As most expecting mothers already know, it is essential to stay hydrated during pregnancy. Your baby is quite literally swimming in water! The body needs plenty of fluids in order to support a healthy pregnancy as well as a growing and changing body.
Fluids are important for nearly all symptoms in our bodies that are frequently experienced during pregnancy such as constipation and headaches. Everyone’s fluids needs will be different and vary based on factors like heat, age, activity level, and weight. On average, aiming for about 100 ounces of fluids per day is a good goal to start with.
Water is needed to form amniotic fluid, for all the extra blood volume in pregnancy, to carry nutrients and oxygen to the baby, to build new cells and tissues, lower risk of urinary tract infections, and help flush out waste. It’s also needed to keep the mother’s joints and muscles lubricated, and reduce muscle cramps, soreness, and fatigue. Staying hydrated helps build new tissue and repair tissue utilized in exercise.
Plus, drinking plenty of water aids in digestion and reduces common symptoms of pregnancy like constipation, fatigue, headaches, and upset stomach. As you can see water and fluids are important for so many reasons during pregnancy! For both mom and baby.
The best way to stay hydrated during pregnancy is, of course, to drink plenty of water every day! But, there are also many other ways to stay hydrated and help you meet your fluid goals during those nine months besides plain water. Today, we’re sharing some hydration tips that can help keep pregnant women on the right track. Let’s dive right in!
9 Ways To Stay Hydrated During Pregnancy
100 ounces of fluids per day is a good goal.
Everyone’s fluid needs will differ based on factors such as activity level, sweat, location/climate, and health status. However, 100 ounces of fluids per day is a good goal to start with for most people. Water should contribute to a large majority of your fluid needs. Items such as milk, juice, high water fruits and vegetables, unsweetened teas, electrolyte drinks, smoothies, and coconut water also contribute toward fluid goals.
We totally understand that some days this is tough. Getting a new water bottle, setting reminders, and trying water infusions with herbs and fruit are a few great ways to change it up and stay hydrated and up your fluid intake.
Drink coconut water or an electrolyte beverage.
Tired of the same old taste of a glass of water? Some drinks like coconut water or other electrolyte beverages can give you a break from the taste while also providing some extra minerals and hydration support. In fact, coconut water is one of the best drinks you can consume during early pregnancy. In addition to fluids, these drinks also help you to replenish electrolytes, including magnesium and potassium.
Flavor your water with fruit infusions.
Don’t like the taste of plain water? Flavor it with simple herb and fruit infusions! Adding fruit to your water can help you change up the flavor very easily. Feel free to add lemon, lime, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, melon, or any combination of these to your cup before filling it with water. Just be sure to wash all the produce thoroughly before adding it to your water!
Lemon water, in particular, provides a punch of vitamin C which can give your immune system a boost. Herbs, like mint, can also be a tasty addition.
Increase fruit and vegetable intake.
Water is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about hydration. But, did you know that fruits and vegetables can also contribute to fluid goals? By incorporating more high water fruits and vegetables into your diet, you can up your hydration and your nutrition. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals. Just remember to keep pregnancy food safety guidelines in mind and thoroughly wash fruits and veggies before eating!
- Watermelon (92% water)
- Strawberries (91% water)
- Cantaloupe (90% water)
- Cucumber (95% water)
- Lettuce (96% water)
- Cauliflower (92% water)
Drink fluids throughout the day.
The days get busy and it can sometimes be hard to remember to drink plenty of water, especially if you don’t feel thirsty. Sometimes we don’t actually feel thirsty until we’re way behind on meeting fluid needs. This is why it’s important to drink fluids throughout the day and stay ahead when it comes to keeping hydrated.
You can accomplish this by setting reminders, keeping your water bottle within reach, and tieing your water intake to certain events. These events can include drinking water after every meal, after every bathroom break, after every snack, or after any other task you tend to repeat multiple times throughout the day.
Limiting caffeine intake during pregnancy is recommended for a variety of reasons. One is that caffeine-containing beverages have a slight diuretic effect. High caffeine beverages in excess can affect your hydration, but keeping it down to 1 caffeinated beverage per day won’t affect much!
Caffeinated drinks to limit include soda, coffee, energy drinks, and green and black teas. Throughout pregnancy, try to reduce your intake of caffeine and instead, opt for beverages like water, a smoothie, coconut water, or a non-caffeinated tea. Sparkling water is a great soda swap too.
Be mindful of the heat.
When we’re hot, we sweat more and need extra fluid, especially during summer. This makes it extra important to be sure you’re staying hydrated. You may even need more than the recommended 100 ounces on warm days!
When you are outdoors on a warm day, here are some ways to beat the heat and stay cool:
- Retreat inside during the hottest parts of the day
- Wear breathable clothing
- Keep activity light and don’t forget to rest
- Always know where to find some shade
- Bring along a small fan and plenty of water
Hold yourself accountable.
Staying hydrated during pregnancy is extremely important. Using some form of accountability can help to ensure you’re meeting your hydration needs each and every day. But, how can you hold yourself accountable, you ask? Well, there are many ways!
Hold yourself accountable by:
- Using a water tracking app (WaterMinder, iHydrate, Aqualert: Water Tracker Daily)
- Using a notebook to track your fluid intake
- Setting alarms/reminders throughout the day
- Starting your day with a full cup of water
- Investing in a reusable water bottle you love!
- Setting goals and rewarding yourself
Know the signs of dehydration.
One of the most important steps to preventing dehydration is knowing the signs. By knowing the signs and symptoms of dehydration, you can prevent this issue or contact your doctor/emergency services right away if it happens. Dehydration is considered especially dangerous during pregnancy. If you believe you have hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), extreme nausea, and vomiting, you are at risk of dehydration and should contact your provider.
Signs of dehydration include:
- Dark urine
- Lack of pee
- Muscle cramps
- Dry mouth
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Rapid heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
Having trouble staying hydrated? There are more solutions than just plain old water!
Meeting your fluid needs during pregnancy is important. The good news is, that there are so many ways to increase hydration and meet fluid goals that don’t involve just chugging water every day. Thank goodness, amiright? Don’t forget about smoothies, broths, unsweetened teas, water infusions, and high water foods. Even a popsicle could contribute toward fluid goals. Who doesn’t love a popsicle in the summer? Yum!
Your need for fluids increases during pregnancy to help with the circulation of nutrients and oxygen to the baby, removes wastes and toxins, reduces risk of preterm labor, plus many more functions. So, be sure to keep hydrated and always keep a water bottle or glass of water nearby!
The Prenatal Nutritionist team hopes this article helps provide you with tips to stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy. If you have any questions or topic requests for new blog posts, drop them in the comments below! And find more pregnancy nutrition tips and evidence-based information to ensure you are meeting nutrient needs for two, inside The Prenatal Nutrition Library.