The phrase ‘eating for two’ is one that is universally acknowledged when it comes to pregnancy – but what about ‘drinking for two’?
More often than not, expectant parents will find themselves thirstier than ever, as they have to keep themselves healthy and hydrated for two people, rather than one. Due to this, it is easier to become dehydrated during pregnancy – especially in the summertime.
With this in mind, the team at Your Baby Club have explained precisely why pregnant people are so much thirstier, how to spot signs of dehydration, and how to increase your fluid intake – especially if you are somebody who is not particularly fond of water.
Why is it so important to stay hydrated during pregnancy?
First of all, you may be losing a lot of water if you are suffering from morning sickness – which could lead to you becoming dehydrated. Due to this, it is important to make sure you are consuming enough fluids to counteract the ones lost through vomiting.
Pregnancy can also cause people to sweat more, meaning you lose crucial fluids throughout the day. Furthermore, not drinking enough water during pregnancy can lead to constipation and extreme tiredness, as your body is working to build new tissue, create fluid for the amniotic sac and extra blood, as well as flushing out debris and toxins.
Drinking enough water is one of the most important aspects of pregnancy, as it ensures that all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals you are consuming is transported to your growing baby. Because of this, experts recommend consuming 6 to 8 200ml cups of water per day.
How do you know if you have become dehydrated?
It sounds obvious, but one of the main ways to tell if you are dehydrated is to acknowledge whether you are thirsty or not. As pregnant people are thirstier than usual anyway, this can be difficult, so it is always best to have a glass or bottle of water to hand.
Another way to spot whether you are dehydrated is to see what color your urine is – the lighter the color, the more hydrated you are. So, if your urine is dark and has a strong or unpleasant smell, it is more than likely that you have not consumed enough water.
You may also begin to feel a headache coming on, as well as noticing that you have a dryer mouth than usual. As well as this, you may notice that you are urinating less. Pregnant people have to relieve themselves often, due to being thirstier than normal and also because of pressure on the bladder. However, if this slows down, it is definitely a sign that you have not drunk enough fluids.
What steps can I take to consume more fluids and prevent dehydration?
- Invest in a 1L water bottle
Constantly filling up glasses of water can become tiring and tedious very quickly, especially if you are heavily pregnant and have swollen ankles and feet. Due to this, it may be easier to invest in a large water bottle that can hold up to 1L of fluid. This way, not only will you know exactly how much water you have consumed, but you will only have to refill the bottle once it is empty. They can be purchased from almost anywhere, and for a very reasonable price.
- Add some flavor
There is nothing wrong with spicing up your water (literally) if you begin to find the plain taste a little boring. Lots of juices and flavored waters do not add any extra sugar, and include only natural fruit sugars, meaning these additions would not be as harsh on your teeth. You can even get miniature juice bottles to take on the go with you, to top up your water as and when you please.
- Try eating it
This may sound strange, but different types of fruit and veg can contain very high levels of water. Vegetables like cucumber and lettuce are very rich in water, making them great to snack on if you get a little sick of constantly consuming fluids. The clue is in the name when it comes to watermelons, which are also packed with high levels of water. If you are on the go, you could cut up some of these fruits and vegetables to put into a container to bring with you.
- Alternate your drinks
You do not just have to stick to water or squash – if you feel like changing things up, why not experiment with some herbal teas? They come in all kinds of different flavors, such as mint, raspberry, chamomile and more, and can be a great addition to any relaxing evening routine. Even soup counts as water intake, so it could be worth stocking up on some nutritious broths to have as lunches and snacks.
- Keep a cup in the bathroom
Once again, this may sound slightly odd, but could lead to a healthy cycle. If you are urinating a lot, you will obviously be going to the bathroom more, so it could be beneficial to drink a cup (or even half of one) of water each time you go. This way, each time you release the water from your bladder, you are topping it up again straight away. As you are going to be in the bathroom so often during pregnancy, you may as well make it worthwhile!