Importance of hydration during and after your pregnancy
It’s no secret that water is essential for life, but why? All biochemical reactions occur in water. It is required for digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients, elimination of waste and regulating our temperature (Kleiner 1999). It can promote healthy skin and hair and prevent constipation and headaches. On top of this adequate water can help prevent kidney stones (Borghi et al 1996), urinary tract and colon cancers (Bitterman et al 1991, Shannon et al 1996) as well as enhance general muscular performance.
In pregnancy body fluid increases by about 1L or 10% including blood volume, amniotic fluid as well as fluid for your precious cargo. The NHMRC recommends that pregnant women consume 3L of fluid from food and drinks per day. They have said that around 700mL will come from solid foods so that leaves us with a goal of 2.3L of fluid per day which can include milk and juices. Occupation, climate, altitude, exercise participation all contribute to how much water is required so be sure to adjust for these depending on what you do and where you are in the world.
Labour is aptly named that for a reason, its hard work. If you are planning a vaginal birth don’t forget to pack your water bottle! The NHMRC states that dehydration of as little as 2% results in impaired physiological performance. According to Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Robert Buist, dehydration in prolonged labour can lessen the frequency and strength of contractions and fetal heart abnormalities can be seen. By simply hydrating the mother through IV fluids the fetal heart rate pattern improves.
Breastfeeding women require 300mL more fluid than when pregnant according to the NHMRC so that’s about 3L from fluids alone.
The plastic debate
There is some research to suggest drinking out of plastic can be harmful while drinking from glass is preferred so that’s why we love Wilfred Eco bottles. With the slimline glass bottle and silicone sleeve to prevent bumps or crazy toddler hands, bamboo lids and a range of great colours why wouldn’t you grab a bottle. Doctor’s orders!
Australian Government Department of Health and Aging National Health and Medical Research Council, 2006, Nutrient reference values for Australia New Zealand, V1.2, pp. 45-48
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Borghi L, Meschi T, Amato F, Briganti A, Novarini A, Gianninin A. Urinary volume, water and recurrences in idiopathic calcium nephrolithiasis: a five year randomised prospective trial. Urology 1996;13:33–8.
Gibbons S, 2019, Exposure to extreme heat plastic bottles may ultimately become unsafe, National geographic, viewd 10 July 2020,
Kleiner SM. Water: An essential but overlooked nutrient. J Amer Diet Assoc 1999;99:200–6.
Medibank, 2016, Staying Hydrated in Pregnancy, viewed 10 July 2020, https://www.medibank.com.au/livebetter/families/pregnancy/staying-hydrated-during-pregnancy/