Water For Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: How Much Is Enough?
At a cellular level, water is needed for all bodily reactions to take place and is a structural component for cells.
Water helps to maintain body temperature, to eliminate waste, and to give our skin a younger, more supple appearance.
...and who doesn't want that!
Pregnant and breastfeeding moms:
Drinking water is essential for the rapid growth and cellular multiplication within the fetus. In the first and second trimesters, water is key to the formation of the nourishing and protective amniotic sac. In addition , lactating women need the extra fluids to replace those lost through breastfeeding.
So just how much water is enough?
The old adage of eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day is a good rule of thumb, but when you include pregnancy or lactation, the rigors of parenthood, and recovery after childbirth, those eight glasses may not be enough to ward off dehydration and keep the body running as efficiently as it could.
Here are some things to consider while pregnant:
- • • • Being a natural cleanser, water can ease morning sickness.
- • • • Dehydration can trigger uterine contractions, which ultimately could lead to preterm labor.
- • • • Feeling fatigued during pregnancy is normal, but at times could simply be a lack of proper hydration.
In warmer weather, staying hydrated while pregnant is vital to maintaining your body temperature. A higher body temperature can slow down your circulation, thus decreasing the amount of nutrients your baby receives. Exercise during pregnancy is recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, so extra hydration should be a priority for active moms!
How do you know if you aren't drinking enough?
- • • • Feelings of thirst
- • • • Decreased urine output
- • • • Yellow urine (instead of clear or pale yellow)
- • • • Dry mouth
- • • • Fatigue
- • • • Muscle cramps
- • • • Nausea
- • • • Heart palpitations
- • • • Light-headedness
- • • • More severe dehydration leads to confusion and weakness
Be alert and listen to your internal signals! Do you often have the signs above? Stop what you are doing and drink some water! Remember to hydrate before, during, and after your workout to keep you and your baby healthy.