Why drinking water during pregnancy is crucial

The importance of drinking adequate water cannot be stated enough, more so if you are pregnant or are a nursing mother. It is important for a woman to stay sufficiently hydrated during pregnancy and post-partum to ensure proper health and well-being. When pregnant or breastfeeding, a woman s water requirements are higher than usual and that is why water is needed to form amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby, supports the increase in blood plasma volume and produces breast milk, reports Hence being well-hydrated may help alleviate some pregnancy related conditions.

To help understand the importance of hydration for pregnancy health, Emma Derbyshire, author of 'Nutrition in the Childbearing Years,' has provided essential tips for hydration in pregnancy.

  • Water is an excellent beverage choice for mums-to-be. It is natural and helps women to rehydrate without consuming calories and sugars.
  • Women should increase their total water intake by an extra 300 ml/day during pregnancy and 700 ml/day during breastfeeding, make water the first choice when it comes to hydration.
  • Water-rich foods such as soups, stews, yoghurts, fruits and vegetables can help top up total water intake.
  • Pregnant women should take frequent small drinks, particularly after the birth of their child when they are busy looking after their new baby.Women breastfeeding should make sure that they are getting enough fluids - try to remember to keep a glass of water on hand when you sit down to feed your baby.
  • Women should reduce their intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Apart from this water can help in the following ways during pregnancy:

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It helps to deal with constipation and bloating: Constipation and bloating are very common during pregnancy. The elevated levels of progesterone and relaxin, the two hormones secreted during pregnancy in abundance, makes metabolism slow and interferes with bowel movements. This hormonal change leads to constipation at times, followed with bloating of the abdomen, indigestion, heartburn and nausea. Having water regularly and in good amounts, help to metabolize food easily, which can be digested well hence providing some relief from the irksome symptoms of constipation, nausea, heartburn and indigestion. Also read about tips to deal with constipation during pregnancy.

It helps to counter morning sickness and nausea: Well, it isn t a good idea to sip water, or have any other fluids early in the morning, as it can trigger the symptoms of morning sickness. But sipping water regularly in between meals (not gulping it down) can help counter nausea and vomiting after the meals. Also read on ways to deal with morning sickness during pregnancy.

It relieves symptoms of dehydration: Dehydration during pregnancy can manifest in various forms. Headaches, nausea, dizziness, muscular cramps and edema are a few of them. Water retention (a feeling of bloating) is also a common symptom of dehydration. To flush out excess water from your system you need to drink more of this wonder liquid. Also read about ways to deal with edema.

It helps prevent certain infections: Urinary tract infections are common during pregnancy. But having good amount of water dilutes the urine which reduces the risk of vaginal infections. Less water intake could also lead to other form of infections. Urea, toxins and other wastes are flushed out of the body if you drink enough water throughout the day.

It helps to fight stress: Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day can help in regulating the internal body temperature, achieving body-mind balance and work on the bodily rhythms to keep you calm, enabling you to handle stress in a better way. Also read about foods to eat during pregnancy to keep stress away.

Photo source: Getty images

With inputs from IANS

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