How Much Water Do You Need to Drink in Early Pregnancy?

Pregnant woman drinking water
A pregnant woman drinking water in her kitchen. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

The human body needs plenty of water to function and eliminate waste, especially during pregnancy. Drinking enough water in the early months of your pregnancy can help relieve pregnancy symptoms such as constipation, hemorrhoids and morning sickness. Water also helps your body cope with the hormonal and physiological changes throughout your pregnancy.

Recommended Water Intake

Babycenter.com recommends that you drink 8, 8-ounce glasses of water per day, and on top of that add 8 ounces of water for each hour of physical activity you perform. If you live in a humid climate or are pregnant during the summer, you may need to increase your water intake to replenish fluid lost during perspiration. Juice, coconut water and milk contribute to your daily fluid amount. Limit caffeine intake to no more than 200 milligrams per day.

Benefits

Water helps prevent dehydration and provides various health benefits throughout pregnancy. Symptoms of dehydration include nausea, dizziness and headaches. Properly hydrating yourself helps alleviate these symptoms and uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy. Your body needs plenty of fluids during pregnancy to maintain a healthy amount of amniotic fluid for your growing baby. Drinking plenty of water promotes a healthy digestive system, which helps relieve hemorrhoids and constipation. Staying hydrated also helps alleviate swelling that often occurs in late pregnancy.

Uterine Contractions

Dehydration is a common cause of uterine contractions and preterm labor. Mild dehydration can cause false contractions, or Braxton Hicks contractions, throughout your pregnancy. Although Braxton Hicks contractions cause your uterus to tighten, they do not cause the cervix to dilate. If you experience uterine contractions or Braxton Hicks contractions, lay on your side and drink 8 oz. of water. If the contractions persist or intensify after drinking water and resting, contact your health care provider.

Tips

Many expectant mothers find it difficult to meet the recommended water intake during early pregnancy. While some experience morning sickness that makes them unable to stomach plain water, others simply forget to drink the water they need. Carrying a water bottle with you at all times can help remind you to drink water throughout the day. If the taste of water is unpleasant for you, add lime or lemon slices, cucumber or other fruits to your water.

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