As a pregnant mom, it’s important to stay hydrated — not just for you, but also for your baby-to-be.
First and foremost, water transports nutrients to you and your baby. Water facilitates the absorption of essential nutrients into the cells and transports vitamins, trace elements, minerals, and hormones to the blood cells, and it’s those nutrient-rich blood cells that reach the placenta and ultimately your baby… all thanks to WATER!
Water also aids in waste removal. As gross as it sounds, when we’re pregnant, we’re excreting for two. Water dissolves the waste products and helps flush them from the kidneys. Adequate water intake also helps to move solid wastes more speedily down the digestive path, which is great to help with that usual pregnancy constipation.
>> Read more: Blocked Up? 8 Surprising Constipation Causes
Another amazing benefit of water is that water keeps UTIs away. Staying hydrated keeps your urine nice and diluted, which not only keeps things flowing, but keeps UTI’s at bay (urine that hangs out too long in your bladder can become a breeding ground for infection-triggering bacteria).
And last but not least, water prevents bloating. All pregnant mamas will experience bloating in some form or another due to a normal and necessary increase in body fluids… but the more water you drink the better if you want to ward off that puffy look.
Many people think that drinking lots of water results in lots of water weight, when in fact the opposite is actually true. Drinking plenty of liquids can keep excessive water retention under control!
When it comes to how much water you should be drinking, that’s something to talk with your doctor about. Most health care professionals recommend a minimum of half your body weight in ounces.
If that sounds like a lot and you’re struggling to stay hydrated, consider making water fun, like finding sparkling or flavored waters, decaffeinated teas, or even clear soups. Limit your intake of soda (sugar-full or sugar-free), as well as of beverages containing caffeine, since they have a diuretic effect.
Also, make sure to space out your sips. Ideally, you want to keep the fluids coming steadily throughout the day rather than gulping a bunch all at once. Not only can too many fluids taken at once literally flood your system, but it also causes extra bloating (and let’s face it, we’re bloated enough as is, right mamas?) so be sure to space your water throughout the day. For example: tapering off at night before bed to avoid extra potty trips.
Kate Horney is a wife, mom (of two cute little boys) and fitness professional who teaches women how to live healthy, happy and balanced lives with real-life training, nutrition and hormone tips for busy moms. Follow Kate on social media at @beyondfitmom and on her website, BeyondFitMom.com.