When you’re pregnant, many things change. Your body undergoes many transformations as the baby grows. You also need a higher calorie intake and proper hydration.
Once you have seen your OB/GYN after learning of your pregnancy, they will tell you how important it is to drink plenty of water. Proper hydration is absolutely essential for both mother and baby. When you drink the right amount of water each day, you can avoid many pregnancy complications.
Proper Hydration Study
A study was performed at the First Affiliated Hospital of Hainan Medical University in China on 380 pregnant women. They were observed by researchers to determine the effects of hydration during various stages of their pregnancy, childbirth and after they have given birth. The researchers made a record of the women’s fluid intake over the course of seven days. The study was comprehensive and looked at aspects like fluid found inside and outside of various cells within the women’s bodies using a body composition analyzer. The scientists also examined their blood and urine osmolality by using an osmotic pressure molar concentration meter and looked at complications.
Early findings of the study aim to answer questions regarding proper hydration during pregnancy. These findings will pave the way for providing better recommendations on the amount of water pregnant women need to drink to avoid complications for themselves and their babies.
Water Needs During Pregnancy
The right amount of hydration is necessary for pregnant women and for breastfeeding moms. This ensures that the baby gets the right amount of hydration as well. As water is essential to all life and makes up around 60% of your body weight, you need proper hydration. Staying hydrated at all times is important as you lose fluid naturally throughout the day when you sweat, burn calories, urinate and have bowel movements.
Generally, pregnant women need an additional 300 calories compared to their normal dietary intake. Your water needs also change as you need 1 to 1.5 milliliters of water per calorie. As a result, pregnant women need at least an extra 300 milliliters of water.
Pregnant women may be able to get better hydration from bottled water. It’s safer and may even be better quality, in general.
Ways to Stay Hydrated
For some women, it might seem like a challenge to practice proper hydration measures. However, you can use a few tips to ensure that you stay properly hydrated. They include the following:
- Avoid caffeine
- Add fruits or a cucumber slice to your water to give it more flavor
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Drink tea, juice, milk and sparkling water, as they count
- Eat soup
- Always listen to your body and make sure you rarely feel thirsty
- Drink enough fluids so your urine is clear or light yellow
- Avoid being in the heat and limit your outdoor exercise to early morning or late in the day
- Drink more fluids, especially when you increase your activity level
You want to aim for 8 to 12 glasses of water per day while pregnant. It can help in a variety of ways. Your baby benefits from healthy development, the placenta is formed normally and nutrients are properly delivered to the baby throughout your pregnancy.
Constipation and hemorrhoids are often problematic for pregnant women. Staying properly hydrated can help to combat these issues and reduce the risk of edema, urinary tract infections and preterm labor.
Healthy Fats and Water
During your pregnancy, you should consume plenty of healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, as well as water. It can help regulate various bodily functions such as kidney function, blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammatory and allergic responses, nerve transmission and hormone production.
Omega-3s can help to aid in the development of your baby in the visual and neurological areas. It can also benefit you in lowering the risk of preeclampsia and preterm labor. A good source of omega-3s is fatty fish like salmon. While pregnant, you should avoid consuming too much fish due to mercury content. Some salmon is safe, but the best way to get your omega-3s may be from purified fish oil supplements.
Hydration During Summer
It’s important to stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy no matter what, but it’s even more essential during the summer. Even if you’re indoors but not always in air-conditioning, you will have to consume even more water. You can even mix water with sports drinks to keep your electrolytes up. Delicious smoothies are also great for ensuring proper hydration in the summer.
Wearing lighter, flowy clothing can also help when you’re pregnant during the summer months. It can help you stay cooler and prevent faster dehydration.
Proper hydration is one of the most important things to practice during pregnancy. You and your baby will be healthier overall.