Drinking enough water can be a challenge for many people—but it can be even more difficult during pregnancy when your requirement is a little higher.
Since more water is needed for the baby, and to minimize some pregnancy side effects, it’s easy to see why you should be drinking more. But sticking to your new habit isn’t always easy.
In this post, we’re sharing 17 useful hydration hacks for pregnant moms.
How Much Water Should I Drink When Pregnant?
It’s a good idea to try to drink more water during pregnancy because it’s needed to make amniotic fluid and extra blood.
You probably already know that the recommended amount of water is 8 glasses (8oz) per day. While you’re expecting though, you should aim for about 10 glasses (8oz) of water a day, according to the Institute of Medicine. That equals 2.3 liters.
Many women don’t drink the recommended amount of water before becoming pregnant, which means you may be struggling to even reach the general guideline.
Benefits of Hydration During Pregnancy
It can be easier to form good habits when we know the benefits of them. Having trouble keeping up with your daily water goals? Remind yourself of the problems hydration can help avoid:
- Eases constipation.Even if you’ve never been backed up before, you can become constipated during pregnancy for a number of reasons. Not only can your changing hormones affect your digestion, but the prenatal you’re taking probably contains iron. While iron is necessary, taking it in supplement form can make some women constipated. Drinking enough water helps loosen up your stools so they can pass through the colon with ease.
- Reduce likelihood of hemorrhoids.Hemorrhoids are a common problem in pregnancy because they develop when you’re constipated. Since water can help prevent constipation, it can also help prevent hemorrhoids.
- Replenishes fluid.Most women experience some morning sickness, even if they don’t throw up. However, if you’re frequently vomiting, you’re losing fluid each time. Drinking water helps replenish your body.
- Combats salt intake.We should always monitor our sodium intake since it can lead to dehydration and bloat. However, during pregnancy, our craving for salty snacks can get the better of us. When this happens, drinking water can help reset the balance.
17 Hydration Hacks During Pregnancy
If you’re having trouble drinking water, or you hate the taste of it, these hacks can help you reach your goals. Remember that it’s better to drink water slowly over a period of time, rather than in a few large gulps.
#1 DIY Tracker Bottle
You can easily track how much water you’re drinking a day by making a DIY water bottle. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Water bottle
- Permanent marker
- Measuring cup
You should be drinking 2.3L of water each day, which equals about 10 measuring cups worth. Using your measuring cup, put in two cups of water and mark it on the bottle. Keep doing that until your water bottle is full. Label each mark with a time. Starting at the top should be the time you wake up or get your day started, then work your way down. If you marked every two cups of water, you can plan to drink one cup of water per hour. You can adjust how much you measure and mark depending on how much water you want to drink over which period of time.
Most water bottles won’t be able to fit 10 cups. If you want your full goal to be tracked using your water bottle, simply double up on the time labels. For example, your first mark may be 8am and 3pm when you refill it. Here’s a quick visual tutorial.
#2 Use the BellyBottle
If you don’t want to make your own, the BellyBottle comes with measured marks that indicate how much you should drink by which time. That way, it’s easier to keep on track and know if you’re falling behind on your water goals. For some added fun, the bottle comes with weekly stickers you can use to mark how far along you are. You can get it on Amazon for $19.99.
#3 Smart Water Bottle
If you’re a techie and love having the latest gadgets, you should try a smart water bottle. Each one works differently, but for example, the Hidrate Spark has a sensor to track your water intake and glows to remind you to drink more.
#4 Bring a Bottle with you Everywhere
Try to get into the habit of bringing a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Purchase a reusable bottle that’s lightweight and easy to carry but that can also keep your beverage cold for hours. When it’s conveniently right beside you, it will be a lot easier to reach your water goals. You’ll also be less likely to buy sodas and juices instead.
#5 Download a Tracker App
Another way to track your water intake is by downloading an app. For example, the Gulp app allows you to set a water goal and check off your progress.
#6 Add Fruit
If you don’t like drinking water and can’t be motivated by it because it tastes like nothing, add some flavor. The healthiest way to do this is by chopping up some fresh fruit and letting the juices meld. Frozen fruit is great for this too because it’s always available and keeps your water cold.
#7 Add Fruit Juice
If your water still tastes too plain after adding fruit slices, you can try adding a small amount of juice. Although it’s healthier to drink plain water than sugar-laden juices, if adding a touch gets you to drink more, it’s worth it!
If you really have trouble drinking water, you can water your juice down with 50% water and work your way to less juice over time.
#8 Stevia Drink Flavors
There’s many options for flavored drink mixes to add to your water bottle, but the healthiest are often stevia-based. These contain no sugar but still add sweetness and a bit of flavor. Although some people say stevia is an acquired taste, it’s worth a shot!
#9 Make Healthy Mocktails
Mocktails, the non-alcoholic version of cocktails, are something more exciting that can inspire you to drink more water. They’re also great to whip up when everyone is having a glass of wine or beer and you can’t.
For example, try making a healthy mojito mocktail. Put 2 lime wedges and 5 mint leaves into a glass and muddle. Then, add ice and top with water.
#10 Drink When You’re Hungry
Of course, this tip won’t satisfy your pregnancy cravings. However, sometimes people confuse thirst cues with hunger cues. When their body is telling them to drink something, they assume it’s hunger and eat instead. To make sure you’re not misreading how you feel, try to drink some water when you want to reach for a snack.
#11 Pay Attention to Urine Color
When you’re hydrated, your urine should be light yellow or clear in color. When you’re dehydrated, that color will keep getting darker. So, a quick way to tell how hydrated you are is to check your urine. When it’s looking too dark, it’s a sign to drink up!
#12 Pair Drinking Water with an Activity
Habits can be a lot easier to form when you “attach” them onto other habits. This way, they’re easier to remember and stick to. For example, if you always have a water bottle on you, you can make a pact with yourself to have a sip of water every time you send a text or check Facebook. Or, maybe you have a few sips every time you use the washroom.
#13 Embrace Soup
Soup can be a comforting food during pregnancy when you’re not feeling well, but it also adds to your hydration. Just remember: Many canned soups contain high amounts of sodium. Salt can deplete the water in your body, making you more dehydrated. To prevent this, look for low-sodium soups. The best option is to make your own soup at home. Check out these 30 Delicious Low-Sodium Salt Recipes.
#14 Drink More Tea
Tea also counts toward your daily hydration goals. Just remember that since you should reduce your caffeine intake, be careful not to go overboard on caffeinated teas. To be safe, you can stick to herbal teas. However, some contain herbs that can be harmful during pregnancy, so be sure to check before buying.
#15 Have a Glass of Water with Your Coffee
Although pregnant women should only have about one cup of coffee per day, that can still be enough to rob you of some hydration. An easy way to balance this out is by drinking a glass of water after your coffee every time.
#16 Make Popsicles
Another way to get a little extra water is to make popsicles. Store-bought ones are filled with sugar, so we recommend buying a popsicle tray and filling it with your own mix. There’s lots of options, but the easiest way is to blend some frozen fruit with water.
#17 Make Fruit Ice Cubes
Similar to the idea above, you can blend fruit and freeze them in ice cube trays. Then, next time you have a glass of water, sweeten it up with your ice cubes.
P.S. Bond with the Baby in Your Belly by Hearing Her Heart. Learn about Fetal Dopplers Today!