Keep Up Fluids
and lactation you'll need to drink 8-12 eight ounce glasses of liquids
every day. Water
is essential to life providing a route of transmission for nutrients
and cells, balancing acids, holding salts, and cushioning the body's
cells and organs. Water contributes 55-65% of the adult body weight.
During pregnancy and lactation, your body's water compartments grow
substantially. The fetus also requires a rich fluid supply to grow,
develop and live comfortably in its prenatal environment.
can very substantially from person-to-person and environment-to-environment.
Pregnancy and lactation, exercise, hot environmental temperatures,
dry climates and high fiber diets all increase needs. Inadequate
water consumption can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, and decreased
mental alertness in pregnant women. To the fetus it can mean inadequate
nutrient transport, poor waste product removal, an excessively warm
maternal environment and insufficient fluid in its amniotic sac.
All these effects of dehydration jeopardize fetal growth and development,
and in some women can bring about preterm labor and delivery.
National food surveys indicate that many of us are walking around
in a mild state of dehydration most of the time. Even a mild degree
of dehydration can cause physical symptoms. These include sluggishness,
fatigue, headache, dry lips, mouth and skin, constipation, nausea,
dark-colored urine or infrequent urination. More severe dehydration
brings on dizziness, skin that's flushed and clammy, dry lips and
tongue and elevated temperature. People naturally think of dehydration
during the summer months, when it's warm and we tend to sweat a
lot. It's true that water needs pick up during the heat. But there's
another time adequate hydration is of added concern. That's winter,
when we're stuck indoors in dry, overheated homes and office buildings.
Summer and winter are both peak times for higher consciousness about
To Drink More Water
into the habit of drinking more water, in addition to your
usual beverages. Drink a glass when you wake up, one at
each meal, and one before bedtime. Don't drink too much
too close to bed because you may need to use the bathroom
while you're asleep.
you are at home during the day, fill a container each morning
with your water for the day. Use it to drink, make juice
or decaffeinated tea. When your container is empty, you
have met your goal for the day.
aware of how much fluid your glasses, water bottle or mugs
hold. Use larger sizes, such as 10 or 12 ounce glasses,
so you can drink more at each sitting.
you work at a desk, keep a water pitcher or gallon jug nearby.
Drink often! Or get up frequently to fill your glass from
the water cooler down the hall. It will give you a chance
to stretch your legs and keep you hydrated, too.
at work, drink one glass of water every hour on the hour.
When the work day is done, your water quota is met.
people have luck by keeping single serving-sized bottled
water in their desk or car. Drink two full glasses at each
meal, one before and one after.
dining out, down a glass of water before you leave for the
restaurant. Ask the waitstaff for water all around if the
restaurant doesn't routinely serve water to its guests.
a glass of water when you have a junk food craving. You'll
feel full quickly, avoid empty calories and buy time until
the immediate craving passes. Then decide if you need a
healthy bit of food.
a small, refillable water bottle with you and drink during
downtime: in the car, on the commuter train, or waiting
and milk can help you meet your fluid needs. Be wary of using soda
pop to meet your fluid needs as they are often low in nutrients,
high in calories, and may contain caffeine that may affect fetal
growth and development.