Pregnancy & Hydration
Before you continue reading, go pour yourself a big cool glass of H2O.
Now, take a sip. Good. Better right?
I live in Toronto and it is hot hot hot.
I'm talking 43˚C temperatures after the humidity is accounted for, (for all of you Americans that's 109˚F).
I want to give a shoutout to water, right about now.
Mamas, friends, everyone: stay hydrated! It is so, so important.
Dehydration is when you lose more water than you take in, which can result in some not so great complications. While it's very important for literally everyone to keep drinking water, it is that much more vital for pregnant women.
(Take another drink of water)
Why Is It Important?
-Pregnant people have about a 30-50% higher blood volume than non-pregnant people, and most of that is plasma. Plasma is what carries blood cells around your body, and it's made up of 90% water.
If you're dehydrated, your blood will be thicker and more concentrated, meaning your heart has to work extra hard to pump the blood around your body.
-While there are conflicting numbers suggesting how much of our body is made up of water, the general consensus is 'at least half'. And we lose this water all the time by urination, perspiration, and respiration. This water needs to be replaced, frequently.
If you don't drink enough, your body can't function properly, period.
-Dehydration can cause contractions, which is very bad if you're in your third trimester as preterm labour becomes a very real risk.
-Water flushes our systems out. I've found that whenever I have a cold or a UTI, the more fluids I drink the sooner I get better.
-Amniotic fluid is made up of water & electrolytes, and it needs to be replenished frequently. Drinking water increases the quantity of amniotic fluid which in turn helps your baby grow!
(Have some more of your water now)
How Much Water?
You've probably heard about the typical recommendation for how much we should be drinking, which is eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day, which equals 64 ounces.
When you are pregnant though, and have more water in your body, you need even more than that. Aim for about 10 glasses of water a day and try to consume other water-rich foods. Bone broths (which is full of that amazing collagen), watermelons, berries, cucumbers, and the like are all terrific foods to keep your hydration game strong.
Don't worry about drinking too much water. If you're worried about polyhydramnios, which is a too-high-volume of amniotic fluid, please understand that you cannot cause it by drinking too much water. It occurs when there are genetic abnormalities, maternal diabetes, or fetal anemia. So keep drinking that water!
(Have another sip)
Don't Get Dehydrated
Signs of dehydration are:
As with babies, like how crying is a late-cue for them being hungry, thirst is a late-cue for us being dehydrated. Keep sipping throughout the day so you don't get to the point where you feel thirsty.
Try not to go overboard with exercise. While it is amazing to move your body when you're pregnant, it's easier to overdo it with the exercise, especially if it's hot outside. Don't do anything that you didn't do before you got pregnant, don't push yourself too hard, and stay hydrated while doing so.
Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Breathing in fresh outdoor air is one of life's little pleasures, but stay in the shade as much as possible. Not only to protect your skin from the sun, but because you lose so much water from sweating, so keep replenishing!
If you're one of those people who claims 'they just don't need too much water', or 'don't ever really get thirsty' try to make a game out of it! Whatever you need to do to drink as much water as you can, it'll only be a good thing.
For me, I always bring my Nalgene water bottle to work and I force myself to finish it & refill it in a shift. I also try to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning (which has so many health benefits) before I have my juice or coffee. It's not always easy, and I have to get better at it, but the first step is making the intention to do so!
If you have to write it down every time you drink to keep track of it, great! Whatever works.
Now, finish your glass of water. Feels good doesn't it? :)
How do you all do with keeping up with your water intake? Let me know in the comments!