First Trimester

Q&A: Staying Hydrated During Pregnancy?

I know I’m supposed to drink lots of water during pregnancy, but why? Are other liquids just as good, or does it have to be water?

Hydration is always important, and during pregnancy those fluids are even more precious than usual. Your body needs water to formamniotic fluid, produce extra blood volume, build new tissue, carry nutrients, help indigestion, and flush out your wastes and toxins. (Baby’s, too!) Drinking lots of fluids during pregnancy can work wonders, easing constipation (and therefore hemorrhoids), softening skin, reducing edema and decreasing risk of both urinary tract infections and preterm labor. It’s a good idea to get eight cups each day, and if it’s hot or if you’ve been exercising, you probably need even more.

If the thought of all that water makes you grimace, don't worry — you’re free to include other fluids. Milk, juice, soup, sparkling water,tea and coffee (decaf only!) all count, and fruits and veggies even add to the tally (five servings of produce = two servings of fluid).

By Paula Kashtan