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Benefits Of Staying Hydrated During Pregnancy

Benefits Of Staying Hydrated During Pregnancy

 

Congratulations on the beginning of your new journey! Let’s raise a glass of crisp water to celebrate. As a mommy-to-be, it is more important than ever that you stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking at least 8 to 12 glasses daily. [1]

Our bodies naturally need water to function properly. However, while pregnant, drinking water is twice as important and critical to the health of both mummy and baby. [2] There are many benefits to staying hydrated, especially during this exciting time, so lets take a closer a look the benefits of drinking water…

Figure 1: Pregnant mum drinking water [17]

A natural transporter for nutrients to your baby

Water is responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout our body, to our cells, tissues and organs. [3] It ensures that your body absorbs essential nutrients, and its those nutrient-rich blood cells that ultimately reach your baby. Drinking water also helps to preserve the ideal level of amniotic fluid and assists with fetal kidney functions. [4]

Make sure you’re drinking from filtered source to avoid chemicals that could harm your baby, such as lead, nitrates, pesticides, etc.

 

Helps decrease your risk for infections and discomfort

Urinary tract infections, constipation and haemorrhoids can be prevented by keeping hydrated. [5] Water helps dissolves waste and flushes it from the kidneys, keeping your urine diluted and moves waste down the digestive path, water plays a vital role in your digestive system. [6]

 

What about pre-eclampsia? 

Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication charaterised by high blood pressure, and protein in urine. [7] It is the most common serious medical complication of pregnancy, affecting around five to eight per cent [8] of all pregnancies in Australia.

Pre-eclampsia often occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy, [9] most women with pre-eclampsia feel fine. That is why regular antenatal check-ups are vital.

Drinking enough water in pregnancy will help keep the mothers physical and mental health stable, as well as help prevent pre-eclampsia. Pregnant mothers have waste produced from both herself and her baby released into her system; thus they have a greater need for detoxification. This extra demand on her kidneys produces a greater need for water. Drinking water is necessary for normal cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

A mother’s blood pressure usually returns to normal after the baby is born and the placenta is delivered.

 

Figure 2: Mum drinking water [16]

How does staying hydrated help during Labour?

Staying hydrated is vital during the end of pregnancy. Mothers can go into labour at any time, if you’re fully hydrated when labour starts, you’ll have enough energy and stamina than you will if you’re dehydrated.

One of the most critical reasons to maintain hydration is to avoid preterm labour. [10] When you are dehydrated, your blood volume decreases, and the concentration of oxytocin therefore increases. Oxytocin is a natural hormone that causes the uterus to contact; a good thing when you are full term and ready to deliver, not so good when your baby still needs its final weeks to develop. Staying hydrated will increase your blood volume and help prevent the onset of premature labour.

 

Feel better overall

Water can help mummy’s with aches and growing pains associated with pregnancy, as it helps prevents dehydration. Dehydration [11] is considered to be a main contributor to headaches, cramping and dizziness you may experience while pregnant. Some mum claim that water helps with nausea, heartburn and indigestion. [12]

Water is a natural cooling system, it disperses heat in the form of sweat to prevent overheating. In addition water helps to get rid of excess sodium, among other things, [13] which will help minimize swelling at the feet or ankles.

During the third trimester, hydration becomes especially important as it can trigger contractions that can lead to preterm labour.

 

What about ultrasound scans? Why do mothers have to drink water before each scan? 

Are you drinking enough water? A general rule of thumb is if you are taking frequent trips and your urine is pale to colourless, then you are doing great!

During an ultrasound, you may need to have a full bladder for the technician to capture clear images of your baby. The full bladder [14] serves as a window to see your baby clearly, while an empty bladder may restrict movement making it exceptionally challenging for the sonographer to view of your baby.

To obtain the best photos we need a full amount of amniotic fluid around your baby. This will improve clarity and provide space to move bubs away from the placenta/wall if needed. It is recommended to drink at least 2-3 litres a day and about 2 weeks before the appointment. It is important to keep well hydrated daily. [15]

Keep up the good work mamma!

 

Disclaimer

This is a professional opinion and is based on the latest credible research. This is for general educational purposes only. Please seek professional medical advice from your personal practitioner.

 

References

[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/dehydration#How-to-prevent-dehydration-during-pregnancy

[2] https://www.absopure.com/blog/benefits-drinking-water-during-pregnancy/

[3] https://www.acs.edu.au/info/fitness-news/nutrition/why-water-is-important-for-health.aspx

[4] https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/how-to-increase-amniotic-fluid#treatments

[5] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water#section5

[6] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814#benefits

[7] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-pre-eclampsia

[8] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-pre-eclampsia

[9] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/preeclampsia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355745

[10] https://www.ecoparent.ca/eco-wellness/importance-hydration-pregnancy-and-labour#:~:text=Oxytocin%20is%20a%20natural%20hormone,the%20onset%20of%20premature%20labour.

[11] https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/headaches-dizziness

[12] https://uihc.org/health-topics/five-ways-decrease-nausea-during-pregnancy

[13] https://premiumwaters.com/blog/7-benefits-of-drinking-water-you-probably-didnt-know-about/

[14] https://www.stmichaelshospital.com/programs/imaging/ultrasound/faq.php#:~:text=A%20pelvic%20ultrasound%20requires%20at,is%20difficult%20to%20see%20them.

[15] https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/ultrasound#procedure

[16] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322230

[17] https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/6934230/prevent-stretch-marks-pregnancy-drinking-water-eating-eggs/

 

 

 

11-February-21 Lisa Bui

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