Does it seem like the first question your doctor asks when you have a concern is, “Are you drinking enough water?” That’s because drinking enough water is crucial, especially during pregnancy, for your and your baby’s health. The general recommendation follows the 8x8 rule: at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day. Even on days that you don’t reach that amount, you’ll probably feel like you drank enough fluid to fill a bathtub based on your bladder’s activity.
Excessive urination is one of the not-so-fun side-effects of pregnancy. With more blood flowing through your body, more pressure put on your bladder from the lack of extra room in your abdominal and pelvic regions, and the fluids you consume it’s no wonder that you may be running to the bathroom every 10-minutes or so.
But without consuming less fluid, is there anything you can do to manage these frequent bathroom breaks?
Fortunately, the answer is YES! Here are 3 tips for cutting down on bathroom breaks during pregnancy:
Water is the best option for your fluid consumption. The citric acid in many fruit juices can irritate the bladder, as well as excessive sugar and carbonation. Avoiding caffeine is another trick to reducing urination frequency because caffeine has a diuretic effect. Make an effort to cut down on any drinks that contain these ingredients if you drink those regularly. Try replacing at least one of them a day with a glass of water, and slowly replace more servings until you’re drinking mostly water.
The pressure from the urine in your bladder sends the message to your brain that you need to urinate, so when your bladder is already being squeezed and shifted by a growing baby, it won’t take as much urine for the signal to be sent to the brain. This is why you have so many frustrating trips to the bathroom for what seems like practically nothing. To reduce these unproductive trips to the toilet, make an effort to get it all out every time you use the bathroom. It may help to lean forward slightly to put more pressure on your bladder.
In addition to drinking the right kinds of fluids and being mindful in the bathroom, drinking your fluid at specific times and intervals can also help cut down on your bathroom breaks. Try drinking more water in the morning and early afternoon and easing up toward the evening. Especially at night when frequent bathroom trips can disrupt your much-needed restful sleep, try to limit your fluid intake. It’s important that you still consume the recommended 8x8 glasses of water or other nutritious beverage, but drinking most of it earlier in the day can help your bladder relax before bed.