You know the drill; when it comes to optimum health, hydration is key.
Nothing changes when you are pregnant. In fact, proper hydration is crucial during pregnancy to support the health and well-being of both you and your developing baby. While the exact water intake will vary depending on individual factors, there are some general guidelines and steps you can take to ensure you remain hydrated and healthy during pregnancy.
Pregnant women require more fluids to support the expansion of blood volume, amniotic fluid, and other physiological changes. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the consumption amounts of water required, but certain health bodies will recommend a total daily water intake, including all fluids and water-rich foods, of about 3.0 litres (approximately 12 cups) for pregnant women.
Be sure to pay attention to your body's signals of thirst, as this is a natural mechanism that indicates your need for fluids. It's important to drink water whenever you feel thirsty, even if it doesn't meet a specific numerical recommendation. If you are struggling with morning sickness, staying hydrated becomes increasingly important, especially when you consider the fluids and nutrients being expelled from your body when you are sick. Dehydration is one of the most serious consequences of morning sickness, but because some women find that drinking large quantities of water can worsen their nausea, it’s important to sip slowly rather than guzzle large quantities of water in one sitting.
It's also crucial to be aware of signs of dehydration during pregnancy. These can include dark-coloured urine, infrequent urination, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, or headaches. If you experience any of these symptoms, increase your fluid intake and consult with your healthcare provider.
While water should be the primary source of hydration, other fluids like milk, herbal teas, and 100% fruit juices can contribute to your overall fluid intake. Consider sipping on herbal teas like peppermint or ginger for a soothing effect on your body and mind that promote health while also aiding relaxation.
While you should feel free to mix up your drinks to aid your hydration, it’s important to limit or avoid beverages that are high in added sugars or caffeine. Caffeine should be consumed in moderation, as it can have diuretic effects and may affect foetal development. If you are a keen coffee drinker, opt for non-caffeinated alternatives to your favourite drinks to promote your pregnancy health.
Proper hydration is a cornerstone of any healthy lifestyle, so it’s no surprise that effective hydration is important during pregnancy as well. Staying hydrated throughout the course of your pregnancy offers a myriad of benefits for both you and your growing baby.
First things first, your overall health is and always will be important. Water is needed for various physiological processes, including digestion, circulation, nutrient transport, and temperature regulation, so getting the required 2-3 litres daily will help to ensure your body is ticking over and functioning as it should be. Drinking adequate amounts of H2o also helps to flush out toxins and waste products from the body, keeping you and your baby healthy. More specifically, ensuring that you are chugging on your daily requirements of water will help you to avoid several pregnancy-related complications.
When you are pregnant, hormonal changes and the pressure exerted on the bladder by the growing uterus make you more susceptible to developing UTIs. Staying hydrated will help your body to flush out bacteria from the urinary tract, subsequently reducing the risk of UTIs.
Unfortunately, you may also notice that during pregnancy your digestive functions slow down. Drinking water, herbal teas and non-caffeinated hot drinks will help soften stools and promote regular bowel movements, reducing the discomfort and potential complications associated with constipation.
While drinking enough water can evidently have a soothing effect on your body, it’s important to recognise the benefits for your baby too. Your baby’s growth and development rely on the water you are drinking. This is because water plays a crucial role in transporting nutrients by carrying essential vitamins, minerals, and oxygen through the placenta.
Morning sickness is a common concern and symptom of pregnancy and the benefits of staying hydrated if you are suffering with pregnancy-related nausea are well-known. If you are being sick frequently, you are at risk of suffering from dehydration, which can carry with it serious complications for your health and pregnancy. It can lead to complications such as low amniotic fluid levels, inadequate blood volume and electrolyte imbalances.
Severe dehydration may require medical intervention and hospitalisation, so if you think you are suffering from any symptoms of dehydration (muscle cramps, dark urine and dizziness, amongst others) you should seek urgent medical attention.
Pregnancy is a rewarding but at times challenging process, so staying adequately hydrated is a simple yet effective way to support a healthy, comfortable pregnancy.
When your new baby is here, your whole world becomes about them and their needs, but to look after them in the best way possible, you must first take care of yourself!
Hydration is essential while breastfeeding to support milk production and maintain your overall health and wellness. But how much water is needed, and how can you ensure you are practising optimum hydration to support both your own and your baby’s health?
When it comes to water consumption, thirst is a reliable indicator of your body's need for fluids, so you should ensure you drink water whenever you feel thirsty. However, keep in mind that thirst may not always be the best indicator, especially if you're busy caring for your baby or distracted by other tasks. Therefore, it's important to be proactive in staying hydrated and make it part of your daily routine. As a rule of thumb, most breastfeeding women should aim to consume around 8 to 12 cups, or 3-4 litres, of fluids per day.
This isn’t just limited to water though, and if you’re bored of plain old H2o, consider sipping on herbal teas, fruit juices and non-caffeinated drinks.
If you are looking for a soothing and nourishing drink to enjoy while you are breastfeeding, you may also be keen to try our soothing milk flow tea. Carefully created with a high-quality blend of natural ingredients, our tea will support you on your breastfeeding journey. Fenugreek seeds can help increase breast milk supply, when a woman is breastfeeding, her milk supply sometimes might decrease due to stress, fatigue, or a variety of other factors. Nettle leaves will improve both the quality and quantity of your milk supply.
It's important to spread your fluid intake throughout the day rather than drinking large amounts all at once. If you find it hard to keep up with your daily requirements of fluids, consider keeping a ‘drinking journal’ or a bottle that measures your intake to help you stay on top of your beverage consumption.
You may also want to get in the routine of checking your urine to assess your hydration status. Pale yellow urine suggests adequate hydration, while darker urine may indicate the need for more fluids. Remember that maintaining proper hydration is crucial for both you and your baby. Drinking enough water supports milk production, helps prevent dehydration, and promotes overall well-being, so be sure not to neglect this aspect of your breastfeeding health and wellness routine.