How Much Water Should a Pregnant Woman Drink?
When you’re carrying a baby in the womb, you’re eating for the two of you and drinking for two. How much water should a pregnant woman drink? Read on to find out.
How Much Water Should a Pregnant Woman Drink?
If you’re pregnant or expecting to be pregnant soon, it’s important to prepare your mind and body for some of the physical changes that are going to occur. It’s also important to prepare for changes in nutrition. When you’re eating for two, you have to be extra mindful and careful of what you consume so that you get the essential nutrients while avoiding foods that may be dangerous.
Drinking water generally aids digestion and can help prevent future health complications linked to signs of dehydration. It helps flush out toxins, produce extra blood, and promote new tissue growth.
Hydration is also crucial during pregnancy. It helps fuel your body and your little one’s body, too. If you’re wondering how your drinking habits are going to change, this guide is for you. How much water should a pregnant woman drink? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Hydration Is Important During Pregnancy
It’s no secret that hydration is important. Whether you’re pregnant or not, drinking enough water is vital to fueling important physical processes, lubricating your joints, helping digestion and metabolism, and keeping you healthy.
During pregnancy, here are the most important reasons to stay hydrated and drink enough water.
Regulates Body Temperature
Staying hydrated helps regulate your body temperature. It acts as a thermoregulator, dissipating heat and keeping your body cool with sweat. This is essential for keeping you and your little one healthy while pregnant.
Reduces the Risk of UTI
Drinking enough water also helps reduce your risk of contracting a urinary tract infection (UTI). Water is filtered through your renal system, which filters solutes and bacteria out of your body in your urine. When you’re hydrated, you’re able to flush out necessary waste and reset your system. If you don’t drink enough water, you may not flush out enough bacteria, which can increase your risk of UTI.
During pregnancy, it’s common to experience an increase in urination frequency. To avoid the risk of urinary tract infections, you'll want to replenish your body by staying consistent with your fluid intake as you urinate more often, so you and your baby get the hydration you need.
Supports Your Pregnancy
Hydration supports most aspects of your pregnancy. Not only does it promote health and wellness, but it helps things like metabolism and higher blood volume to increase circulation. Water is also responsible for the amniotic fluid surrounding your baby.
Helps Regulate Swelling
If you’re experiencing swelling during pregnancy around your feet, ankles, or hands, drinking fluids can help. This may seem counter-intuitive, as body fluids are the cause of the swelling.
However, swelling is only caused by fluid retention. Your body retains fluids because it’s not getting enough. Increasing your water intake can help your body release some of these fluids as it becomes more hydrated. Be sure to keep an eye on swelling during pregnancy and watch out for any sudden or severe swelling. If you experience swelling that comes on all at once or much more than usual, talk to your health care physician.
Metabolic changes are normal during pregnancy. Your body changes to accommodate your little one, and you’re feeding them as well, so it’s normal to experience some constipation. Luckily, drinking water can help loosen stool and get your digestive system moving, relieving constipation and even helping to prevent hemorrhoids!
How Much Water Is Enough?
Hydration is essential to keeping you and your baby healthy while pregnant. How much water should a pregnant woman drink? The general rule of thumb is to drink anywhere from 10 to 12 cups a day, or 80 ounces to 96 ounces.
If you’re fairly active while pregnant, you may need to drink more than this to compensate for water loss from sweat and fuel your body.
Tips For Getting Enough Water
To avoid developing symptoms of dehydration, you'll want to make sure you are consuming enough fluids during the first trimester, second trimester, third trimester, and fourth trimester.
Here are some ways to stay hydrated through all the stages of your pregnancy:
Bring a Water Bottle With You
One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting enough water is to bring it with you wherever you go. Consider getting a reusable water bottle that you can bring with you in your purse or car. When you see your water bottle, it will remind you to take a sip. You can also use a water bottle that keeps track of how many ounces you drink. This will help you get the proper amount of water each day.
Set a Timer or Set Goals
If you have trouble remembering to drink water throughout the day, it may help to set goals for yourself. You can set a timer on your phone or clock to remind you to drink a few ounces every hour. You can also set goals for yourself throughout the day.
For instance, your goals could be to drink 32 ounces of water by lunchtime, another 24 ounces of water before dinner, and then 24 ounces of water in between dinner and bedtime.
Eat Hydrating Snacks
Another way to ensure you get enough hydration throughout the day is to eat hydrating snacks.
Here are some examples of foods and beverages you can eat/drink to boost your hydration:
- Soup and broths (with vegetables)
- Lemon or lime water
- Fruit juice
- Mineral water
- Mint leaves in water
It’s best to avoid dehydrating drinks and snacks like sodas, fizzy drinks, energy drinks, juices with sugar, and junk foods that can help you stay hydrated and nourished during pregnancy. These sorts of foods and beverages can cause an upset stomach. Caffeine should also be avoided as it can cause dehydration, dizziness, tiredness, headaches, and nausea.
Staying Hydrated and Healthy
Staying hydrated and healthy while pregnant requires being mindful in paying attention to what your body needs. When you take care of your health, you take care of your baby’s health. By drinking small sips or small amounts of water throughout the day, it can ensure that you drink plenty of water so that you and your developing baby are happy and hydrated.