Water is one of the most important nutrients you should not neglect during pregnancy. Water increases in importance during pregnancy because it helps you deal with various problems such as constipation, dry skin and early pregnancy symptoms in particular, nausea. If you let H2o go in short supply you may have to deal with low energy levels and moods as well, problems which you can do without.
Water, the most essential Nutrient during pregnancy
- Your body is nearly two-thirds water and therefore water becomes the most important nutrient.
- About a third of an average 30 pound pregnancy weight gain is liquid: amniotic fluid, maternal blood volume and extra fluids in the mother's tissue make up the composition.
- Did you know our blood is 92% water and our brains are 75% water and our bones are 22% water?
- We lose about ¾ of water daily through breathing, perspiration, urination and feces.
- We need water to digest and absorb other nutrients, regulate body temperature, remove waste products from our systems, transport nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body and to perform many, many important metabolic processes.
- Thirst is not an indicator but rather a warning that you are dehydrated and need to drink. It is important to stay ahead of dehydration so don't wait till you feel thirsty to fill up.
- Water has no calories; drink more of it to fill you up.
- The weight you gain during pregnancy and the milk your baby requires during breast-feeding places an added demand on your fluid supply. More water needs to be consumed to meet this requirement.
- The bloodstream needs constant replenishing to ensure nutrients and oxygen circulates properly.
- Hard water is healthier as it contains less sodium and has more minerals (calcium and magnesium) than soft water.
- Water is locked inside our hair strands. The moisture adds suppleness to hair and skin. Water also helps remove waste from the scalp, hair follicle and skin.
- Coffee, tea, and soft drinks do not count as healthy fluids since they are diuretics and tend to dehydrate the system including skin and hair.
- Milk, soup, fruits and vegetables, and juice count toward your daily fluid intake because of their high water content.
When you don't drink enough water during pregnancy
- Constipation can become a problem during pregnancy. You will need to take in at least 6-8 glasses of water every day.
- The tendency for urinary tract infection (UTI) rises
- The need to urinate with greater frequency in the first and last trimesters may tempt you to cut back on water. Don't. Your body is removing waste from your system and your baby's. Instead try drinking most of your fluid in the early part of the day and cut back in the evening hours.
- Dehydration can trigger uterine contractions, possibly resulting in premature labor. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water between meals.
- Fatigue, headaches and dizziness can be a consequence of dehydration. Drink up.
- Dehydration can result from exercising, weather conditions, or when running a fever. Other signs of dehydration are dark colored urine, sore muscles, nausea, poor concentration and exhaustion.