One of the questions we ask our pregnant patients each time we see them is… "How is your water intake?"
Although water consumption is something we know is important at any age and stage in life, pregnancy is a critical time to make sure you’re drinking as close to a gallon of water (80-100 ounces) a day as you can. During pregnancy, the body’s demand for water is increased. Proper hydration aids in the shift of higher blood volume production for mom, optimal nutrient distribution to baby, and in the formation of the amniotic sacs and fluid.
Ease Common Pregnancy Symptoms
Staying hydrated can ease common complaints in pregnancy such as constipation, varicose veins, nausea, headaches, urinary tract infections, abdominal cramping, dry skin, and hemorrhoids. Keeping fluid levels up can also help with swelling and bloating, because inadequate hydration pushes the body to store more fluid, instead of encouraging proper urination and detoxification.
Hydration is also connected to regulation of body temperature and keeping mom’s internal body temperatures stable. Something to note is that caffeine intake has been connected to dehydration, because of its tendency to increase urine output. One of the easiest ways to monitor your hydration level is to be mindful of your urine output – the clearer your urine, the more likely you are hydrated.
Water quality matters too. We recommend drinking the best-sourced and most clean water possible to avoid exposure to metals, hormones, and a myriad of environmental toxins that can be present in some water sources. One of my cravings during pregnancy, and beyond, has been carbonated water. Unfortunately, there have been noted links between carbonated water and changes in pH levels. That can, in turn, create the possibility of heartburn and can also impede the function of your gallbladder. Some studies have linked certain carbonated beverages with kidney stones, hypertension, and diabetes. So carbonated water can be an occasional treat, but make sure most of your water is uncarbonated.
Tips for Keeping Hydrated
Monitor your intake with a consistent container (we love large marked water bottles)
Consume foods with higher water content (watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges)
Depending on the season, choose a water temperature that is more appealing (ayurvedic medicine would suggest avoiding ice water, as your body has to work harder to bring it to body temperature and more energy is lost)
Add fruit to your water bottle (fresh lemon in warm water in the cool months and lemon and raspberries in the summer are our favorites)
Find an electrolyte powder you like and purchase the travel-size packets for convenience (we recommend the Ultima or Hydrate brands)
Zinger teas are caffeine free and tasty as your water intake
Vitamin C powder added to your water bottle helps boost immunity
Try to drink more water earlier in the day to lessen bedtime bathroom visits
Be mindful of your activity level…the more you move, the more water you will need
Hydrate to feel great!