By: Gloria Miles
The hot, muggy days of summer are here. While hydration is very important to anyone, it's especially important during pregnancy! Good hydration can keep individuals healthy and happy.
During pregnancy, blood volume expands to about twice its normal volume. Water is a crucial part of this equation. Dehydration can cause a whole host of problems during pregnancy.
Dehydration can lead to:
- Increase in blood pressure
- Increase in heart rate
- Braxton Hicks contractions
- Increased risk of UTI
- Increased risk of preterm labor
The benefits of hydrating well
Adequate fluid consumption helps:
- Keeps the heart rate at a normal level
- Can help with Braxton Hicks contractions
- Decreases the risks of certain infections
- Can help with amniotic fluid levels
- Can help with edema
I understand that I need hydrate, but I can't really stand the taste of water!
Some people have no problems drinking water, but others may struggle to get the appropriate amount of glasses down. There are many ways to help with this. Sometimes it's as simple as making the water very cold or adding ice. But for some, the taste (or lack of taste) really bothers them.
Tips to Increase Water Intake
- Add some fruit or veggies! Add some lime or lemon juice, dilute a little bit of juice to add a splash of flavor, or stick some cucumber wedges into a pitcher of cold water.
- Use sparkling water to satisfy a carbonation craving without dealing with all the sugar of sodas. Add a splash of fruit juice if you need a little extra flavor.
- Eat your veggies and fruit! Watery fruits and vegetables also count towards the day's water consumption. Cucumbers, watermelon, oranges, celery, and grapes all have a lot of water content.
Note: Careful with fruit consumption if you have gestational diabetes or other complications that warrant counting sugars. Always follow provider recommendations.
- Carry a water bottle around with you. Sometimes access is the best way to increase your consumption.
- In a similar vein, leave water bottles around your home so that whatever room you're in, there's always some water available.
I can't keep water down!
If you are someone who has a hard time keeping anything down, including water, please seek medical attention. Similarly, if you have any signs of sever dehydration like dark yellow urine, very little urine output, signs of an infection, or any other concerning symptoms, please call your provider or seek medical attention. Some women can suffer from conditions like hyperemesis which severely limits the amount of things, including fluids, that they can keep down. This is much different than normal morning sickness and needs the oversight of a medical professional.
What are your best tips and tricks?
And now it's your turn: What are your best tips and tricks for upping water consumption? For myself, I love icy cold water. I tend to drink that a lot more consistently than room temperature water. I also really love watermelon and cucumbers, which I feel helps me hydrate as well. During my winter pregnancies, I added soup to my list of ways to get water, but I shy away from this during summer months.
Comment below with what helped you during pregnancy or just any other time in life!