It’s amazing how one little word can change your life in so many ways.
While proper hydration is essential for any human being, I’ve found that it’s especially impactful on my wellbeing during pregnancy. This should come as no surprise to most people. I’m relatively certain that “drink lots of water” is the number one recommendation given to every pregnant woman out there.
I do think, however, that there’s a more comprehensive way to follow that recommendation beyond just “drinking a lot of water”.
Adequate hydration is essentially an issue of electrolyte and mineral balance in our blood. Drinking water is important, but only focusing on water intake can also be problematic because water alone will not properly hydrate our cells.
We can also help ourselves hydrate by eating the right kinds of foods. There’s a great deal of water (and minerals) in fruits and vegetables. I know that when I’m incorporating more of those kinds of foods in my day, I’m not as thirsty and I feel more hydrated.
Physical symptoms of adequate hydration
- less cramping
- better, easier bowel movements
- brighter, fresher looking skin
- no dry or “sore” eyes.
- no headaches
- more energy
- less cravings (carbohydrates help us retain water which is why we will sometimes search out food when our body is really looking for hydration)
“I pee all the time! Doesn’t that mean I’m hydrated?”
First of all, if you are pregnant, there are many forces at work that are making you have to pee more. Only one of them may be water consumption. The growing uterus is pressing on the bladder and later in pregnancy, the baby is pressing on the bladder. Additionally, there’s a cascade of hormones that are also affecting every system in our bodies.
Secondly, peeing may just mean that you’re drinking TOO MUCH water and you’re not actually hydrated. The list above should provide a framework of other ways to tell if you’re hydrated besides how often you’re in the bathroom.
Tips for Proper Hydration
- Eat lots of colorful fruits and veggies.
- Try drinking electrolyte-infused, mineral, or coconut water.
- Try drinking bone broth or make more soups! Bone Broth is incredibly hydrating and full of minerals and nutrients for your baby and you! It’s a great boost for bones, skin, hair, nails, joints, and the digestive system.
- Avoid too many caffeinated, alcoholic, or carbonated drinks. ( I feel like I have a hangover if I drink too many La Croix’s the day before, any one else?!)
- Make sure you are salting your food with sea salt or other naturally formed salts. Salt is important for pregnant chicks!
- If frequent nighttime urination is keeping you from drinking liquids, try enjoying most of your beverages before 2 pm and then slowly taper off as you get closer to the evening.