How much water should I drink?

It's always important to have plenty of fluids during pregnancy. Not having enough to drink can affect you and your baby.

When you don't have enough to drink, or you lose more fluid than you take in – if you're being sick or sweating a lot, for example – you can become dehydrated.

Drinking enough fluids can help keep you feeling well during pregnancy. It will also help with some common pregnancy problems, such as constipation and tiredness.

How much should I drink?

You need to drink around eight medium (200ml) glasses of fluid a day. All drinks count, including hot drinks such as tea and coffee. Healthy drinks you could have include:

  • water
  • fruit teas
  • fresh fruit juice (stick to one glass a day, which also counts as one of your five a day)
  • skimmed or semi-skimmed milk

Limit drinks that contain caffeine as these can affect your growing baby.

What are the signs of dehydration?

If you have any of these symptoms, you may be dehydrated:

  • feeling thirsty
  • dark-coloured urine
  • not weeing very often (less than three times a day)
  • dry mouth and eyes
  • light-headedness or dizziness
  • headache

If you're worried about your fluid intake, or you have signs of dehydration that don't go away when you drink more, see your doctor or midwife.

What if I have morning sickness?

If you're being sick a lot, this may mean you are at a higher risk of dehydration as you may be losing more fluid than you're taking in. Keep drinking fluids - little and often can be easier than drinking a lot at once. Try keeping a glass or bottle of water close by and taking regular small sips rather than big gulps.

Drink plenty of water when you exercise

Being active is very important during your pregnancy but make sure you drink enough during exercise to avoid becoming dehydrated. Find out more about staying active safely in pregnancy

Tip: Bring a 1 litre bottle of water in to work

You need to drink 1.6 litres of fluid a day. Having a 1 litre bottle of water allows you to keep track of how much you’re drinking. 

 Download Your guide to a healthy diet in pregnancy here.

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Sources

1. NHS Choices (2013). “Dehydration.” NHS Choices; accessed online: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Dehydration/Pages/Introduction.aspx accessed on 07.02.2014

2. ‘Symptoms of dehydration’, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Dehydration/Pages/Symptoms.aspx [accessed 18 January 2015] (last reviewed: 17 May 2013; next review due: 17 May 2015).

3. Thomas DR et al. (2008). “Understanding clinical dehydration and its treatment.” JAMDA 2008;9:292-301

4. NHS Choices [accessed 12/11/2014] Water, http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/water-drinks.aspx

5. Natural Hydration Council (2010). “Pregnancy and motherhood.” Natural Hydration Council;  http://www.naturalhydrationcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Pregnancy-and-Motherhood.pdf 

6. CARE Study Group (2008). “Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy and risk of fetal growth restriction: a large prospective observational study.” BMJ 2008; 337: doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2332

7. NICE (2013). “Nausea/vomiting in pregnancy.” NICE clinical knowledge summaries 2013; accessed online at:http://cks.nice.org.uk/nauseavomiting-in-pregnancy#!topicsummary on 07.02.2013

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Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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