Water is life. We need it. We’re mostly made out of water: H20 accounts for about 70% of our human body. Back in the day, we settled where a steady water source was close by. We need water to survive, which includes creating adorable little offspring.
Water is vital to our health and everyday wellbeing. There may not be a better time than pregnancy to take an honest look at your hydration habits. It’s time to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to stay hydrated and vigilant to the signs of dehydration.
The thing is (and you have 100% heard this one before), you’re providing nutrients for two now. And water is a vital nutrient. Some people say you’re eating for two. But what about drinking for two?
Read on to review the importance of water intake during a healthy pregnancy and the signs of dehydration. Let’s develop a strategy for keeping both you and the baby happy and healthy.
Let’s raise a toast to staying hydrated. Here’s to H2O.
Water Intake and Hydration During Pregnancy
Your body is doing some amazing things to make sure the baby is growing. It’s exerting extra energy to provide a safe home for the baby to grow and changing some of its makeup. For many of these processes, water plays a vital role.
More Blood = More Water
Your blood volume increases dramatically during pregnancy. You’ll carry around one and a half times as much blood as you typically would when you’re not pregnant. For some pregnant women, it might even double. That’s a lot.
There must be extra water with all that extra blood, but where does it come from? You need to drink it, babe.
Not drinking enough could result in low blood pressure, so make sure you keep tilting back that water bottle throughout the day.
Placenta and Amniotic Sac
During pregnancy, your water intake also goes towards the formation, maintenance, and growth of the placenta and amniotic sac. The amniotic sac is that clear bubble-like thing inside your stomach. That’s where your baby hangs out until they’re ready to see what’s good with the outside world.
The sac is filled with amniotic fluid, which helps provide vital proteins to the baby as they grow. And what’s the source of all that fluid the baby needs? You guessed it — it’s determined by your fluid intake.
Flush Your System Clean With Water
To grow a placenta, a baby, and the extra skin for that oh-so-cute bump, you’ll need to power up with vitamins and nutrients.
No one is perfect, including vitamins and minerals. Some of these traces aren’t any good for you; you’ll need to drink water to flush away those imperfections. If you’re not getting enough water, unwanted toxins could build up. That’s not a part of the plan.
Hydration Supports Breast Milk Production
Mamas who plan on breastfeeding should also raise a few glasses of water.
All of that milk you’re going to be producing relies on your fluid intake too. Where else would it come from?
Water and Vitamin Absorption
Along with flushing away the extra parts of vitamins and minerals your body uses for energy and building blocks, water also provides a place for these elements to break down and absorb.
Some vitamins, such as vitamins B and C, are only carried by water. That means that for them to work their magic, they need that H2O magic.
What Are Signs of Dehydration During Pregnancy?
The signs of dehydration during pregnancy are more or less the same as the signs of dehydration for a person who doesn’t have a baby growing inside of them. You are Super Mom, but here is your weakness: a pregnant individual is at a greater risk for dehydration.
Here are the signs that should remind you to drink more water:
Being thirsty is a pretty normal thing, but it’s not necessarily healthy. Being thirsty is a sign that you’re already dehydrated. Try to get in the habit of drinking water before you feel thirsty. You’ll have to pee more, but as you might know by now — peeing more is a part of pregnancy.
A dry mouth is another obvious one. If your mouth, lips, and skin feels dry, you will definitely benefit from a big cup of water. You’ll also thank yourself for using Nip and Lip Rescue Balm, Ultimate Glow Face Oil, and Belly Oil as practical and effective ways to keep your skin hydrated during pregnancy. (We also just love a good dose of self-care and indulgence.)
Clear urine is a good sign that you’re getting enough fluids. Dark yellow urine is a warning sign that you ought to be drinking more! While dehydrated, you have a higher chance of a urinary tract infection (UTI) because there is less water passing through to flush out any bacteria in the urinary tract.
That’s not the only issue: dehydration can also result in constipation, which is never a fun time.
This is a tough one because some of us feel a bit tired and foggy far more often than we’d like to, especially during pregnancy. However, there’s a clear relationship between dehydration and feeling as if you’ve lost your edge.
If you’re not feeling your normal sharp self, it could be because you’re dehydrated. This includes moodiness, sleepiness, and difficulty focusing. Stay on top of your hydration to keep your body and brain running at full speed.
How Much Water Do You Need to Drink During Pregnancy?
Answer: a sh*tload.
But how much water is necessary?
That’s a bit of a tricky question that doesn’t have an exact answer. Several factors are at play, such as how far along you are, the climate you live in, your diet, and your activity level.
Pregnant women are already famous for excessive sweating (that’s why there is pregnancy-safe deodorant). Hot weather and difficulty controlling our body temperature only increases the risk of dehydration and maternal overheating.
As a rule of thumb, you want to be getting around 8 to 12 cups of water a day. That’s 64 to 98 ounces, basically half a gallon plus.
However, if you have to drink more to avoid the symptoms of dehydration, absolutely do so. Make sure to drink extra on hot days and whenever you exercise.
Tips For Preventing Dehydration During Pregnancy
It might seem like a lot of water to drink, and it may get annoying when the baby begins pressing against your bladder, and you have to pee every five minutes, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Making hydrating habits will help ensure that you’re getting enough fluids.
Try out this daily hydration routine to prevent dehydration during pregnancy:
Keep Your Water Bottle Within Arm’s Reach
If you always have water on you, you’re most likely to drink more water. Instead of waiting until you’re thirsty, take your water bottle with you wherever you go, never leaving it out of your sight. That way, you’ll drink often and keep from even becoming thirsty.
An inspiring water bottle can actually make a difference.
Do what works for you. Do you prefer a classic Nalgene covered in stickers? One of those fancy bottles that keep your drink ice cold for days at a time? Or perhaps you want a bottle with measurements on it to keep track of your intake throughout the day. Toss it in your (Anti) Diaper Bag and stay cool on the go.
Try Something Other Than Plain Water
Maybe you’re getting a little tired of drinking water all the time. Maybe you’re dealing with morning sickness, and the thought of taking one more sip makes you squirm a little bit.
Mix up your beverage with some light herbal tea, sparkling water, or add a few drops of concentrated flavoring to your beverage. Sip slowly, enjoy, and mix it up from time to time.
Soups, fruit juices, and delicious fruit like watermelon can help keep your fluid levels up as you approach your due date. If you are facing severe dehydration or you just love being extra, seek out drinks high in electrolytes (but watch out for those sneaky sugar additives).
Drink Every Time You Go to the Bathroom
This tip will ensure the drinking-and-peeing cycle continues at a high rate. Simple, just make sure that every time you use the bathroom, you take a gulp from your bottle and replace those lost fluids.
Drinking water and peeing — two things you must come to terms with to make these 10+ months go by as smoothly as possible.
You Can’t Draw From an Empty Well
Hydration is a good and healthy thing for humans, especially humans currently involved in a two-for-one package deal. Using the tips above, begin to instill habits for hydration that will help you get all the fluids you and the baby need during pregnancy.