It is incredibly easy to get dehydrated during pregnancy—no matter what time of year you are pregnant.
In the summer, we tend to think about drinking water more often. But during the winter, our bodies have to adapt to the colder temperatures and drier air conditions. That’s right, winter actually carries out low humidity, which means that you are more inclined to dry skin, dehydration, scratchy throat and sinus problems—all woes that you want to avoid during pregnancy.
Throughout pregnancy, it’s important that your internal body temperature remains normal—yup, drinking enough water during pregnancy will help with this too.
How much water should a pregnant woman drink?
Pregnant women should drink 10 eight ounce glasses of water every day. Carry a water bottle with you and sip slowly throughout the day.
Here are six tips to help ensure that you are staying hydrated during your pregnancy:
1. Drink water (all the time)
As mentioned, dehydration can cause problems ranging from lightheadedness to preterm labor. So purchase a reusable water bottle and keep it close by. You are supposed to drink approximately 10 cups (over 2 liters) a day. Drink even more if you are adding exercise or travel to the mix. And if you get tired of water, enjoy some tea, preferably decaffeinated.
2. Start your day with fruits
Since you have to stay extra hydrated during pregnancy, you’ll have to ingest a lot of water. So you may get sick of it from time to time. Mix it up a bit and load up on water-rich fruits such as watermelon, pomegranate and pineapple. It’s a good way to stay hydrated and eat well.
3. Consider salt
Yes, you read that correctly! When you ingest salt, your brain tells the kidneys to hold on to water. You need salt to bring in fluid from the intestine to the bloodstream. Foods such as saltine crackers (especially if you’re in the early months of pregnancy) and low-sodium chicken noodle soup can help retain water (versus losing it in urine) in your body as necessary.
Certainly, we don’t want to overdo the salt during pregnancy. The recommended daily sodium intake for adults is 2,300 mg or less. Talk to your provider about what your specific guidelines should be.
4. Incorporate soups
Soups are one of the best way to incorporate fiber-rich vegetables, carbohydrates and protein into your diet all at once. Since the base of most soups contain water, this is also an excellent way to stay hydrated. As mentioned, chicken noodle soup could give you the right amount of sodium to keep water in your system.
Psst: Check out our six favorite crockpot soup recipes!
5. Avoid caffeine
Coffee is a diuretic, which means you’ll lose fluids faster, so if you can, avoid drinking coffee. But if you can’t imagine skimping on that cup of joe, be sure to make up for it with at least two 8-ounce glasses of water so that you’re replenishing your body adequately. Switching to pregnancy-friendly herbal teas is an alternate solution for that afternoon pick-me-up.
6. Use a humidifier
A humidifier is a great way to keep your body moist when you are inside, especially in the winter when the air is drier and your heater is blasting. Your eyes and nasal passages will benefit from the moisture during this time, which can ultimately help prevent an oncoming cold or cough.