Today is September 9th. If you believe birth statistics, we are right in the middle of the most common months for giving birth.
And if you believe the weather reports, the risk of dehydration during pregnancy this time of year continues to creep up, as heat waves continue to lumber across the map.
What inspired me to write today’s post is that my wife and I are expecting our first son in November. You can see how cute he is in the picture above.
As we look forward to the big day, we are both becoming more conscious of the risks of dehydration during pregnancy. We are also becoming more aware of the need for the cleanest possible drinking water. Dehydration during pregnancy has links to everything from preterm labor to preeclampsia, while water chock full of chlorine (whether from the faucet or the shower) may have a negative effect on some growing babies, per BabyZone.
The facts are that during pregnancy, women need more water than usual to make more blood, filter more blood and make amniotic fluid. And those dehydration side effects that exist for many of us as mere annoyances – think headaches, trouble sleeping, nausea or moodiness – are amplified to the extreme during the later stages of pregnancy.
I’ll tell you this right now – I am not telling my wife how much water to drink – and I am not forcing water down her throat all through the day.
The key to staying properly hydrated is to drink water throughout the day, rather than to swallow water by the chugful. Think of pregnancy as nine months worth of exercise. And chugging water before any exercise can actually result in a higher risk of dehydration, as fluids will pass through quickly – in addition to leaving a bloating feeling. During pregnancy, both scenarios can be dangerous.
For those with a pregnant loved one, I would recommend to simply be ready at all times with clean drinking water that helps measure intake, making it easier to adhere to the 8×8 rule (ie eight, eight ounce glasses of clean drinking water). Above, is a Brita Filter complete with a 16 ounce Nalgene bottle.
Three fills of the Nalgene bottle throughout the day, ideally with water poured from the Brita pitcher, would help get you closer to that magic number 64. And filling a bottle of water on the way out the door in the morning is a far softer approach than handing a tall glass of water with the instructions ‘chug, chug, chug.’
Dehydration risk aside, pregnancy will result in an immune system that is weaker than usual. Drinking unsafe water could lead to all sorts of infection, which – worst case scenario – could hurt the baby.
Fortunately, many water bottles, including the Blue Brita Water Bottle to the left, are also ideal for ensuring the purity of the water.
And finally, a good shower filter can ensure that the impact higher levels of chlorine can have on the inside and outside of your body can be minimized with a good shower filter, like the one to the left.
What I have learned about pregnancy the last several months is this: the dangers most of us face every day – from dehydration to contaminated drinking water – are amplified to the extreme for nine months. Control slowly slips away as the baby grows – disrupting routines and causing distractions.
If you are reading this as a pregnant woman, everything I am saying is completely obvious. If you are reading this as a man or partner, you are not allowed to tell your wife or significant other that she is not drinking enough water. Simply avoid the risk of dehydration during pregnancy by providing support and comfort the last few weeks. Sometimes, it’s as simple as ensuring the water bottle stays filled, the water pitcher stays in the fridge and the shower filter is properly installed.
If you have any additional tips or insight regarding how to avoid dehydration during pregnancy, it would certainly help me out greatly! I encourage you to share below.
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