Don’t drink too much water one month after giving birth as you will get water retention. Is there truth to this popular belief?
Drinking sufficient fluids actually helps the body to remove excess fluid, said Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, head and senior consultant at the inpatient service division of obstetrics and gynaecology at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH).
The body starts to retain more fluids from the third trimester of pregnancy onwards.
It is also advisable to drink enough after delivery, especially if the mother is breastfeeding.
The kidneys will produce more urine in the next few weeks after the baby is born to remove excess fluid that has accumulated during the course of the pregnancy, he said.
(Also read: Top 5 nutrients for pregnant and breastfeeding mums)
To manage water retention, women should reduce their salt intake, drink more water and avoid foods which have a dehydrating effect, such as coffee, tea and alcohol.
Also, exercise regularly and elevate the legs whenever possible, Prof Tan suggests.
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times in 2016.