Benefits of keeping hydrated
- Say no to UTI’s. Drinking water dilutes your urine and causes you to flush out bacteria as you pee more often, which reduces your risk of urinary tract and bladder infections.
- Baby will thank you! Your body needs more water during pregnancy for many reasons, including your increased metabolism which requires water to work efficiently and a significantly higher blood volume which supplies your baby with the oxygen and nutrients he needs to grow.
- Swollen feet. Fluid retention can be a result of dehydration. If your feet and ankles are swollen, drinking more water can actually help. Fluid retention can result from not drinking enough, because your body hangs on to more fluid if it senses it’s becoming dehydrated. (If swelling is excessive or comes on suddenly, especially in your hands, legs, or face, contact your caregiver, as this can be a sign of preeclampsia.)
How much water to drink while pregnant
Your needs may vary based on your activity levels, your size, and even the weather. Did you know that your body actually requires just as much water/hydration in the winter as your body is working hard to keep your warm.
The best way to tell if you’re getting enough water Is to monitor the colour of your urine. Your pee should look pale yellow or colourless.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) and the Institute of Medicine recommend that pregnant women drink on average about 10 x 8-ounce cups of water each day, although this target isn’t an exact science and will vary slightly person to person.
Your 1st trimester. Your water requirements increase throughout your pregnancy, so you may not have to think too much about how much water you drink early on.
But you still need to monitor this and keep a careful eye on your water intake if morning sickness causes you to vomit. Your body loses both water and electrolytes when you are sick which can quickly lead to dehydration.
Your 2nd trimester. By the second trimester, nausea and vomiting will (hopefully) be behind you but as your blood volume increases, so will your hydration requirements as, blood is more than three-quarters water.
While 10 cups of water might seem like a lofty goal, it’s doable if you sip throughout the day rather than chugging a lot at once when you’re thirsty (and possibly already a bit dehydrated).
Your 3rd Trimester
Your blood volume reaches its peak at weeks 32 to 34 of pregnancy, increasing by 50 to 60 percent compared to its pre-conception levels. That makes it especially important to stay hydrated in the last trimester – especially since dehydration can cause Braxton Hicks contractions that are easy to confused with real labor contractions.
How to spot dehydration.
It’s always good to know the signs of dehydration, so you can nip it in the bud, but if you are unsure it always best to seek medical attention or advice from a professional.
- Extreme thirst
- Peeing less often
- Urine that looks dark yellow or straw-coloured
- Fatigue, confusion, or dizziness
Call your doctor if you’re concerned you might be severely dehydrated, especially if you:
- Can’t keep down fluids
- Are disoriented or very sleepy
- Have bloody or black bowel movements, or diarrhoea that lasts for more than 24 hours
Our Tip to staying hydrated during pregnancy
- We recommend getting a large reusable sports bottle, let’s say 750ml, ideally the type with volume markings on the side. You will need to be aiming at drinking at least 3 of these 750ml refills a day to get close to the recommended target of 80oz.
We break this down to 1 x 750ml of water needs to be consumed every 5 hours, this would equate to 150ml every hour.