A pregnant woman requires more water than an average woman for carrying nutrients to the baby, aiding digesting, flushing out toxins and wastes, producing extra blood, and forming amniotic fluid. So, drinking water during pregnancy at frequent intervals is of utmost significance.
But how much water should you drink and how do you know you aren’t dehydrated? What can happen if you don’t drink enough water? Let’s find out everything about hydration and pregnancy health.
Importance of Staying Hydrated During Pregnancy
There are many benefits of water in pregnancy. 60% of the human body is made of water and staying hydrated is necessary to
- Regulate your body temperature
- Flush out waste and toxins from your system
- Build cells
- Soften stool and ease bowel movements
- Form saliva
- Lubricate joints
- Transport carbohydrates and proteins via the bloodstream
- Keep ailments like hemorrhoids at bay
In short, adequate hydration for pregnant women keeps all internal systems functioning properly – be it your kidneys or your digestive system.
Impact of Hydration on Fetal Development
We already told you about the advantages of having sufficient water throughout the day when you are pregnant. But how can it help your baby?
Your body requires ample water to promote blood circulation in your baby. If you don’t drink responsibly, you will be at a higher risk of pregnancy complications like low amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds the baby. The water that you drink is also a source of fluoride and this mineral is crucial to the development of the baby’s teeth and bones.
Another recurring problem during pregnancy is constipation that happens because of hormonal changes in the body. If you take iron supplements, your constipation issues will worsen and the simplest solution to this problem is having enough fluids.
How Much Water Should I Drink Daily?
The recommended daily water intake for pregnant women is 2-3 liters. During summer, you will sweat a lot and require more fluids. So, carry a water bottle wherever you go and keep sipping.
Note: Your water requirements will increase during the second and third trimesters. 11.5 ounces is the daily water dosage doctors suggest during the second trimester. When you enter your third trimester, you should have 15 ounces of water. So, you don’t need to be too stressed about water intake during the initial stage of your pregnancy. However, morning sickness will make you lose water and you have to make up for the loss.
Signs That You Are Dehydrated
Dehydration means losing more fluid than you intake. How do you know you are not drinking enough water during pregnancy? Your body will give several signals to warn you. These are the obvious signs of dehydration that you need to look out for:
- Fatigue– Nurturing a baby in your womb is a lot of hard work. So, you will feel more tired than usual and there’s nothing to worry about it. However, if you are too fatigued, it could be linked with dehydration.
- Brain fog- Not sure what brain fog means? There’s a fancy term for brain fog that’s associated with pregnancy and it’s ‘momnesia’. It means when you are dehydrated, your brain struggles to perform cognitive tasks.
- Extreme thirst- When dehydrated, you are bound to feel thirsty. Some people also feel hungry.
- Dark-colored urine– Pale and transparent urine means your water intake is fine. The moment your urine appears yellowish, it indicates dehydration.
- Headaches– If you forget to drink water for long hours, headaches and bodyaches will trouble you. So, drink water and to get rid of the dizziness.
- Dry skin- Your pregnant belly is already itchy and dry skin can aggravate the itchiness. So, stay hydrated to reduce discomfort.
Water and Its Types
For safe water drinking practices, you must know the different kinds of water available: Here are some of your options:
- Tap water- In urban areas, tap water is tested and you can drink it without any concern. You can also get it filtered before consuming.
- Mineral water-Infused with minerals, mineral water is considered safe. However, it is loaded with sodium and therefore, don’t have too much of it.
- Seltzer water- Carbonated water and seltzer water can be drunk during pregnancy.
- Flavored water- Although not as harmful as soda, flavored water may have sugar or artificial sweetener.
Pregnancy Hydration Tips
What to do if you are not a fan of water? There are so many ways to increase fluid intake and reach your daily target without any struggle. Here are some excellent tips to ensure optimal water intake for pregnancy:
- When you wake up, make it a habit to drink one glass of water before you start your day.
- Adding a slice of watermelon, cucumber, mint, or lemon can make your boring water tasty.
- Have herbal tea and fresh fruit juice.
- Having your favorite chicken soup is a smart way of increasing fluid intake.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes and you will have an urge to drink more water.
- You can have smoothies as they are yummy, nutritious, and will keep you hydrated.
- Infuse your regular water with frozen berries and it will become appealing.
- Keep a refillable bottle with you when you are going somewhere.
To Sum Up
So, now you know why your doctor has advised you to prioritize drinking water during pregnancy. Lastly, remember that every woman’s body is different and therefore, your body will guide you if you need more water. So, observe your urine and try to have at least 8 glasses of water to avoid dehydration during pregnancy,
Frequently Asked Questions
How much water should a pregnant woman drink daily?
The Institute of Medicine recommends that all pregnant women should have 10 glasses (if each glass is of 8 ounces) of water daily. For breastfeeding mothers, the daily requirement of water becomes thirteen glass a day.
What are the benefits of drinking water during pregnancy?
Sufficient water consumption for expectant moms can keep complications like preterm birth and birth defects in baby at bay. It will help in the production of ample blood and assist the baby in growing fast.
We don’t use any tertiary reference but rely only on studies conducted by medical associations and research institutions.