Can Drinking Large Amounts of Water Reduce the Chance of Premature Contractions?

Can a pregnant woman reduce the chances of premature contractions by drinking large amounts of water in order to keep the placenta hydrated? Although our first child was born at term, my wife is pregnant with twins, and we are concerned about early labor.

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

While I have never heard of "keeping the placenta hydrated," the first line of treatment for preterm labor is hydrating the mother. We see this frequently in women who are contracting; typically, we start an IV and the contractions cease. Of course, it does not work in all circumstances. I'm sure it depends on the reason for the early labor. In a vast majority of cases, we do not understand why it starts, but if the reason is structural or infectious, hydration would not be effective. The most hopeful indication of going to full term this time is the fact that she went full term last time. Make sure she gets plenty of rest and try to decrease the stress in her life. If she works full-time, outside or inside the home, she should cut back.

I am not aware of any studies that demonstrated that drinking fluids at home prevents the onset of preterm labor, but it seems reasonable to make sure your wife is well hydrated -- but not excessively because this can cause problems as well. Six to eight eight-ounce glasses of fluids (preferably water, milk or juice) per day is about right.

Try to read the book "Having Twins" by Elizabeth Noble. It is a great resource.

Thanks for writing, and I hope all goes well for you.

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