeniable that drinking a full glass of water at mealtimes and during snacks is necessary to keep mom and baby healthy. Adhering to a steady regimen of drinking water can help in staying hydrated during pregnancy. Some herbal teas and fruit juices can make this task less difficult.

Good Water Source

So where should a pregnant woman get her water? There has been much debate over this exact issue. Chlorinated by-products are found in tap water. Bottled water may be a good alternative, although contamination with harmful substances is occurring more frequently. There is also growing concern about EPA in water bottles. Distilled spring water can be something to consider. Investing in a good-quality water purification system is the best and healthiest choice for staying hydrated during pregnancy.