Water and pregnancy
Pregnancy is accompanied by a 10 to 15kg increase in body weight. The fetus accounts for a mere 25% of this weight, the placenta for about 5% and the amniotic fluid for 6%. About 2/3 of the mother's weight is usually water.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are at a high risk of dehydration, especially in the early stages of pregnancy, if they suffer from morning sickness or diarrhea. During pregnancy hydration needs will change, and the baby's health depends on the mother. During these months, hydration plays an important role since an adequate supply of water is necessary for the renewal of amniotic fluid. Water represents 94% of the baby's weight at the end of the first trimester. It is important for mothers to drink enough water to meet the new needs of their body as well as the baby's needs during pregnancy. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that, due to the weight gain of pregnancy, mothers should add 300ml of water to the daily 2L intake that is necessary for their body.
Breastfed babies receive on average about 750ml of milk a day between the first and sixth month. Breastfeeding mothers lose a significant amount of fluids during this period, they should therefore increase their water intake. Mild dehydration does not affect the breastfeeding process, but moderate to severe dehydration can have a negative impact. Dehydration can also increase the sense of fatigue during a highly stressful time for the mother. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)* has concluded that breastfeeding women should add 600 to 700ml of water to their daily water intake of 2L per day.