Staying hydrated in pregnancy

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A woman’s whole body depends on water to survive, as every single cell, tissue, and organ you have needs it to function properly.

Drinking water maintains your body temperature, removes toxins and waste, lubricates joints, and is essential in maintaining a general level of health. 

As an expectant Mom you must remember that you’re not only eating for two, but that you’re hydrating for two as well

Why does a pregnant woman need extra water?

During pregnancy, your body needs water to form amniotic fluid, produce extra blood volume, build new tissue, and carry nutrients to your little baby. 

Water will also help your body to absorb essential nutrients into the cells; and transport vitamins and minerals to the placenta and, ultimately, to your baby. 

How do I know if I am dehydrated?

There are a number of symptoms of dehydration that you should pay close attention to always, but especially during pregnancy.

  • Little or no urine
  • Urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme thirst – once you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated!
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheaded feeling

How much water should I drink to avoid dehydration?

How much you should drink will depend on factors such as your size, how warm the weather is and how much you are exercising. As a best guide The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a daily intake of between 1.5 and two litres of water (eight 250mls or 8fl oz.). When you are pregnant this should increase by another two to four glasses (up to three litres) a day if the weather is warm or you are exercising. 

The most important thing is to keep a look out for symptoms of dehydration and take action if you feel you may be dehydrated.

What are the best drinks for hydration in pregnancy?

Obviously you will not be drinking alcohol and you will have been advised to limit caffeine. It is also advisable to avoid sugary drinks which are full of empty calories and are not good for blood sugar levels or good hydration. Here are some ideas to keep you well hydrated throughout your pregnancy:

It can be boring and a chore to drink water all the time, so there are additional other ways you can get fluid into your body and maintain hydration:

  • Herbal tea (be sure your choice of tea is safe for a pregnant woman, for example sage and parsley tea should be avoided). Ginger and chamomile or mint tea are very good choices.
  • Fruit juice topped up with water. This way you get the added bonus of extra water and vitamin C but less calories and sugar.
  • A few drops of sugar free cordial to make water more palatable.
  • Popsicles made from frozen fruit juice and water are great for added hydration and cooling down in the heat. You can make your own popsicles or buy organic popsicles from supermarkets.
  • Choose watery fruits to snack on such as cantaloupe melon.
  • Add a little lemon or a slice of ginger to a jug of water overnight in the refrigerator and then decant into a bottle to take out with you during the day.

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