Is being pregnant driving you to drink? As a mum-to-be, it's absolutely essential to keep hydrated and be doubly sure that you're drinking enough water.
Drinking plenty of water is so important when you're pregnant. Here's why it's so essential during pregnancy to stay hydrated, plus how many glasses mum-to-be's should aim to drink each day.
Here's a few need to know benefits to how much water your need to prevent haemorrhoids and other pregnancy symptoms, to ensure your water intake is safe is more important than ever.
Why is it important to hydrate during pregnancy?
Ever wonder how all the good stuff in the prenatal vitamins and healthy foods you're faithfully consuming every day are shipped to your foetus? It all starts with water, which helps your body absorb essentials nutrients into the cells and transports vitamins, minerals and hormones to the blood cells. It's those nutrient-rich blood cells that reach the placenta and ultimately your baby — all with the help of H2O.
How much water should you drink during pregnancy?
You’ll need more water to keep your system running for two during pregnancy. Though it really varies based on your body type and size, how active you are, and so on, the general rule of thumb is somewhere between eight and 10 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Be sure to talk to your practitioner about what works for you and your situation.
Try to space out your sips to keep them coming steadily throughout the day rather than gulping a lot at once, which could leave you feeling uncomfortably full. Since most of us don’t drink enough fluids, filling a water bottle or two every morning and keeping it handy all day takes the hassle out of hydration.
Be sure to sip before, during and after you exercise, or if you find yourself outside on a hot day. Note, too, that if you feel thirsty, it’s a sign that your body is already on its way to being dehydrated.
How can you tell if you're getting enough? If your trips to the bathroom are frequent and your urine is pale or colourless, your drinking is on track.
What are the benefits of staying hydrated during pregnancy?
- Prevents constipation and haemorrhoids. Now that you're pregnant you're not just eating and drinking for two, you are also excreting for two. That means you'll have trash to get out your system, more than ever before. Keeping hydrated will help dissolve the waste products and flush them through your system.
- Prevents UTIs. Drinking enough water also keeps your urine diluted, which not only keeps things flowing but also keeps UTIs at bay (urine that hangs out too long in your bladder can become a breeding ground for infection-triggering bacteria), as well as bladder infections and kidney infections.
- Avoid overheating. If you drink water during pregnancy, you can keep the body's cooling system running smoothly - even when your inner thermostat is cranked all the way up - by dispersing excess heat in the form of sweat.
- Fights fatigue. An ample flow of fluids also keeps pregnancy fatigue in check - one of the first symptoms of dehydration is exhaustion - and can keep headaches at bay (another dehydration symptom).
What other drinks can you drink during pregnancy?
Maybe you're fancying something a little different, that's no problem - There are plenty other liquids that might just fit the cut:
- Milk (a small glass of skimmed milk yields just under 200ml of water)
- Sparkling or flavoured waters
- Fruit and vegetable juices (watch out for added sugar in fruit juice and added sodium in veggie drinks)
- Decaffeinated teas
You should, however, limit your intake of soda, as well as other beverages containing caffeine, since they have a diuretic effect.
Is it safe to drink tap water when you're pregnant?
It’s never a bad idea to assess the cleanliness of your drinking water — and that’s especially true when you’re pregnant. While most of the water you drink likely comes from public water systems and is generally safe to drink, it can be contaminated with high levels of chemicals that could harm a foetus, including lead, mercury and arsenic. In addition, there is increasing evidence that BPA (an industrial chemical that mimics oestrogen and is found in some plastics) can be problematic when you're expecting.
Did you know?
20% of your daily water intake comes from food sources. Fruits pack the most water: One 130g of watermelon or cantaloupe provides just under 150ml of water; a medium-size pear or 130g of strawberries provides about 130ml; a medium size orange has 120ml.