Water is important to cells because without it they would not be able to remove waste, bring in nutrients or transport oxygen. The body is a very intricate system where many parts rely on each other.
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 of the discomforts of pregnancy and aids in preparing the body for these physiological changes.
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 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 insure 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.
Because dehydration can cause contractions, lack of water in the third trimester is one of the primary causes of premature labor. Premature labor can have many risks to the newborn baby. However, some cases of premature labor 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 preterm labor or miscarriage and better bowel movements. Drinking water can, believe it or not, also help prevent that nausea known as morning sickness, as care providers recommend drinking plenty of fluid between meals.
Ways to get enough water throughout the day
- Pregnant women should be nibbling protein about every three hours. If you drink a glass of water each time you nibble, this can help you stay hydrated.
- At the beginning of the day fill a gallon jug or 3-4 containers with your daily allowance of fresh water. Throughout the day self assess and see if you need more, and be conscious about getting it!
- Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go.
Pregnancy Herbal Infusion
- 1⁄4 oz Red Raspberry leaves
- 1⁄4 oz Red Clover blossoms and leaves
- 1⁄4 oz Nettle leaves
- 1⁄4 oz Dandelion leaves
1. Place each herb into a nonmetal container (ideally a glass jar with lid)
2. Heat up one quart (32 oz or 4 glasses) of water
3. Once the water is boiling, pour it into the container with herbs already in it and cover 4. Steep at least four hours (or overnight)
5. Strain out herbs
Sip often throughout day. Drink warm (reheat on stovetop), at room temperature, or cold. If you’d like to add a little flavor you can add a tea bag of peppermint tea, honey, or 1-2 slices of lemon or lime.
Warm regards! And remember to drink your water :)