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Hydration & Fetal Movement

by
author image Marcy Reed
Marcy Reed has been a certified nurse midwife since 2004 and a writer since 2007. She has been published in "Midwifery Today." Reed earned a bachelor's degree in nursing in California and received her midwifery education in Kentucky.
Hydration & Fetal Movement
Pregnant women must drink plenty of fluids daily to stay hydrated. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Fetal movement is an important indication that your baby is growing well and is healthy inside the uterus. A variety of factors can influence both the baby's movements and your perception of the baby's movements, including how much fluid you drink daily. If the amount of fluid inside the uterus and the amniotic sac is too low for the baby to move and kick with ease, he may not move normally. You should always consult your doctor or midwife if you have concerns about your baby's movement.

Amniotic Fluid

Your growing uterus is filled with your fetus, his placenta and cord, and amniotic fluid. In the third trimester of your pregnancy, your fetus generates most of the amniotic fluid through urination. The baby also swallows the amniotic fluid, so the fluid is recycled by the fetus. Your body provides additional fluid to your fetus through blood flow to the placenta. Fluids migrate between your body and the baby's body. If you do not drink enough fluid, your baby might not have enough fluid in which to grow and thrive.

Low Fluid

If you have a low level of amniotic fluid, or oligohydramnios, your baby might not have enough fluid to move around in. Oligohydramnios may also indicate problems with the placenta, such as poor perfusion. If you have high blood pressure or are past your due date, your placenta may no longer function effectively. If your placenta cannot deliver enough fluid to your baby, it may also be unable to deliver oxygen and nutrients. Any and all of these situations may cause the baby to slow his activity.

Oral Hydration

The amount of fluids you drink daily directly influences the amount of fluid in your uterus. A 2009 study in the "Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research" demonstrated that pregnant women who had low amounts of amniotic fluid were able to increase the amount of amniotic fluid through oral hydration.

Recommendations

Pregnant women should be careful to drink at least 10 cups of fluids daily, according to the Institute of Medicine. The majority of your fluids should be water, although you can also get fluids from decaffeinated tea, soup and fruit juices. Sodas and coffee drinks provide some hydration, but they also provide sugar and caffeine, so you should not drink them in lieu of a glass of water. Stay hydrated and monitor your baby's movement per your doctor's instructions. If you have concerns about your baby's movement, seek medical care.

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