Water is an essential element of life and it constitutes 55%-65% of a person’s body weight.1 Just like how you and your baby require extra nutrients from food for proper growth and development, water is an indispensable necessity, especially for pregnant women.2
In this blog, we're going to discuss the benefits of drinking water during pregnancy, the recommended water intake for pregnant women, and also the signs and complications of dehydration.
Three-quarters of our body is made up of water, therefore drinking water during pregnancy is necessary. It helps carry out functions within the body, for e.g. supports digestion, regulates body temperature, and transports nutrients and oxygen to cells. It eliminates waste material from the body while also acting as a solvent for vitamins, minerals, glucose, and amino acids.3
While maintaining the body’s hydration needs, water also helps in the development of teeth and bones of the growing baby. It also helps support general fluid needs, amniotic fluid, and a higher blood volume (which supplies your baby with the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow).3
When your body is not sufficiently hydrated, it tries to retain the existing fluid to prevent dehydration, which results in swelling. Hydrating yourself with adequate amounts of water can, therefore, help reduce the swelling in your feet and ankles during pregnancy.4
Drinking enough water also helps prevent common pregnancy problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids. It keeps your bowel movements smooth and your stools soft. Therefore, drinking water during pregnancy is important.4
Regular water intake dilutes your urine and helps you flush out bacteria. This way, you urinate more often, which reduces the risk of urinary tract and bladder infections.4
During pregnancy, it is essential to increase your water intake to support optimal bodily functions. However, these questions arise: What is the appropriate amount of water needed during pregnancy? Are you adequately hydrating yourself while pregnant?
Let’s delve deeper into these questions.
As per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a pregnant woman should drink 8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water every day. However, water consumption and its needs may vary, depending upon the food intake (i.e. calories consumed). Generally, pregnant women are advised to increase their food consumption by 300 calories by the second trimester. Therefore, with the increase in calories consumed, a pregnant woman would require at least 300 ml of additional fluid to fulfill the body’s requirements.1,5
This blog talks about the importance of drinking water during pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women should drink 8-12 glasses of water daily in order to meet body’s requirements.5 Few women don’t like the taste of water (probably because of changing hormones). In such a scenario, women can meet their daily water requirements by trying different types of juices or liquids. Another way to prevent dehydration is to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet (they have water content in them). Milk, juice, tea, and soups - also count as water or fluid intake.7,8
Dehydration during pregnancy can result in major pregnancy issues such as low amniotic fluid, insufficient breast milk production, and even early labor.9 Therefore, it’s important you keep yourself hydrated for the sake of your and your growing baby’s well-being.
If you want more information, read our other pregnancy-related blogs. Stay healthy.