Water is necessary to regulate our body temperature, transport nutrients and oxygen to our cells, and remove waste. Similarly, water intake is important for pregnant women because their bodies work hard to support the developing baby.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that pregnant women drink at least 8-10 cups of water per day. Additionally, when breastfeeding, you should drink an extra 2-3 cups of water to maintain your milk supply. However, water during pregnancy can vary depending on a woman’s weight, how active she is, and other factors. To avoid pregnancy complications, drinking enough water daily is important.
In This Article
How much water should you drink a day when pregnant?
As we said above, pregnant woman drink at least 8-10 cups of water in a day. Pregnant women need additional hydration to help form amniotic fluid, support digestion and eliminate waste. Carrying a child also requires extra blood and tissue, so adequate water consumption is essential for carrying nutrients and flushing out toxins. On the other hand, drinking fluids helps prevent or treat constipation, one common discomfort during pregnancy. Depending on the trimester of your pregnancy, your water needs will be different:
In the first trimester:
In this stage, many pregnant women find that they are actually less thirsty than usual. This is likely because of the increased blood volume and the body’s natural tendency to conserve water. Despite this, drinking at least 6-8 cups of water daily is essential to support the growing baby. You can monitor your water intake and use a pregnancy water bottle or a water tracking app to ensure you’re on track.
In the second trimester:
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), women should consume 340 additional calories daily during their second trimester. To reach this stage, you must consume at least an additional 340 mL (or 11.5 ounces) of water daily. It will help you maintain your energy levels, and drinking enough fluids helps prevent pregnancy complications.
In the third trimester:
A pregnant woman should consume at least 450 additional calories daily during this stage. You must drink an extra 450 mL (or 15 ounces) of water daily. Fluid intake is especially important at this stage to help your body cope with the extra strain.
Why is drinking water important during pregnancy?
It is essential for pregnant women to drink plenty of water because it helps to keep the body hydrated, which is important for both the mother and the developing baby. Drinking lots of water will help keep all your internal systems running smoothly and assist your body in getting rid of waste. Waste accumulates in the kidneys, but if you drink enough water, it will dissolve and be flushed out via urine. This decreases your chance of urinary tract, bladder, and kidney infections.
Moreover, staying hydrated will help prevent constipation, a common complaint during pregnancy. When the body doesn’t have enough water, it will absorb water from the stool, making it harder and more difficult to pass. This can lead to hemorrhoids, another uncomfortable condition that is often associated with pregnancy. As well as avoiding these unpleasant side effects, staying hydrated will help keep your energy levels up and may even help prevent preterm labor.
What types of water should pregnant women drink?
Water during pregnancy is essential to both the mother and the developing fetus. Though there are many types of water that you can try while pregnant, and they are:
- Tap Water : Many pregnant mothers avoid drinking water that has been sitting in the pipes for too long, as it may contain harmful bacteria. However, the water supply in cities and towns is usually treated, and it is safe to drink tap water.
- Mineral Water: Mineral water contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium. It can be beneficial for pregnant ladies to drink mineral water because it can help to replenish the body’s stores of these minerals. However, it is important to check that the water does not contain too much sodium.
- Bottled water: Pregnant moms may also choose to drink bottled water instead of tap water. Many bottled water brands are available; they all have different levels of minerals and contaminants. Make sure to check the label before purchasing to see if the water is safe for pregnant mothers to drink.
- Flavored Water: Flavored waters often have fruit juices or other natural flavors added to them. These can be a good way to increase your water intake if you find plain water boring. However, make sure to check the label, as some flavored waters can be high in sugar.
- Carbonated or Seltzer water: This water contains carbon dioxide gas under pressure, which gives it its fizzy taste. While seltzer water is generally safe to consume during pregnancy, it is important to check the label for sodium content. Too much sodium can cause water retention and swell in pregnant moms.
What happens if you are not hydrated during pregnancy?
Furthermore, water is essential for the health of both pregnant moms and their unborn babies. In pregnancy, if you have low amniotic fluid levels, it can lead to preterm labor or other serious health complications. Staying hydrated is important to avoid below situations:
Dehydration happens when you lose more water than what you take in. When pregnant, dehydration can cause Braxton Hicks contractions, which are false labor pains that can sometimes lead to preterm labor. The signs of dehydration are:
(i) Fatigue and headache: If you have mild dehydration, you may experience fatigue or a headache. Women already facing morning sickness, vomiting, and diarrhea are at a higher risk of dehydration during pregnancy. In this situation, energy drinks or coconut water can help to some extent.
(ii) Dizziness: When you stand up, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded because of the lack of blood and fluid in your body. Dehydration can also cause your blood pressure to drop, making you feel dizzy.
(iii) Dark-colored urine: This sign is the most common and easy way to identify dehydration. If your urine is dark yellow or orange, it means you’re not drinking enough water.
(iv) Dry mouth and lips: When your body is dehydrated, it also affects your mouth and lips. Your mouth may feel dry, and your lips may crack and chap.
Increases risk of Urinary tract infections
During pregnancy, the levels of progesterone in a woman’s body increase. This leads to increased blood flow to the pelvic region and results in the relaxation of the muscles in the bladder. As a result, pregnant women are more susceptible to developing urinary tract infections.
May lead to preeclampsia
If you don’t drink enough water during pregnancy, it may lead to preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition that is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Preeclampsia can lead to serious health complications for both the mother and baby if left untreated.
Did you know that water is essential for proper digestion and constipation? Without enough H2O, you may have hard or dry stools, making bowel movements painful and difficult. This could lead to hemorrhoids; swollen blood vessels in the anal area that can be extremely painful.
Water retention is common during pregnancy, especially in the feet and ankles. This happens because the increased levels of progesterone in the body cause the blood vessels to dilate and relax. This can lead to swelling in the extremities. Drinking plenty of water can help to reduce water retention and swelling.
The Bottom Line
At last, the amount of water pregnant women should drink varies depending on their individual needs; a good rule of thumb is to drink 8 glasses of water per day. This will help ensure you get the adequate hydration your body needs for a healthy pregnancy. We hope this guide has helped teach you how much water to drink while pregnant.