Water Intake During Pregnancy

Drinking Water is a Pregnancy Essential for both You and the Baby

Most people suggest you drink 8 8-ounce glasses a day. That's a good goal to remain hydrated from regular, daily activity. For most people though, this isn't enough. If you're pregnant - especially with twins - it is definitely not enough.

The average person "looses" 80 to 96 ounces of water per day by respiration, urination, and perspiration. That isn't counting the additional demands placed on your body when you're pregnant, the weather is warm, or if you are very active. As a pregnant mom you need to replenish a cup of baby's amniotic fluid - every hour. This means the minimum water you should be drinking just to replace water that you use while you're pregnant is 224 ounces of water A DAY. That's 14 pints of water. Why does your body need so much?

1. Water acts as transport system to carry nutrients through the blood you and the baby.

2. Water flushes out your system - increasing your water intake will dilute your urine and help prevent urinary tract infections, which are common in pregnancy - and very uncomfortable. You have enough to deal with (morning sickness, weight gain, hormones, odd cravings, etc.) without coming down with a UTI.

3. Amniotic fluid needs to replenish itself every hour. I've read different medical articles that used different amounts of water that are needed to replenish the amniotic fluid. I was told in my multiple expectations class that, with twins, 12 ounces of water EVERY HOUR were needed to replenish amniotic fluid. That in itself is 288 ounces of water every 24 hours. My goal was to drink 16 ounces of water every half hour while I was awake.

4. Dehydration can cause contractions, and lack of water in the third trimester can also cause premature labor.

5. Your body is working overtime to provide for you and the baby. There's increased blood flow, increased toxins that need to be removed from your body, and overall blood volume as well. You've probably heard that the human body is 98% water - if you don't keep up the water intake, the body can't function correctly.

6. The more water you drink during pregnancy, the less water your body will retain.

7. Not drinking enough water can lead to constipation, headaches, nausea (and other morning sickness symptoms) and fatigue. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable enough without adding these symptoms!

8. Staying well-hydrated is also a great way to reduce the chances of stretch marks.

Tips to make sure you're getting enough water for you and the baby:

1. Buy a 16 ounce water bottle or special "water glass". Get in the habit of filling the bottle or glass every 1/2 hour - whether you drink all of it or not. This will accomplish several things - you'll be sure to get up and stretch every half hour, you'll remind yourself to drink, and you'll increase how much you drink every day.

2. Fill two one-gallon containers with water every morning and put them in the fridge. Make a goal of finishing both before bedtime. Cut out all other beverages (teas or sodas, for instance) until you finish the water.

3. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, berries and melons to help meet your daily water requirements.

4. Even though you need to drink all that water - don't drink water with meals. Water will dilute the food in your stomach and may interfere with your body's ability to absorb the nutrients it needs from the foods you eat.

5. Keep track of the amount of water as you drink it every day to ensure that you're drinking the water you need. I found it much easier to keep up with my water intake during the workday than it was during the weekend. I found that if I didn't write down the glasses of water as I filled them during the day I'd loose track - and simply not get enough water for that day.

6. Remember, coffee, soda (even diet sodas), tea and juice are not good substitutes for water! If you have an aversion to water, try adding lemon, lime, or unsweetened cranberry juice to your water glass. Most women don't know that some herbal teas can affect your pregnancy and the baby. Herbal teas might seem like a good option - but check ingrediants with your ob before you drink herbal teas.

7. You should be careful of your source of water. There are some contaminants found in water that, if taken in excess could be dangerous to you and your baby. You should have your tap water tested if you live in an older home, or if there's a chance that your home has lead pipes. If you don't want to purchase filtered bottled water, you can invest in a faucet filter, or a Brita filter that you can keep in the refrigerator. Water coolers (just like the ones seen at the office!) can be purchased for home use as well.

The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. The information is NOT intended to be a substitute for medical care. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have.