04 Apr Importance of water intake in pregnancy (and why you should care!)
Firstly, look in the mirror!
Do yourself a favour, look in the mirror and admire that beautiful, amazing creature that you are!
The human body such an amazing creation. It can heal itself and can do even more with the right nutrition. In general, we’d need 2 litres of water a day on top of any other drinks. We are about 60% water and our blood is made of 90% water.
What does water do?
Water lubricates our joints, forms mucus and saliva, helps deliver oxygen throughout our body, helps to hydrate our brain, spinal cord and maintains blood pressure. It’s crucial for the digestive system, waste removal, purifying, kidneys, and liver. All of our organs need water to function.
For men, their intake of water should be 3 litres a day and for women 2.2 litres a day which should increase with 300-500 ml during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The small intestine absorbs 85%–90% of water intake (Wardlaw, 2000). Most of the remaining water is absorbed in the large intestine. Adequate water intake is necessary for optimal absorption of water-soluble vitamins, which include ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, riboflavin, B12(thiamine), and B6 (pyridoxine).
Why do I need more in pregnancy?
The moment you conceive your body is changes rapidly, organs will move around and another life inside of you will use the nutrition you give him/her to grow into a complete person. Not only will your blood volume increase to accommodate baby but also other things, this all requires you might guess it: HYDRATION also known as WATER INTAKE.Most of us are chronically dehydrated, yes you read that right. According to several studies out there only 15% drinks enough water in a day. They actually say the moment you feel thirsty or have the feeling ah I need a drink, you are already dehydrated ( writing while taking a big gulp of water). Causing dry mouth, dry lips, loss of focus, fatigue, headaches, cramps etc, all of the things you want to avoid.
Your water intake should also match your outgoing, example if you are going on holiday you will excrete more fluid than in a colder climate thus you would need to drink more water.
In pregnancy it is very important to drink sufficient water throughout the day, this in order to support fetal circulation, amniotic fluid, and blood volume. Constipation, a common complaint of pregnancy, decreased movement of our bowels and iron supplementation may contribute to this problem. Increased fluid intake can help to alleviate constipation. A good fluid supply also makes sure that you have enough reserves to tolerate blood loss during delivery.
When not drinking enough water it can lead to:
- maternal overheating, which means your body may find it difficult to regulate heat. Overheating may cause neural tube defects in babies.
- Lack of water in the body may lead to decreased levels of amniotic fluid that protects and helps your baby to grow.
- Insufficient water intake later in pregnancy may lead to premature labour.
- You may feel dizzy, which is a common cause of dehydration.
- You may get severe or bad headaches because of dehydration.
- It affects the breast milk supply post pregnancy.
The best water to drink is water high in PH value anything about 7.5 ph is great!
What is Amniotic Fluid
The famous bag of water but what is it really?
Amniotic Fluid, a complex fluid that changes during pregnancy. It contains nutrients and growth factors that facilitate the growth of your baby and produce mechanical cushioning and antimicrobial properties that protect her/him. The amniotic fluid (AF) is an invaluable source of organ-specific progenitor cells and stem cells. Not only the amniotic fluid contains stem cells but also the amniotic sac, stem cells obtained from either or can develop into various tissue types including skin, cartilage, cardiac tissue, nerves, muscle, and bone. Stem cells can also be harvested from the umbilical cord (see 6).
In early pregnancy formed by your blood plasma which during the second-trimester increases by baby swallowing and urinating the fluid by 28 weeks the total volume is about 800 ml which by 42 weeks decreases to 400 ml.
In the second half of your pregnancy, the main sources of amniotic fluid come from your baby’s kidneys and lungs. The primary sources for removal of fluid are from him/her swallowing and absorption into fetal blood through the surface of your placenta.
Fasting during Ramadan had no effect on the amount of amniotic fluid throughout pregnancy in pregnant women who were attentive to have regular Sahur and Iftar meals and sufficient fluid intake.
Decreased amniotic fluid volumes estimated clinically by sonography have been associated with adverse perinatal outcomes.