While drinking enough water is always important, getting the right amount of H2O is extra-important when you’re pregnant. Let’s take a closer look at why you need to drink up during the next nine months, how much is the right amount, and a few tips for making sure you’re getting enough of this life-sustaining liquid.
You’re committed to eating the right foods, and you take your vitamins every day. But how do these nutrients make their way to your fetus? Water is a significant part of the equation. In fact, water plays an essential part not only of helping your body absorb vitamins, minerals, and hormones, but also in transporting them to the blood cells which ultimately deliver them to your baby.
But water is responsible for even more health and wellness goodness. Water purifies your body by helping to dissolve waste products and moving them through your digestive and urinary tracts. In addition to warding off constipation and even hemorrhoids, a common pregnancy affliction, drinking enough water also keeps kidney and bladder infections at bay.
If you’re suffering from pregnancy symptoms like headaches, exhaustion, overheating, and swelling, water can be your new best friend. As many of these symptoms are brought on by dehydration, a free flow of fluids can play a valuable role in your overall health.
As your pregnancy progresses, drinking enough water plays a critical role in heading off contractions which may lead to preterm labor.
How Much is Enough?
The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink between 12 to 13 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. (This is slightly more than the 11 glasses a day recommended for non-pregnant women.) If you are active, you’ll need even more — at least an additional glass of water for each activity. In order to minimize your risk of waterborne diseases, stick with water that is filtered or boiled.
Keep in mind that while water is the best way to hydrate, other liquids can also help you reach your daily goals. Milk, sparkling water, and low-sugar and low-sodium fruit and vegetable juices are effective, as long as you keep an eye on your calorie intake. Limit your intake of soda, not only because it’s empty calories, but also because carbonation can trigger heartburn. Avoid beverages which contain caffeine, too, because it’s a diuretic. Some foods too — everything from watermelon to chicken soup — can also help you amp up your daily water intake.
One of the simplest ways to know if you’re getting enough H2O? Frequent trips to the bathroom, along with pale or colorless urine, indicate healthy hydration levels.
Tips and Tricks for Getting Enough H2O
And the benefits of drinking water don’t end when your baby arrives. In fact, water is a major component in breast milk so drink up to promote healthy lactation and get off to a great breastfeeding start. For more useful information on all things maternity, baby, and motherhood, be sure to bookmark the For Two Fitness blog.
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