Pregnancy: How much do you need to drink during pregnancy?

Why is it so important to consume so much fluid during pregnancy, and just how much do I need to drink?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Fluid consumption affects all aspects of pregnancy, including maintaining your energy. Good hydration also helps prevent the following: dry skin, miscarriage, pre-term labor, constipation, hemorrhaging and electrolyte imbalances.

The hormones of pregnancy change the way the body stores and uses fluids, making you salvage water and store it. Blood volume doubles by seven months, and amniotic fluid replenishes itself by about a cup every hour. Due to changes in kidney physiology, there is a remarkably increased excretion of amino acids and water-soluble vitamins in the urine. Kidney filtration is greatly increased in pregnancy, and fluid supplementation by the mother can reduce stress on the kidneys. In addition, pregnant women have an increased water loss through the lungs.

Preterm labor can be induced by dehydration and stopped, many times, by rehydration.

In order to satisfy the fluid requirements of pregnancy, consume six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day, in addition to juices, which can count as a serving of fruit. Such intake will assure that the changes that encourage water retention will not result in dehydration, which will, in turn, cause constipation, dry skin and possible complications such as preterm labor.

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