Fluids and your pregnancy

Fluids and your pregnancy – why you should drink up During pregnancy, you need to drink more water to cope with the demands of your changing body. It is essential for healthy blood cells and to keep your body hydrated. Water is also a key component of breastmilk, and essential for good lactation. Dehydration during pregnancy can lead to many complications such as headaches, nausea, cramps, oedema and dizziness. The best way to tell if you are dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine. It should be pale or straw-coloured. If it is dark you need to drink more water. Drinking water regularly helps relieve symptoms of morning sickness, acidity and heartburn as well as indigestion. It also helps in keeping your body cool and maintaining your temperature, especially in the hot and humid months. Water also helps prevent urinary infections, which are common during pregnancy. It also eases constipation, haemorrhoids, oedema and water retention.. You need to drink close to 4 liters of fluid every day. For every hour of light exercise you do, add another glass of water. During the summer, you will need to drink even more to make up for the fluid you lose because of perspiration. Juices can count as part of your fluid intake, but remember they can also contain a lot of extra calories. Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, colas and are diuretics which make you urinate more so you actually lose water. If you don't like drinking water, try adding a wedge of lemon (nimbu) or lime, a washed sprig of mint (pudina) or a little juice for extra flavour. Adding fresh coriander (dhaniya), grated ginger (adrak), fennel seeds (saunf) or a cardamom (elaichi) pod also gives an interesting twist. You can also make a plain glass of water more refreshing by adding frozen fruit such as orange (santara), lemon (nimbu), kiwi, peach (aadoo), apricot (khubani) and plum (aloo bukhara) instead of ice cubes. Try and drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids, such as tender coconut water, fresh lime water (nimbu pani), lassi, buttermilk (chhaach), milk shakes, homemade jal jeera and aam panna.