If you’re currently expecting a baby, first of all, congratulations! You should be trying to take care of yourself and your body during this exciting time, and one of the best (and easiest) ways you can stay healthy whilst pregnant is by drinking lots of water.
Drinking water is always good for you, but whilst pregnant, you need more water than usual. Water helps our bodies to flush out toxins, aid digestion, absorb essential nutrients and transport vitamins, minerals and hormones to your blood cells; it’s crucial to the development of your baby.
Here, we’ve provided all the details on the importance of staying hydrated during your pregnancy as well as some easy ways you can make sure you’re getting enough H20 each day.
Risks of Dehydration During Pregnancy:
Whilst pregnant, you’re at more risk of becoming dehydrated, which is why you need to be drinking more than you usually would. Pregnant women actually need up to three litres of water each day, which is around two to four glasses more than you’d usually drink.
Dehydration can lead to serious pregnancy complications if it goes undealt with, including:
- Neural tube defects
- Low amniotic fluid
- Issues with breast milk production
- Premature labor.
Some symptoms of dehydration that might help you to spot the issue before it can become harmful to your baby include:
- Feelings of dizziness
- Rapid heart rate
- Dry skin
- Dark urine
8 Ways to Stay Hydrated Whilst Pregnant:
- Eat hydrating foods
Your water intake doesn’t just have to come from water itself. There are plenty of very hydrating foods that you can eat more of to ensure that you’re staying hydrated. Cucumbers, lettuce, celery, watermelon and spinach all have a very high water content, containing at least 85% water.
- Drink water throughout the day, not just when you’re thirsty
Try to sip water throughout the day instead of drinking larger amounts when you’re thirsty. Drinking tons of water all at once can put a lot of pressure on your stomach and make you uncomfortable. Sipping water also allows your body to more efficiently process the water and hydrate the body.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks
It’s recommended that you should try to avoid coffee and other highly caffeinated drinks during your pregnancy; whilst pregnant, you should be consuming no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day. Caffeine is also a diuretic, meaning it contributes to dehydration by making you need to pee more often.
- Listen to your body
Being aware of the symptoms of dehydration and looking out for them during your pregnancy is a good way to keep dehydration at bay. If you do start to see symptoms of course, you can start increasing your water intake or go and see your doctor for medical advice.
- Drink other hydrating drinks
If you don’t enjoy drinking water, there are plenty of other beverages with a high H20 content that can help you stay hydrated. These include cordial, juices and smoothies, herbal teas, flavoured water and coconut water. Try alternating between your water bottle and treating yourself to a different type of drink every now and then, as you’re bound to get sick of drinking water.
- Don’t over-exercise
Whilst some light cardio is recommended for pregnant women, over-exercising can be dangerous and puts you at a greater risk of dehydration. Exercise causes your body to increase in temperature which induces sweating to cool you down. Because of this, slight dehydration is normal during exercise however over-exercise can cause extreme dehydration.
- Track your water consumption
Tracking your water consumption is a good way to ensure that you’re hitting the recommended amount each day. One way to do this is by downloading a water-tracking app, where you can input the amount of water you’ve drank throughout the day. There are plenty of free versions of this app available, so take your pick!
- Invest in a good water bottle
Buying yourself a good water bottle is a great way to encourage yourself to drink more water. There’s tons of reusable water bottles out there from bottles in all different colours and materials to smart bottles that can track how much water you’ve consumed throughout the day. Carrying a bottle of water around with you also makes you more likely to make a habit of sipping at your drink throughout the day.
By Katie Myers