Benefits of Being Hydrated During Pregnancy
by Kate HorneyPre & Postnatal Fitness Specialist
In addition to forming the placenta and enabling your baby to receive nutrients during pregnancy, water is also used to form the amniotic sac during pregnancy. There’s no denying the fact that hydration during pregnancy plays a very important role in the healthy development of your baby.
Some other benefits of hydration during pregnancy include:
- Delivering essential nutrients to your fetus
- Preventing UTIs
- Preventing constipation
- Helping with headaches
- Preventing hemorrhoids
- Preventing fatigue
- Decreasing swelling
- Decreasing the risk of overheating
Here’s a closer look at how water plays a role in a healthy pregnancy:
4 Big Benefits of Hydration During Pregnancy
Water transports nutrients to you & your baby.
Water facilitates the absorption of essential nutrients into the cells and transports vitamins, trace elements, minerals, and hormones to the blood cells, and it’s those nutrient-rich blood cells that reach the placenta and ultimately your baby . . . all thanks to WATER! (Collective cheer.)
Water aids in waste removal.
As gross as it sounds, when we’re pregnant, we’re excreting for two . . . Water dissolves the waste products and helps flush them from the kidneys. Adequate hydration during pregnancy also helps to move solid wastes more speedily down the digestive path, which is great to help with that usual pregnancy constipation.
Water keeps UTIs away.
We’ve already talked about poop, so hey — why not throw in some urine talk as well. Drinking enough water also keeps your urine nice and diluted. Which not only keeps things flowing, but keeps UTI’s at bay (urine that hangs out too long in your bladder can become a breeding ground for infection-triggering bacteria).
Water prevents bloating.
All pregnant mamas will experience bloating in some form or another due to a normal and necessary increase in body fluids . . . but the more water you drink the better if you want to ward off that puffy look. Lots of women thinking drinking lots of water = lots of water with water weight, when in fact the opposite is actually true. Drinking plenty of liquids can keep excessive water retention under control! (Another collective pregnant moms cheer).
Dehydration during pregnancy can lead to serious complications including neural tube defects, low amniotic fluid, inadequate breast milk production, and even premature labor. These risks, in turn, can lead to birth defects due to lack of water and nutritional support for your baby.
So how much water do you need?
The American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant women drink a minimum of 8-12 glasses of water per day in order to prevent dehydration.
Tips for getting your water in:
1. Make it fun! Water’s the best drink, by far, but if you’re struggling to stay hydrated, consider making water fun finding sparkling or flavored waters, adding lemon or other fruit, or drinking decaffeinated teas, or even clear soups.
2. Limit your intake of soda, as well as of beverages containing caffeine, since they have a diuretic effect.
3. Make sure to space out your sips. Ideally, you want to keep the fluids coming steadily throughout the day rather than gulping a bunch all at once. Not only does can too many fluids taken at once literally flood your system, but it also causes extra bloating so be sure to space your water intake throughout the day. (Tapering off at night before bed to avoid extra potty trips.)