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How much water should a pregnant woman drink?

6 tips that will help you stay hydrated all pregnancy long

water_pregnant

It is incredibly easy to get dehydrated during pregnancy—no matter what time of year you are pregnant.

Not drinking enough water during pregnancy can lead to headaches, fatigue, urinary tract infections and even premature contractions.

In the summer, we tend to think about drinking water more often. But during the winter, our bodies have to adapt to the colder temperatures and drier air conditions. That's right, winter actually carries out low humidity, which means that you are more inclined to dry skin, dehydration, scratchy throat and sinus problems—all woes that you want to avoid during pregnancy.

Throughout pregnancy, it's important that your internal body temperature remains normal—yup, drinking enough water during pregnancy will help with this too.

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How much water should a pregnant woman drink?

Pregnant women should drink 10 eight ounce glasses of water every day. Carry a water bottle with you and sip slowly throughout the day.

Here are six tips to help ensure that you are staying hydrated during your pregnancy:

1. Drink water (all the time)

As mentioned, dehydration can cause problems ranging from lightheadedness to preterm labor. So purchase a reusable water bottle and keep it close by. You are supposed to drink approximately 10 cups (over 2 liters) a day. Drink even more if you are adding exercise or travel to the mix. And if you get tired of water, enjoy some tea, preferably decaffeinated.

2. Start your day with fruits

Since you have to stay extra hydrated during pregnancy, you'll have to ingest a lot of water. So you may get sick of it from time to time. Mix it up a bit and load up on water-rich fruits such as watermelon, pomegranate and pineapple. It's a good way to stay hydrated and eat well.

3. Consider salt

Yes, you read that correctly! When you ingest salt, your brain tells the kidneys to hold on to water. You need salt to bring in fluid from the intestine to the bloodstream. Foods such as saltine crackers (especially if you're in the early months of pregnancy) and low-sodium chicken noodle soup can help retain water (versus losing it in urine) in your body as necessary.

Certainly, we don't want to overdo the salt during pregnancy. The recommended daily sodium intake for adults is 2,300 mg or less. Talk to your provider about what your specific guidelines should be.

4. Incorporate soups

Soups are one of the best way to incorporate fiber-rich vegetables, carbohydrates and protein into your diet all at once. Since the base of most soups contain water, this is also an excellent way to stay hydrated. As mentioned, chicken noodle soup could give you the right amount of sodium to keep water in your system.

Psst: Check out our six favorite crockpot soup recipes!

5. Avoid caffeine

Coffee is a diuretic, which means you'll lose fluids faster, so if you can, avoid drinking coffee. But if you can't imagine skimping on that cup of joe, be sure to make up for it with at least two 8-ounce glasses of water so that you're replenishing your body adequately. Switching to pregnancy-friendly herbal teas is an alternate solution for that afternoon pick-me-up.

6. Use a humidifier

A humidifier is a great way to keep your body moist when you are inside, especially in the winter when the air is drier and your heater is blasting. Your eyes and nasal passages will benefit from the moisture during this time, which can ultimately help prevent an oncoming cold or cough.

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    Sunday Citizen

    I live in the Northeast and when I woke up this morning, my house was freezing. It had been in the mid 40's overnight and we haven't turned the heat on yet. Suddenly, my normal duvet felt too thin. The socks on my bare feet too non-existent. Winter is coming, and I'd been drinking rosés still pretending it was summer.

    I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time to do my annual tradition of winterizing my home—and I don't mean making sure my pipes and walls have enough insulation (though obviously that's important too). I mean the act of evaluating every room and wondering if it has enough hygge to it.

    If you've never heard of hygge, it's a Danish word that means a quality of coziness or contentment. And what better time to make sure you have moments of hygge all throughout your house than right now? As far as I'm concerned it's the only way to get through these dark winter months (even more so during a pandemic.)

    So I went room by room (yes, even my 4-year-old's room) and swapped in, layered or added in these 13 products to get us ready for winter:

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    Tips parents need to know about poor air quality and caring for kids with asthma

    There are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

    With the added concern of COVID-19 and the effect it can have on breathing, many parents feel unsure about how to keep their children protected. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    Here are tips parents need to know about how to deal with poor air quality when your child has asthma.

    Minimize smoke exposure.

    Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at AirNow.gov. An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

    Do your best to filter the air.

    According to Oro, a HEPA filter is your best bet to effectively clean pollutants from the air. Many homes are equipped with a built-in HEPA filter in their air conditioning systems, but you can also get a canister filter. Oro says her family (her husband and children all suffer from asthma) also made use of a hack from the New York Times and built their own filter by duct taping a HEPA furnace filter to the front of a box fan. "It was pretty disgusting what we accumulated in the first 20 hours in our fan," she says.

    Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

    "Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

    Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

    "COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

    Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

    Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

    Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

    Most importantly, don't panic.

    In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

    This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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    If the feeling you get when you snuggle a baby could be bottled and sold, this world would probably be a better place—research basically proves. Between the way those snuggles release heartwarming oxytocin to the benefits they have on babies’ growing brains, let’s all agree there really is no such thing as loving on your baby too much.

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