The Importance of Water During Pregnancy

Are you drinking enough water? Check with your doctor to see if you're hydrated enough. Image by Decoded Pregnancy

Are you drinking enough water? Check with your doctor to see if you’re hydrated enough. Image by Decoded Pregnancy

Most of us underestimate the need for water in general – and especially during pregnancy, but morning sickness can be one of the first signals that mom and baby are in need of more water during pregnancy. Any kind of stress will cause dehydration and dehydration (and nausea) will also cause stress for mom, so can be a vicious circle.

Pregnancy is already a stress on your body; even more so if you don’t have the tools to create a safe and supportive environment for the little one inside your womb. Cellular hydration is not only important so that cells will have enough fluid to properly multiply, but for them to remain healthy and working properly.

Adequate hydration will provide extra energy for both mom and her developing baby, so drink up!

Pregnant Moms: Are You Dehydrated?

You may be experiencing dehydration if you are having heartburn, excessive Braxton Hicks contractions, pre-term labor contractions, lower back pain or kidney pain, fatigue, or ulcers. If you are experiencing any of these discomforts, check with your doctor or midwife, and make sure you are staying properly hydrated. Proper hydration will keep stress from your internal organs as well as continue to ensure that your body has the ability to provide enough amniotic fluid to cushion baby.

A 2011 study conducted on pregnant rats deprived the rats of water during late gestation and found that offspring had decreased body and brain weight, as well as a reprogramming of the receptor sites in the brain which made the baby rats unable to feel thirst as well. Multiple other studies show that mom’s hydration increases the levels of amniotic fluid – that’s what baby’s swimming in before you give birth – the ‘water’ that breaks when you go into labor.


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Water in Pregnancy: How Much is Enough?

Relieve the stress on your body and on your organs by drinking your body weight divided by 2 in ounces – and remember, your weight is changing all the time! You will know if you are hydrated enough by taking a look at the color of your urine. If your urine is dark, you need more water; if it’s clear or very light colored, you’re drinking plenty of water.

If you drink any diuretics such as some teas, and coffee, add another ounce and a half of water for every ounce of the diuretic you drank. For example, if you drink an 8 ounce cup of iced tea, drink 12 ounces of per ounce of diuretic that you consume to assure that you are hydrating your body properly. You may also need more water if you are sweating during exercise.

Pregnancy Hydration: Ask Your Doctor

Although you may need a bit more than your body weight/2 in ounces, do not drink water in excess. Drinking too much water can actually be detrimental to the health of you and your baby. As with anything else, ask your doctor or midwife before you make any changes to your normal habits during pregnancy.

Resources

Batmanghelidj. Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. (2008). Global Health Solutions, Inc.

Huiying Zhang, Yisun Fan, Fei Xia, Chunsong Geng, Caiping Mao, Shan Jiang, Rui He, Lubo Zhang, Zhice Xu. Prenatal water deprivation alters brain angiotensin system and dipsogenic changes in the offspring. (2012). Accessed June 13, 2013.

KILPATRICK, SARAH J. MD, PhD; SAFFORD, KATHLEEN L. RN. Maternal Hydration Increases Amniotic Fluid Index in Women With Normal Amniotic Fluid. (1993). Obstetrics & Gynecology. Accessed June 13, 2013.

FAIT Gideon, PAUZNER David, GULL Ilan, LESSING Joseph B., JAFFA Ariel J., WOLMAN Igal. Effect of 1 week of oral hydration on the amniotic fluid index. (2003). Journal of Reproductive Medicine. Accessed June 13, 2013.

© Copyright 2013 Rebecca Webb: Childbirth, Aromatherapy, Nutrition, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Pregnancy
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Comments

  1. Pregnancyexpert says:

    Mom is drinking enough water for her and the little one inside… the little one’s growing all the time, too.

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