We’ve all come across the all too familiar “water is life” phrase. Think about it for a moment. How many days can you go without water? The reality is that water is essential to keep the human body hydrated. It is also important for the normal functioning of the vital organs as well as keeping the blood cells healthy. Dehydration during pregnancy can have serious consequences. Some of these can be dizziness, nausea, headache, cramps, and edema.
Water is specifically important during the third trimester since dehydration can cause contractions which in turn might result in preterm labor. The color of the urine indicates if one is dehydrated or not. If the urine is concentrated it means one is dehydrated. It has been observed that women who drink water regularly during pregnancy have lesser complaints of morning sickness, of indigestion, and even heartburn and acidity.
One of the common complications during pregnancy is urinary tract infection (UTI). Drinking enough quantities of water keeps the urine diluted and hence drastically reduces the risk of infection. Adequate water intake also helps curb edema, constipation, hemorrhoids, and water retention. It is a fact that the greater the amount of water consumed during pregnancy the lesser the body tends to retain.
How much water is required is another question. It is important to drink 10 to 12 glasses of water every day. This amounts to about 3 liters a day. The intake should be increased in summers. An easy way to keep tabs of how much water you are taking in a day, is to fill up one liter bottles and try and drink them up by the end of a day. Though juices are also a source of fluid, they are a rich source of calories too. Besides, juices, tea, and coffee cannot be taken instead of water. These are both diuretics and instead of hydrating a person result in frequent urination. This frequent urination results in loss of water from the body.
A lot of variations can be made to drinking water to facilitate consumption. Some women might not be able to drink a lot of water. Such pregnant ladies can add a wedge of lime to water and let the concoction infuse for a while. Similarly, some mint or some juice can be added to get an added flavor. One can also add fresh coriander, ginger juice, or cardamom. To make up for the fluids in the body one can also take in non-caffeinated drinks like coconut water, buttermilk, milk shakes, fresh lime just to mention but a few.
The importance of water cannot be underestimated during pregnancy. You need to be hydrated as dehydration can spell doom for your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor on how much water you need to take in a given day and plan accordingly!