Staying hydrated during pregnancy is essential to you and your baby's health. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Excessive water consumption can actually be harmful.
Water is Important
Let's get one thing straight: Water is essential to your health. You should drink between six and eight glasses of water a day, totaling up to 64 ounces. Active people or those who live in a hot climate should slightly increase this quota. Juices and sodas count, but you should limit your intake of these as they increase your calorie count.
Drinking plenty of water will ensure your baby has plenty of nutrients and that you don't get bladder infections. It can also stave off constipation and hemorrhoids. Dehydration can even cause pre-term labor.
Too Much Water is Harmful
Water is a vital part of a healthy pregnancy, but too much can be dangerous. In fact, drinking too much water can flush all the nutrients, especially electrolytes, out of your system before they have a chance to be absorbed. Without enough electrolytes your heart beat may become irregular. As you can imagine, this is very dangerous for you and your baby. Drinking too much water can cause other problems or be indicative of other problems as well.
Drinking too much water can fill you up and make it so you don't eat as much. Denying your body of foods high in vitamins and nutrients can put your baby at a nutritional deficiency. It can also limit your weight gain and make it so your body isn't supporting the pregnancy as well as it should.
Every pregnant woman goes through a stage where she craves things that lack nutrition. Craving ice water may indicate that you have anemia, which would need to be addressed and treated by your doctor.
While most women who experience an intense craving to drink a lot of water are just going through the natural unhealthy craving phase of pregnancy, for others it may be a sign of diabetes. In fact, feeling extremely thirsty--so thirsty that you can't quench it no matter how much you drink--is a strong sign of diabetes. This will need to be treated by your doctor promptly in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy.