96 Ounces of Water a Day -- Help's Keep the Contractions, Bleeding, and BP Issues at Bay...
Posted Jun 29 2009 6:10pm
When I was pregnant with my son in 2000 I experienced all kinds of issues regarding bleeding, premature contractions, and blood pressure.
Every time I found myself in L & D I heard the same thing: "How much water are you drinking?" And I would mumble: "Not nearly enough"
Shortly thereafter I was assigned to a special group through our HMO that did nothing but contact their high risk patients every other day and talk to them about water intake. Once I got on board and began drinking my 96 ounces of water a day all of the above stopped.
Amazing what one simple act can do for a pregnancy. I learned so much about why water in important - and here's my public service announcement about water and pregnancy and why it's important.
While it is always a good idea to keep the body hydrated, there are certain times when changes in the body call for more water. One of these times isduring pregnancy. Water can be the answer to alleviating many side effects of pregnancy, aid in preparing the body for these physiological changes, and just overall make mommy and baby healthier.
Water is a vital part of pregnancy. The fluid acts as the body's transportation system, and carries nutrients through the blood to the baby. Also, flushing out the system and diluting urine with water prevents urinarytract infections, which are common in pregnancy.
Perhaps the biggest reason to drink water however is to keep the body hydrated. Dehydration in pregnant women can be very serious. Hormones (gotta love those hormones!) change the way women store water during pregnancy, so they begin to retain water, and drinking plenty of water combats that. Much of that water is used in the amniotic sack. Amniotic fluid alone needs to replenish itself every hour by using roughly a cup of water stored in the body. Replacing that water will insure the fetus is protected within the womb.
Since the blood volume increases to nearly double by the eighth month of pregnancy, it is necessary to drink even more water to compensate. Thicker blood can lead to hypertension and other cardiovascular problems.
Because dehydration can cause contractions, lack of water in the third trimester can also cause premature labor. Premature labor can have many health risks to the newborn baby. However, some cases of premature labor have been stopped just by giving the mother enough water to re-hydrate her body.
Pregnant women should be sure to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, which is in addition to the normal in take of other recommended foods. The benefits of drinking water during pregnancy include healthier skin, less acne, washing away of unnecessary sodium, less chance for pre-term labor or miscarriage and better bowel movements.
Drinking water can, believe it or not, also help prevent that nausea known as morning sickness, as doctors recommend drinking plenty of fluid between meals. Drinking water for health benefits of the mother and baby are evident. Doctors in fact ask mothers to steer clear of diuretics like caffeine and alcohol, so water is the obvious alternative for fluid intake. Also, since doctors often 'prescribe' exercise in pregnant women, fluids will be lost through perspiration. As we know, pregnant or not, those fluids also need to be replaced.