Drinking contaminated or untreated water can have adverse effects on your health, specifically when you’re pregnant. During pregnancy, you require more water compared to an average person. To be precise, you need to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water a day. In other words, you require a minimum of 2.3 L of water each day in order to form amniotic fluid, carry nutrients, improve digestion, and ensure your baby receives all of the benefits and requirements in order to be healthy.
People often drink water from the tap, which is not essentially healthy. It may have impurities and contaminants that you might not know of. This is why water needs to be tested prior to drinking it and endangering your baby’s health. Moreover, the best water to drink while pregnant is filtered water. To help you understand this better, here’s everything you need to know.
Is Tap Water Safe?
While tap water might look pure to the eye, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is pure. There are contaminants that could severely affect you and your baby’s health. The tap water in your homes is either from lakes, rivers, or groundwater, which is processed before reaching your home to ensure it is safe. However, it still needs to be tested using any water testing kits prior to using it.
Thousands of pregnant women endanger their baby’s health and expose them to the risk of birth defects and miscarriages, primarily by drinking contaminated tap water.
Although you might have heard that adding chlorine to tap water filters out any impurities and contaminants from tap water, ultimately saving hundreds of thousands of lives by removing bacteria from water.
However, it carries a health risk as well. When adding chlorine to water for the purpose of filtration, it leads to the byproducts of chlorine that are formed in the process of filtration. It can lead to drastic health effects since the byproducts, namely “chlorination byproducts” themselves are toxic chemicals. This leads to the question, What’s the best water to drink while pregnant.
In short, drinking filtered water is greatly recommended for pregnancy since during pregnancy the water intake is greater compared to an average person.
What Is In Your Tap Water?
Tap water can have harmful contaminants such as aluminum, ammonia, arsenic, barium, chromium, pesticides, herbicides, mercury, nitrates, radium, selenium, silver, arsenic, copper, lead, iron, uranium, and many more.
All of the above are waterborne contaminants and you might find the presence of these contaminants in your water on testing. While they might not appear to the naked eye, they are present in your water.
How Do These Contaminants Affect A Pregnant Woman?
Each of these impurities has drastic health effects on pregnant women and even on an average person. For instance, the presence of copper in your water can lead to liver and kidney complications.
As you already know, water comes to our homes through pipes. Due to the contact of water with these pipes, it forms lead in it, which can cause premature birth and reduced growth of the fetus in pregnant women. Lead can be found in your tap water irrespective of where you’re based and can severely affect your health.
Chlorine is widely used for water treatment. Although it gets rid of most of the contaminants and bacterias, however, it leads to some byproducts as well. The chemical toxins produced as a result of adding chlorine to water can lead to bladder cancer. Moreover, it can also cause reproductive and developmental effects with frequent usage of contaminated water.
How To Determine Whether Your Tap Water Is Safe Or Not?
The best way to determine whether your tap water is safe for drinking or not is to get to testing professionally. However, there are other alternatives to test the quality of your tap water.
- Checking water for cloudiness. Water that has turbidity or cloudiness indicates the presence of contaminants. Moreover, if you notice a funny taste or odor in your tap water, it could also indicate that your water isn’t pure and has contaminants in it.
- When washing your hands with soap using tap water, they shouldn’t be slimy. If you notice your hands getting slimy after washing, it also indicates the presence of impurities in water, which isn’t a great sign and would require professional testing immediately.
- Having any odor in your water can also indicate the presence of impurities. Chlorine is commonly added to water for filtration purposes, if you notice any bleach-like smell you should avoid using that water and report to your local water company to be on the safer side.
- Another way to effectively test the quality of water is to get any water testing kits from your local stores. There are many testing kits available for different types of water and they can efficiently provide you with a greater insight into the quality of water.
If you find your water to be impure, here are some alternatives for you.
Alternatives For Impure Water: Best Water To Drink While Pregnant
Drinking tap water while pregnant is never a great idea and it isn’t too late to stop. Here are some alternatives for impure water along with ways you can filter impure water.
- Drinking Spring Water – Getting bottled spring water or getting spring water directly from a spring and then filtering it yourselves is a great alternative to drinking tap water that has significant amounts of chlorine, its byproducts, and other harmful contaminants.
- Using an Electric Filter – Purchasing an electric water filter. It is one of the most effective means of filtering out impurities and ensuring the water you’re drinking is safe for you and your baby. It uses a multi-stage filtration mechanism that eliminates more than 50 types of contaminants. Thus, ultimately providing you with better, healthier, and pure water.
- Reverse Osmosis System – Using Reverse Osmosis System is another means of filtering out impurities and contaminants effectively from impure water. It essentially forces water through a pre-installed semipermeable membrane, ultimately filtering out any contaminants. However, before it forces water through the semipermeable membrane, it goes through a prefilter to further improve the purification of water. It essentially features pre and post-filters which ensure the water you’re drinking is free from any contaminants and is safer to drink while pregnant.
- Distilled water – An even better alternative to drinking impure water while pregnant is drinking distilled water. It is the process of boiling water and then collecting the condensed water after evaporation. Distilled water is essentially condensed water, collected in a different container that is free from any impurities or harmful contaminants that can risk you and your baby’s health.
A pregnant woman requires more water intake compared to an average person. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can drink water from any source since water can contain many impurities that can not be seen by the naked eye. Drinking impure water can lead to birth defects and in worst-case scenarios, it can lead to miscarriages as well.
To be on the safer side, you should always test your water using different means and only then proceed to use the water available to you. Best water to drink while pregnant is filtered water. Having said that, there are many means of filtering water. It can either be getting an electric water filter, implementing a reverse osmosis system, or drinking distilled water. Drinking filtered water will not only improve you and your baby’s health but it will also ensure you don’t risk your baby to any birth defects.