Water is vital in our daily lives. Every part of our bodies relies on water to function properly. Drinking enough water helps our bodies regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, and absorb necessary nutrients. Water is also essential to our body’s ability to remove waste/toxins. Staying hydrated during pregnancy and postpartum recovery is vital to the health of our bodies and to the health of the growing baby.
During pregnancy, it is recommended to increase water intake by approximately 8-10 ounces of water per day over normal daily needs. Blood volume drastically increases during pregnancy to accommodate the needs of the baby. Our bodies need adequate water intake to help facilitate this increase. Staying hydrated helps maintain proper amniotic fluid levels and helps transport essential nutrients and to the placenta and growing baby. Morning sickness during pregnancy can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can lead to preterm labor adding to the importance of drinking enough water during pregnancy.
During your recovery after giving birth, staying hydrated is also essential. Regardless of how your baby was born, your body has worked hard. Adequate hydration during this postpartum period helps our bodies meet the changing physiological needs of the recovery process.
Some signs of dehydration to look for:
- feeling thirsty – did you know that feeling thirsty is often a sign that you may already be dehydrated?
- little to no urine or urine that is darker in color
- dry mouth or sticky mouth
- headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness
- dry skin
Drinking enough water every day can seem daunting but here are some tips we typically give to our clients that can help:
- Have at least one water bottle and take it everywhere you go. It is easier to drink water if you already have it with you. We love this one because it is easy to clean and has a clip that can easily attach to a bag or pack.
- Place water on your nightstand, and so you can drink a few sips of water when you wake up at night and when you first wake up in the morning.
- Limit caffeine intake. The current recommendation for pregnant people is to limit caffeine to less than 200mg/day. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases blood pressure and heart rate. It is also a diuretic – meaning it causes you to urinate more frequently which can lead to dehydration.
- Use an app to track your water intake and help remind you to drink water throughout the day. This article has some fun suggestions.
Can’t drink all water all of the time? We totally understand.
- Try drinking herbal teas or adding lemon/lime or fruit to your water for extra flavor.
- Popsicles are a great way to keep up with your water intake. Look for whole fruit/no added sugar varieties or make your own.
- Add a glass of 100% fruit juice to your daily routine. You can dilute the juice with a little (or a lot of water) if desired.
- Snack on watery fruits like citrus and berries.
- Eat soups with clear broths (try to avoid soups with high sodium levels)
Always speak with your care provider regarding questions or concerns you may have.