The Role Of Water & Your Pregnancy Diet
Water should be an essential part of your pregnancy diet. Discover how much water you need to drink when pregnant.
The importance of staying hydrated
During pregnancy, your fluid requirement increases so it is important to be aware of your intake of fluids. Extra fluid is needed to maintain a healthy level of amniotic fluid in your abdomen. It is also necessary to sustain your increased blood volume, which is 40-50 per cent higher than usual.
Drinking water is the best option to keep you hydrated throughout your pregnancy while your baby is undergoing rapid development. Make sure you are drinking enough water each day as this will also help prevent constipation, a common symptom for many pregnant women.
Dehydration during your second trimester can result in muscle cramping, Braxton Hicks contractions, and, in extreme cases, premature labour. Even slight dehydration can upset the balance of minerals and salts in your body, which can affect your baby. If you are feeling extremely thirsty and this persists, be sure to check in with your GP, midwife or healthcare professional.
In the third trimester, it is recommended that you drink slightly more water to support the enormous growth and development that happens for your baby during this time.
Guidelines for staying well hydrated
- Drink at least 2 litres, or 8-10 glasses, of water per day
- If you wish, you can add a slice of fresh lemon or lime to water for added freshness
- Keep a water bottle handy with you throughout the day so you can keep track of how much water you are drinking
- Make a habit of drinking milk too, as this is also a great source of calcium for your developing baby
- Avoid sugary drinks, energy drinks and drinks containing artificial sweeteners
- Limit your caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day - that’s around one to two cups of espresso coffee style coffee, three cups of instant coffee, four cups of medium strength tea, or 4 cups of cocoa or hot chocolate per day – however it’s best to limit your consumption of caffeine during pregnancy wherever possible. Avoid double shots of espresso coffee and drinks marked as sports or energy drinks that contain caffeine.
- If you suffer from morning sickness, remember that vomiting can lead to dehydration, so it is a good idea to replace lost fluids
- It is recommended that pregnant women do not drink alcohol at all, as it crosses the placenta in your baby’s bloodstream and can affect their development