Sufficient hydration is a must for everybody to prevent several minor as well as major illnesses. But, during pregnancy, increased fluid intake is needed to support fetal circulation, amniotic fluid, and a higher blood volume. Also as caloric requirement increases from the second trimester, additional fluids intake is recommended. Prevention of dehydration is vital to ensure more comfortable gestation without gastric problems as well as other circulatory disorders.
Importance of water:
- Adequate water intake is necessary for optimal absorption of water-soluble vitamins, which include ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, riboflavin, B12(thiamine), and B6 (pyridoxine).
- Water provides shape and structure to cells
- It regulates body temperature
- Water transports nutrients and oxygen to cells
- It acts as a solvent for vitamins, minerals, glucose, and amino acids
- Water provides a foundation for chemical reactions; eliminates waste products; and is a major component of mucus and other lubricating fluid
Risks of dehydration during pregnancy
- Neural tube defects
- Low amniotic fluid
- Inadequate breast milk production
- Premature labour
The inadequate water supply to the fetus can manifest as birth defects in the baby
The current recommendation for water intake for pregnant women is 8–10 glasses (2-2.5L) each day. Easily recognizable sign of dehydration is a dark urine and dry mouth. Watch out carefully for these signs and take appropriate precaution to treat it.
Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.