Water in pregnancy – an easy tool for monitoring body water balance

  1. Is it true that the intake of water in pregnancy has to be increased?
  2. How much water do I have to drink during my pregnancy?
  3. How can I assess if I’m drinking enough water?
  4. What are the benefits related with a good body water balance in pregnancy
  5. Water is a simple liquid or is it more?

Let’s see what are the answers of all these questions and why is important for you to know them.

1.Is it true that the intake of water in pregnancy has to be increased? 2. How much water do I have to drink during my pregnancy?

Yes, water like air is essential for life, especially when it comes to 2 lives.

In pregnancy the adequate intakes for water is about 3 Liter per day, equivalent of 10 ounces cups. These are average statistical values, but individual small variations may occur, so do not worry. 🙂

This means an additional intake of about 300 ml of water in pregnancy, compared to usual adequate water intake of 2.7 L/d for an adult women.  

Generally, the total amount of water we ingest comes from our daily water and beverages consumption (about 80%) and from food (about 20%).

As a principle, the fluids intake should approximately equal the output.

The fluids consumption may vary from one person to another, or even for the same person according to:

  • Seasonal variation
  • Exposure to high temperatures (traveling in hot and humid climates, sauna exposure or working in high temperature and humidity environment)
  • Traveling in high altitude regions
  • Degree of engagement in physical activities (including sports, fitness activity)
  • Daily sodium intake
  • The amount of spicy food
  • Solid food with high protein level or sweets consumption.

The absorption and transport of nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins (Vitamin C - ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, riboflavin, B12 (thiamine), and B6 (pyridoxine) depend on the amount of water intake.

Therefore in pregnancy it’s even more important to pay attention on the daily fluids intake (water or other beverages such as juice, milk, coffee, tea or soda) and don’t let thirst to be the only guide for you.

Here's a tip: water bottle

Take with you or put nearby one of the modern, reusable bottles for water. If you want you can add some lemon, lime, strawberry or your favorite fruit and you can get a really refreshing drink.

The quality and the calories of the beverages is another aspect to think about.

To decrease the quantity of caffeine intake (from coffee, black tea or soda) and increase the quantity of plain water or mineral water, if and when you tolerate the fizzy bubbles would be a good decision.

Some of the expecting mothers even feel better after a glass of mineral water, a relief of nausea and vomiting.

Also, you may choose to do your own fresh healthy fruit juice or fruit with vegetables juices instead of buying soft drinks.

3. How can I assess if I’m drinking enough water in pregnancy?

The easiest way is by looking at the color of your urine.

If it looks yellow pale or colorless it means low urine concentration and osmolarity, due to adequate fluid intake.

According to a recent study published in the Journal “Annals of nutrition and metabolism”

"For pregnant, lactating, and control women (non pregnant), urine color chart is a valid tool that can be used to monitor urine concentration in a single sample, or across the entire day through a 24 h sample."*

Maintaining low urine concentration is recommended for good functioning of the kidneys and the treatment or prevention of constipation and kidneys or bladder stones.

If the color is a darker yellow and it may be noticed a stronger odor, it means urine concentration and osmolarity is high due to a low fluid intake.

Long term persistence of this may have negative health consequences, including chronic kidney disease, increased rate of decline in kidney function, constipation, hemorrhoids and poor glucose homeostasis.

Dehydration is accompanied by some symptoms, besides changing the urine color.

It can draw your attention to a possible dehydration the occurrence of:

  • Nausea or irritability.
  • Dizziness.
  • Muscle cramps or weakness.
  • Feeling tired or faint.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Thirst.

4.What are the benefits related with a good balance of  the water  in pregnancy?

Do you know that water represents 90% of the fetus total weight?

The total body water, expressed as a percentage of total body weight decreases progressively with increasing of age.

From 74 % in infants the water percent decreases slightly to 60% in adult male and 50 % in adult female. Our grandparents (adults over 50) are even "drier" than us, with only 56% water in men and 47% women.

As you can see, the water remains a major component of our body structure throughout of our lives, even if slightly decreases with ageing.

It plays a crucial role for our existence, for maintaining the functionality of our entire body.

Each of our cells contain mainly water, even bones contain 20% water.

"Changes in cell volume have important implications for trafficking of nutrients and waste, while also affecting cellular metabolism and gene expression."*

Water aids digestion, the absorption and transport of all nutrients to cells, eliminates waste products prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and bladder infection, maintains the normal consistency of body fluids.

In addition during pregnancy water is important for developing and maintaining the watery environment (amniotic fluid) in which the fetus develops.

During ultrasound examination the quantity of amniotic fluid is regularly assessed may offering important clues on the fetal wellbeing.

In case that your body doesn’t get enough water it will try to retain to more fluid as long as it senses it's becoming dehydrated. As an odd result you will achieve fluid retention, concretized by swollen feet or ankle.

Be careful! If you notice that the swelling in your hands and feet becomes severe, the appearance of edema in the eyelids "puffy eyes", reduced urine, sudden increase in weight, it is necessary to contact your obstetrician immediately. These signs may indicate an additional water retain in your body due to the setup of preeclampsia.

Therefore paying attention on having a proper balance of  the water in pregnancy is vital, both for you and for your child.

5.Water is a simple liquid or is it more?

Do you know that your positive or negative thoughts can modify the structure pattern of the water?  Do you know that water has memory?

Find out the secrets of water which now starts to reveal to ourselves by watching this documentary:


*Amy L. McKenzie, Lawrence E. Armstrong “Monitoring Body Water Balance in Pregnant and Nursing Women: The Validity of Urine Color” Ann Nutr Metab 2017;70(suppl 1):18–22

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