When pregnant or breastfeeding, a woman’s water requirements are higher than usual and that is why water is needed to form amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby, support the increase in blood plasma volume and produce breast milk.

Hence being well hydrated may help alleviate some pregnancy related conditions.

To help understand the importance of hydration for pregnancy health, Emma Derbyshire, author of 'Nutrition in the Childbearing Years' , has provided essential tips for hydration in pregnancy.

* Water is an excellent beverage choice for mums-to-be. It is natural and helps women to rehydrate without consuming calories and sugars.

* Women should increase their total water intake by an extra 300ml/day during pregnancy and 700ml/day during breastfeeding,.

* Make water the first choice when it comes to hydration.

* Water-rich foods such as soups, stews, yoghurts, fruits and vegetables can help top up total water intake.

* Pregnant women should take frequent small drinks, particularly after the birth of their child when they are busy looking after their new baby.

* Women breastfeeding should make sure that they are getting enough fluids - try to remember to keep a glass of water on hand when you sit down to feed your baby.

* Women should reduce their intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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