Water is a pregnant woman’s BFF! Drinking enough water during pregnancy is vital because the body is going through so many changes and demands to support a growing fetus and lower pregnancy complications. In fact, pregnant women need more water than the average person. Consuming enough water ensures a pregnant woman produces sufficient amniotic fluid, builds new tissue, absorbs and transports essential nutrients to the growing fetus, generates extra blood, and improves their digestive flow. Staying hydrated can also help fight fatigue, bladder infections, and constipation. If you think you are experiencing dehydration contact your healthcare provider for a medical review.
In today’s post, I’ll be tackling exactly how much water you should drink during pregnancy and how much is safe to drink. So, get your water bottle ready and keep reading below!
How Much Water Should You Drink A Day During Pregnancy
The general rule of thumb for drinking enough water is that everyone should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day. However, the Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink no less than ten 8-ounce glasses per day. As you can see, that’s not a drastic increase and is very achievable. Yet, it’s important to understand that even this recommendation may need to be modified.
Things to consider about this general guideline is to monitor your exercise, environment, and overall health. Everyones needs will vary! If you work out, replenish your body with fluids and potentially electrolytes. Your body loses electrolytes when it sweats. If it’s a hot day outside, consume even more water because heat causes dehydration faster.
If you aren’t feeling well and you are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting due to morning sickness, it’s always best to recharge yourself with fluids AND electrolytes. Try an unsweetened coconut water for the added electrolytes. These are three important factors that will help you determine how much you should modify your specific fluid needs.
Benefits Of Drinking Water During Pregnancy
Reduces the risk of constipation.
Drinking enough water ensures everything flows properly through your gastrointestinal tract. When you aren’t hydrated your colon pulls water from stools to replenish fluids throughout your body. This is what causes constipation. Drinking adequate water will lessen the chances of this happening!
Brightens the skin.
Water functions as a protective barrier to avoid fluid loss in your skin. When the skin is dehydrated, wrinkles and fine lines may start to show. By drinking enough water, you are helping your skin maintain it’s moisture and natural glow.
Decreases the potential of leg cramps.
Leg cramps are yet another common pregnancy symptom. Although there is no standardized treatment for leg cramps, ensuring proper hydration is definitely tip number one. If you find yourself cramping often, you may need to up your fluid intake. Additionally, focusing on high magnesium foods may help!
All the food, prenatal vitamins, and minerals you are consuming each day are transported to your baby through water. This is because it helps your body absorb essential nutrients and carries them to your cells. Those nutrient-rich cells are responsible for growing your baby.
Increases your energy levels.
Is morning sickness making you tired? The good news is water can help combat fatigue. Water helps to energize your muscles because a good balance of fluids in the body contributes to the proper performance of your cells. When your muscles are energized for the day, you will find it easier to do everyday tasks without feeling worn out.
Prevents bladder infections.
Water dissolves waste and flushes bacteria away from the urethra. This is how bladder infections are prevented, through moving waste efficiently through the digestive tract and keeping urine diluted. Drink plenty of water during pregnancy and you’ll avoid recurring urinary tract infections.
How To Stay Hydrated During Pregnancy
Use an app to track your water intake or ‘reminders’ on your phone.
Pregnant women can benefit a lot from a water-tracking app, if you are tech savy. This is helpful for remembering how much water you have already drunk and how much you need to drink to stay hydrated for the day. It also works as a reward system! It’s satisfying to see the little celebratory message pop up on your screen each time you meet your daily goal. Give it a try! Additionally, you can utilize the ‘reminder’ feature on your phone so it will remind you to take a sip every so often.
Try different herbal teas.
Swap the caffeine for herbal teas to increase your hydration levels during the day. While not all herbal teas have the green light to go head, many are safe in moderation during pregnancy as you aren’t consuming the herb directly but a very diluted amount through water. Some of the most popular include ginger tea, chamomile tea, or peppermint tea. Others that are safe include those made from fruits like a lemon tea. Many of these teas can help when nausea hits or help fight off a cold, so that is also a plus.
Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
Keeping a sizable stainless steel or glass water bottle by your side throughout the day can increase your chances of meeting your daily water goal. Plus, there are so many great designs and different types of stainless steel water bottles that can even keep your water cold beyond 24 hours! No excuses for not drinking plenty of water every day!
Make sure your urine remains colorless or light yellow.
Yellow urine is a warning sign of dehydration. Colorless or light yellow urine shows you are drinking enough water and your body is replenishing its fluid regularly. Try to check the color of your urine once a day (aim for pale yellow) to make sure you are adequately hydrated throughout the day!
Eat foods that are rich in water.
Every pregnant woman should eat lots of fruits and veggies. Apart from being the perfect snack, these foods are composed primarily of water! Strawberries, celery, apples, watermelon, tomatoes, and kiwis are a few examples of the type of fruits and vegetables you should reach for to ensure getting a lot of water during the day through food.
Have at least a glass of water with every snack and meal.
This is key to making sure you are drinking enough water during pregnancy. With every meal, drink a couple of glasses of water. With every snack, sip on some fruit-infused water or herbal tea. The conscious choices are the ones that can really make a difference if you are trying to stay hydrated and drink enough fluids.
What is your favorite tip for drinking enough water during pregnancy?
Now you’ve learned all there is to know about drinking water during pregnancy! Remember to keep your water intake between eight and ten 8-ounce glasses a day at minimum. This number should increase if your activity is high, the weather is hot, if you feel thirsty, and if you’re experiencing unpleasant pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Drink plenty of water, get a cute new water bottle, and enjoy your pregnancy!