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:
- 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
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.
In pregnancy it's important to eat well. If you are used to eating foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat, you can make a few changes that will be good for you and your baby.
Drinking a lot of caffeine in pregnancy has been linked to miscarriage and low birth weight so the current advice is to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 200mg a day during your pregnancy.
You don't have to stop having fun now you're pregnant - but there are a few things you'll have to give up. Alcohol is one of these things, because it can damage your growing baby.
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 07.02.2013Hide details
ℹLast reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.