Water and Pregnancy
While it is always a good idea to keep the body
hydrated, there are certain times when changes in the body call
for more water. One of these times is during pregnancy. Water
can be the answer to alleviating many side effects of pregnancy,
aid in preparing the body for these physiological changes, and
just overall make mommy and baby healthier.
Water is an important player in pregnancy. The
fluid acts as the body’s transportation system, and carries
nutrients through the blood to the baby. Also, flushing out the
system and diluting urine with water prevents urinary tract infections,
which are common in pregnancy.
Perhaps the biggest reason to drink water however
is to keep the body hydrated. Dehydration in pregnant women can
be very serious. Hormones (gotta love those hormones!) change
the way women store water during pregnancy, so they begin to
retain water, and drinking plenty of water combats that. Much
of that water is used in the amniotic sack. Amniotic fluid alone
needs to replenish itself every hour by using roughly a cup of
water stored in the body. Replacing that water will ensure the
unborn baby is protected within the womb.
Since the blood volume increases to nearly double
by the eighth month of pregnancy, it is necessary to drink even
more water to compensate. Thicker blood can lead to hypertension
and other cardiovascular problems, as discussed on other areas
of this Website.
Because dehydration can cause contractions, lack
of water in the third trimester can also cause premature labour.
Premature labour can have many health risks to the newborn baby.
However, some cases of premature labour have been stopped just
by giving the mother enough water to re-hydrate her body.
Pregnant women should be sure to drink at least
eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, which is in addition
to the normal intake of other recommended foods. The benefits
of drinking water during pregnancy include healthier skin, less
acne, washing away of unnecessary sodium, less chance for pre-term
labour or miscarriage and better bowel movements. Drinking water
can, believe it or not, also help prevent that nausea known as
morning sickness, as doctors recommend drinking plenty of fluid
Drinking water for health benefits of the mother
and baby are evident. Doctors in fact ask mothers to steer clear
of diuretics like caffeine and alcohol, so water is the obvious
alternative for fluid intake. Also, since doctors often ‘prescribe’ exercise
in pregnant women, fluids will be lost through perspiration.
As we know, pregnant or not, those fluids also need to be replaced.
Now that we know how important it is to drink
water during pregnancy, let’s take a look at some contaminants
that when found in excess in water supplies, could have devastating
effects. There has been some evidence that chlorinated tap water
can cause miscarriages and other problems with pregnancy. Nitrate
can cause blue baby syndrome and lead can cause slow mental development.
That said, since water is so crucial to not only the mother,
but the new baby as well, it is vital to make sure drinking water
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For more information on the importance of water
during pregnancy, and many other essential matters relating to
pregnancy, see the Foresight
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