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Friday, 3 October 2014

Keeping the Bump Hydrated

We are incredibly fortunate here in the Caribbean. The diversity of fresh fruits and veges, are always in ready supply year-round. There's lots of great advice to come by online in terms of the best nutrition for a growing fetus. I generally tend to be a bit on the side of the perfectionist when it comes to any project and the task of giving my growing baby the best as an expectant mother was no different. One of the things I took particularly for granted was underestimating the amount of additional water I needed.
The first and most important thing you can do at the onset of pregnancy is to ensure that you get lots of water. All of your organs are under more pressure with the demand to support both you and your baby. This is especially so for your excretory organs; namely your kidneys and liver. You will tend to notice that your urine is a darker yellow...and no I don't really subscribe to the 'old wives tales' that this is one of the signs that you are having that boy chile.
It means the uric acid salts are a lot more concentrated in your urine as your body channels a lot of it to produce amniotic fluid to support a growing baby. You will also now be filtering waste for both you and baby so you need lots of extra water to ensure it is properly flushed out. There is the standard we may hold as the golden rule; eight glasses of water a day. However, this is not necessarily enough given our hot and humid climate. It is far easier for us to get dehydrated.
While we want to keep up our water intake it is also important to get valuable electrolytes. And what is sweeter than a nice cold coconut. This little nut is fantastic for getting potassium and sodium lost in sweat and urine and is a good 'cooling'. Bottled coconut water is handy but I don't think we have a shortage of the roadside vendors yet. I am always in support of the local vendors and farmers and building island capacity. Better to save those empty 2-litre soft drink bottles and have them filled up by one of these guys. The price is usually far more reasonable than the commercially available bottled coconut water. Better yet for those of us who have a few coconut trees in the back yard!
On the other side of the coin there are a lot of consequences of not getting enough water during pregnancy. These include preterm labor, higher risk of urinary infections and constipation. I have also read that it brings on Braxton Hicks a lot earlier in the pregnancy. With my first pregnancy I was a lot more constipated and suffered from bad acid reflux. I soon discovered that the solution was as simple as increasing my water intake.

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