Water is also a necessary nutrient, considered a macro nutrient but doesn’t provide calories. Necessary for body temperature, sweat, joint lubrication, flush waste through urination and keep right bowel movements.
For the baby
Helps to form the placenta and amniotic sac
Dehydration can lead to headaches, nausea, cramps, dizziness, low blood pressure.
May lead to complications such as: neural tube defects, low amniotic fluid, insufficient breast milk production and premature labor
For Edema (swelling)
In hands, face, legs, ankles and feet especially at the end of the day.
There is water retention due to hormones (normal in pregnancy); the irony is that the more water you drink the less water your body retain
Why pregnant woman has swollen ankles and feet?
There is an increase venous pressure in the lower extremities (blood from the periphery towards the heart) due to compression of the vena cava and pelvic veins by the heavy uterus
Prevents infrequent bowel movements, therefore decreases straining reducing risk of hemorrhoids
For urinary tract infections
Flushes bacteria from urinary tract preventing infection.
For morning sickness, acidity, heartburns
Plain water may be abrasive to the system. Sometimes is good to add a little honey to water to avoid indigestion.
How much water do you need to drink?
It is recommended at least 2 quarts (64oz or 8cups of 8oz each) of water daily. This may be enough to replace what you lose daily through urination, sweating, and exhaling.
If you are breastfeeding you need to drink an extra quart (32oz).
Note: try to drink water until urine is clear.
Formula to know how much water to drink
Weight in pounds divided by 16 (denominator) = number of cups of water you need to take during the day.
Woman weights 150Lb.
150/16 = 9 cups of water
Remember: this is a really close approximation of water intake you need
Must consider the need of extra water:
Physical activity, what kind of exercise are you doing?
Note: Do not exercise if you refuse to eat an appropriate amount of food or drink enough water to sustain her and the baby.
Weather, is it hot or is it cold?
Are you sick, with fever, diarrhea or vomiting?
Water contributes to the cooling process of the body.
Is the source of water important?
Tap water, bottled water, water filters
Chlorine in tap water:
Levels ≤ 5 ig/L : no adverse effects
Levels ≥ 20 ig/L : 50 to 100% correlation to cleft palate, ventricular septal defects, and anencephalus.
Recommendation: consider bottled water or a filtering unit that removes chlorination.