Congratulations, you’re having a baby! Instead of raising a glass of wine to toast, let’s raise a glass of water (or ten to be exact). As a mommy-to-be, now more than ever it is important to stay adequately hydrated throughout the day.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, your body needs water to function properly. However, drinking water during pregnancy is twice as important and critical to the health of you and your new bundle of joy.
Since water is responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to our cells, tissues and organs, staying hydrated ensures that essential nutrients are being transported to meet the developmental needs of your growing baby. Drinking water also helps preserve an adequate level of amniotic fluid and even aids fetal kidney function by facilitating the amount of waste your baby’s kidneys filter.
Water can also help keep the aches and growing pains associated with being pregnant at bay, as it helps prevent dehydration—a main contributor to the headaches, cramping and dizziness you may experience during pregnancy. Some women even claim that drinking water helps alleviate morning sickness, heartburn and indigestion. Hydration becomes especially important during the third trimester because dehydration can trigger contractions that can lead to preterm labor.
And, if water retention has caused you to look more swollen than normal lately, drinking water can help prevent the amount of water you retain throughout the course your pregnancy.
Is all this talk about water making you think about taking another trip to the bathroom? While you might associate another glass of water with another annoying trip to the bathroom, drinking enough water throughout the day also helps prevent urinary tract infections, which can frequently occur during pregnancy.
The American Pregnancy Association suggests that expectant mothers should drink at least 10 glasses of water each day. If fitness is part of your daily routine, you should also drink an additional glass of water for each hour of light exercise you do.
If staying hydrated is a struggle for you, get in the habit of bringing a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Having a water bottle handy throughout the day will remind you to stay hydrated and challenge you to drink the recommended amount of water each day.
If you make it a priority to stay adequately hydrated over the next nine months, you’ll be setting your little one up for a healthy life outside the womb. So here’s to you and your little one, cheers to a healthy pregnancy!