How Much Water Does Pregnancy Need Every Day?

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New research may clarify the amount of hydration needed at different stages of pregnancy.

Water requirements increase during pregnancy to support fetal development and maternal health, but little is known about the relationship between hydration status and maternal and infant outcomes.

A recent study looked at the hydration status of pregnant women, the effect of a behavioral intervention, and tested how underhydration during pregnancy was associated with childbirth outcome.

The researchers used data from the Healthy Mom Zone Study, which aims to regulate gestational weight gain in overweight or obese pregnant women. The work appears in the European Journal of Nutrition.

“Pregnant women are advised to consume 300 milliliters more water per day than non-pregnant, non-lactating women,” says Asher Rosinger, professor of global health at Penn State and director of the College’s Water, Health, and Nutrition lab. health and human development.

“However, water recommendations do not specify differential water requirements or hydration status recommendations by month or trimester of pregnancy, and do not take into account body composition, given that being overweight and obesity increases the likelihood of being underhydrated. “

Weight gain during pregnancy

In the study, 14 women received standardized antenatal care, while 13 women received standardized antenatal care plus the Healthy Mom Zone intervention, led by lead researcher Danielle Symons Downs, professor of kinesiology and obstetrics and gynecology, and associate director of social science research at Penn State. Institute.

According to Downs, the Healthy Mom Zone study is a tailored adaptive intervention aimed at helping overweight and obese women effectively manage their weight during pregnancy to reduce the risk of excessive gestational weight gain.

“High gestational weight gain can negatively impact maternal and child health, leading to pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure,” says Downs. “Previous intervention programs have had limited success in effectively managing pregnancy weight gain in overweight or obese women. This is one of the first intervention studies to use tailor-made adaptive design, tailored to each woman’s unique needs, to manage pregnancy weight gain.

The women in the Healthy Mom Zone intervention received weekly one-on-one meetings with a qualified dietitian to provide evidence-based education and counseling on gestational weight gain, physical activity, healthy eating, and health behaviors. related, such as sleep, mental health. care and water intake. Rosinger’s lab measured hydration status weekly via the osmolality of urine overnight.

“To date, there are very few studies measuring hydration status during pregnancy, as they are usually limited to standardized care visits,” says Rosinger. “We wanted to know more closely how hydration status varies during pregnancy, so we analyzed 653 urine samples taken each week from pregnant women participating in the study. This analysis helped us understand variation in hydration status and allowed us to identify interventions that improve hydration status.

Hydration per quarter

Researchers found that as women progressed through pregnancy, they typically became underhydrated during the second trimester and early in the third trimester. “We found that because most women remained active in the second trimester, they often experienced increased water production. If not properly replaced with fluid intake, it could contribute to a greater risk of underhydration, ”says Rosinger.

Researchers also found that the Healthy Moms Zone intervention helped women maintain healthier hydration status, especially in the second and third trimesters compared to control study participants.

The study also sought to find out how hydration levels can affect birth weight and length. The researchers found that during the second trimester, women who were insufficiently hydrated had lower birth weight z scores. “It’s interesting that we didn’t see any lower birth weights at the end of the third trimester, which indicates catching up in growth,” Rosinger said.

“Our results are significant given the increased water requirements during pregnancy and research suggesting that a large proportion of pregnant women in different parts of the world do not meet recommendations for adequate water intake,” says Rosinger.

“We generally treat pregnancy as a stage in terms of water requirements, but all stages are different and include different experiences and physiological demands. Quarterly recommendations should be developed, with an emphasis on hydration. It is just as important as increasing food requirements during pregnancy.

This research also supports the need for more widespread interventions such as the Healthy Moms Zone. In the future, researchers would like to compare interventions to birth outcomes, as they have important implications for nutrition early in life. They would also like to better understand the main barriers for overweight and obese women to maintain proper hydration during pregnancy, and whether women of normal weight have the same risk of underhydration in the second and third trimesters.

The other researchers involved in the project are from Northwestern University and Penn State.

Funding for the work comes from seed funds from the National Institutes of Health, the Penn State College of Health and Human Development, the Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professorship funds, and the Population Research Institute at Penn State.

Source: State of Pennsylvania


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