Bottoms Up – Quenching Pregnancy’s Thirst
While navigating the sea of pregnancy, a woman often feels like she might float away on the volume of fluids that seems to pass through her body like a tidal wave. During pregnancy fluids are more important than ever in maintaining healthy body functions. The blood volume and body fluids will increase by nearly half during pregnancy, which adds up to a whopping 7 pounds of extra fluids during a normal pregnancy weight gain of 25 – 35 pounds. An adequate fluid intake helps maintain skin integrity and regulate body temperature. Poor fluid intake may increase the chance of constipation, bladder infections and even preterm labor. At least 8 cups of fluids should pass the lips during each day of pregnancy. During the hot and humid months of summer, even more fluids may be required to meet the body’s needs.
Usually pregnancy’s thirst for fluids cries out and a women is compelled to give her body what it hungrily demands by pouring glasses of water, milk and juice down her throat. But during morning sickness, those 8 cups of fluids may seem as impossible to get down as a big, greasy breakfast. Yet even during the first few months of pregnancy, fluid intake is of the utmost priority. While experiencing nausea, try taking beverages between meals, not with them. Sip on beverages served over ice, like diluted fruit juices, herbal ice teas, ginger ale, seltzer water and sports drinks. Some women find relief by sucking on ice, licking Popsicles and snow cones, or slurping slushies. Gelatins, sherbet, soups, broths, Popsicles and snow cones are all excellent sources of fluid.
The use of caffeine during pregnancy has sparked much debate. Caffeine does cross the placenta and has been found in amniotic fluid. Excessive use of caffeine during pregnancy has been associated with intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight, early loss and spontaneous abortion. It seems wise to limit caffeine intake via sodas, coffee or tea to less than 300 mg per day during pregnancy.
Just because your hands and feet start swelling and you have to run to the bathroom every 30 minutes to urinate does not mean it’s time to cut back on fluid intake. Your body still needs those 8 glasses per day. But try to make the fluids count by avoiding sugary, vacuous drinks and stocking up on nutritious beverages. Rely on 100% fruit drinks, milk, vegetable juices or just plain water to quench your body’s thirst. So drink to your health (and your baby’s) by raising your glass of water.
Honey Mint Lemonade
2 c. water
1/3 c. honey
4 sprigs fresh mint leaves
1 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 lemon, quartered
Ice as needed
Bring water and honey to slow boil and remove from heat. Drop in fresh mint leaves and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Pour mixture through a strainer and discard mint leaves. Stir in lemon juice and chill. Fill 4 large tumblers with ice and a lemon quarter. Fill glass with lemonade mixture and serve.
Yield: 4 servings, approximately 3/4 cup lemonade each.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Protein: 0 g
Carbohydrate: 29 g
Fat: 0 g
Sodium: 2 mg
Fiber: .3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Exchanges per Serving: 2 fruit servings
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