Pregnant women often hear the refrain that they are eating for two. It also is important for these women to remember that they are drinking for two, as well.
While every person needs to drink enough water to remain properly hydrated, this is especially true for women who are pregnant. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association advises that expectant mothers should drink at least 80 ounces of water each day, and even more depending on their level of activity.
There are several reasons why staying properly hydrated is important to a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.
- Remaining properly hydrated ensures that essential nutrients are able to be delivered to the growing baby.
- Water helps to maintain a proper level of amniotic fluid.
- Hydration aids in fetal kidney function.
- Water prevents dehydration in a pregnant woman, thereby helping to reduce cramping, dizziness and headaches. This is especially important in the final trimester when dehydration can contribute to cramping and preterm labor.
- The right amount of water will help prevent water retention and can help prevent swelling in pregnant women.
- Drinking enough water helps to stave off urinary tract infections which are common in pregnancy.
- Many pregnant women report that sipping water between meals can help to counter nausea and vomiting after eating.
- Remaining properly hydrated can help to prevent constipation and bloating by allowing food to metabolize easier.
If the prospect of drinking glasses and glasses of water each day seems a bit boring, try mixing things up a bit. Smoothies, fruit and vegetable juices, coconut water and lemonade are some other options. Further, many foods can count toward your fluid intake. These include things like fruits, vegetables, soups, stews and yogurt.
Once your baby is born, remaining hydrated is as important as ever. This is especially true if you are nursing. In fact, doctors recommend nursing mothers drink about 100 ounces of water each day. Whether you are pregnant or nursing it is important to limit coffee and soda intake which actually promote dehydration. Further, caffeinated beverages can make you more irritable and can cause your baby to become agitated and have trouble sleeping.
Finally, since there is nothing better for a mother and her baby than lots of refreshing, clean water, it is important to make sure that your water supply is safe to drink while pregnant and nursing. After all, when you’re drinking for two, it’s doubly important that you know where your water is coming from and how it’s been treated.