Wellness Collective member and midwife Teresa Cramer shares some helpful way to beat the heat this summer by staying hydrated. These tips are especially beneficial for pregnant and nursing mamas, but are helpful for everyone!
Did you know that 50-70% of our body weight is water? Our bodies need water to function – digesting food, lifting a box, figuring out a math problem, maintaining body temperature, preventing swelling and growing a baby are impossible without water. To ensure adequate hydration, drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces plus an additional 20 ounces every day if you are active, pregnant or breastfeeding. It may seem like a lot, but it is possible!
Drinks & Foods To Satisfy
Water: Carry a water bottle around and make yourself a goal to finish it within a certain amount of time. Drinking water can get boring after a while. You can spice it up by adding lemon/lime with a pinch of salt to create an electrolyte drink that will satisfy your palate.
Tea: White and green teas are wonderful for hydration. You can drink either hot or cold – depending on your preference. Ginger Ice Tea is a favorite summer drink. Slice ginger root into think slices and crush. Steep white or green tea with ginger in one quart of hot water. Strain out tea and ginger slices and add honey. Let cool and serve over ice. If you really want to go wild, freeze these or any other tea in a popsicle mold. Perhaps add fresh fruit to it too!
Herbal Tea: Herbal teas can have additional benefits to various pregnancy symptoms and help you stay hydrated. Red raspberry leaf is the main component of “pregnancy teas” and contains calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and iron. Combining red raspberry leaf and peppermint can help alleviate morning sickness. To have the nutritional benefits of herbal teas, they must be consumed on a regular basis. Ask your midwife before trying herbal teas. Some herbs are harmful during pregnancy.
Coconut Water: Coconut water is a natural electrolyte drink that promotes hydration. It is beneficial during pregnancy because it relieves common digestive issues (constipation and heartburn) and prevents urinary tract infections. If you do not like the taste of plain coconut water, add it to a smoothie or mix it with a little bit of juice.
Soup: Soups are great for adding variety to your hydration needs. To make the most of your soup, add protein (chicken, beef, tofu, quinoa) and complex carbohydrates (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, vegetables) for a complete meal. You can make your own broth from boiled vegetable scraps and bones and puree your soup for a variety of texture.
Vegetables and Fruit: Continue eating vegetables and fruit everyday. Both contain water and will help you maintain your hydration. Some water-packed vegetables and fruits include: dark leafy greens, melons, tomatoes, citrus, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash.
Rule To Drink By
Avoid/limit Caffeine–Caffeine dehydrates you. Try to avoid it, if possible. If you just need your morning coffee or black tea to start your day, drink an additional glass of water to counter balance your caffeine intake.
Avoid/limit Soda–Soda dehydrates you. You can replace it with a glass of juice diluted with carbonated water. It will satisfy your bubbly craving and keep you hydrated!
Breastfeeding–Whenever you are nursing your baby, always have a glass of water, tea, or juice on hand for yourself.
Author: Teresa Cramer is a Certified Professional Midwife providing holistic homebirth midwifery care at River Birch Midwifery. Striving to create a family-centered and nurturing environment, Teresa works with her clients to ensure a safe and empowering birth experience through informed care.