The importance of drinking adequate water cannot be stressed enough, more so if you are pregnant or a nursing mother. This is because we need extra water to cope with the demands of our ever-changing bodies, and to keep us and our baby fit and well. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends a daily intake of between 1.5 – 2 litres of water for an adult, and when you are pregnant this should increase to 2.5 – 3 litres.
Why is water so important?
Water flushes out toxins, aids digestion and assists in the absorption of essential nutrients from the food we eat. It also restores and revitalizes our bodies. This is even more important during pregnancy, so we can maintain a healthy environment for our unborn baby. It is also paramount for good lactation as it is a key component of breast milk.
Water makes up 82% of our blood and carries essential nutrients and oxygen to cells, tissues and organs, and also flushes away any waste products. Furthermore, it also speeds up the rate at which glucose is absorbed therefore boosting our energy levels.
Some pregnant women find that drinking water on a little and often basis relieves the symptoms of morning sickness, heartburn and indigestion. It also dilutes the urine therefore reducing the risks of urinary tract infections which can be common in pregnancy. Your skin also benefits as water improves our complexion and re-hydrates our tissues. The benefits are endless…
Dehydration - avoid at all costs!
When our body doesn’t get sufficient water dehydration occurs, and even in mild cases this can lead to health problems – constipation, headaches, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue and dull skin. In pregnancy severe dehydration could cause miscarriage and pre-term labour.
Water retention (and feeling bloated as a result) is also a common symptom of dehydration, and you may not think it, but the more water you drink the less your body will retain and the less bloated you will feel.
The adult body is made of up to 70% water, and without this vital fluid our body’s survival time is limited to a matter of hours or days. When you think that the average adult loses up to 2 litres of fluid a day (more in hot weather, during exercise or carrying extra weight through pregnancy), you can appreciate why it is essential to keep our body hydrated with regular intakes of water.
Simple ways to increase your daily water intake –
- Make a glass of water your first drink of the day and give your liver a healthy start.
- Try to drink a glass of water after every visit to the toilet to help replenish lost fluids.
- Never let yourself feel thirsty – if you do, you are already dehydrated!
- Eating fruit and vegetables with a high water content (watermelon, cucumber etc.) helps improve your fluid intake. Every little helps!
- Avoid caffeinated and high sugar drinks as they can worsen dehydration.
- Have a bottle of water at hand throughout the day so you can stay hydrated, even when you are on the go.
- Make a glass of water your last drink of the day (not too close to bedtime so that your sleep isn’t disturbed by the need to pee!).
Final thought for the day…
If you are going to all of this effort to hydrate your body and keep you and your baby fit and well, you want to be drinking the highest quality water available to you. What you don’t want to be doing is saturating your body with tap water that is full of chemicals, metals and other invisible ‘extras’. Nor do you want to be wasting vast amounts of money buying bottled water whose source can’t be guaranteed. The only way to feel assured that you are drinking the highest water possible is to filter it. Invest in a filter system once and feel the benefits forever!
# The source for much of the content of this blog was ‘Emma’s Diary’ (Approved by RCGP, Oct 2016), and you should check out this website yourself for more parenting advice and tips.
#Another blog I recommend is 'Family Fever' where you will find lots of hints and tips from birth stories to product reviews. Check it out today - http://myfamilyfever.co.uk
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