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Water for Pregnancy

Drinking water during pregnancy

During your pregnancy, the requirement for water increases slightly in order to support the growth and development of your baby. Water plays a vital role in delivering essential nutrients to your baby, maintaining the level of amniotic fluid for protection and increased blood volume. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help to support these changes.
Water is the perfect fluid to keep you hydrated throughout your pregnancy. Apart from supporting the growth and development of your baby, water can also help reduce constipation which is common in pregnancy by helping to keep your digestive system moving and make bowel movements easier to pass. Additionally, water may also reduce the effects of fatigue, dizziness and headaches which can be exacerbated with a low water intake.

So, how much water should you drink?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends drinking between 2.4 (14-28 years) -3.1 litres (19-50 years) of water a day, depending on your age. This equates to 8-12 glasses of water per day. You may need to increase your water intake if you live in a hot climate, are very active or need to replace lost fluid if you suffer from morning sickness.
Consuming inadequate amounts of water may case dehydration, muscle cramps, and in extreme cases increase the risk of premature birth. Symptoms of dehydration may include headaches, light-headedness, confusion, dark coloured urine and urinating less frequently. You can ensure that you are drinking enough water by checking the colour of your urine, if it’s pale yellow or colourless then you’re drinking enough.

Tips to increase water intake

- Keep a water bottle on hand so you can track how much you are drinking

- Drink water whenever you feel thirsty.

- Have a glass of water with meals.

- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as they also contain water.

- Drink smaller sips at a time which may help if feeling nauseous.

- Limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day e.g. 1 cup of espresso coffee, 2 cups of instant coffee and 4 cups of tea. Decaffeinated drinks are preferred

- Avoid energy drinks, sports drinks and limit sugary drinks

- Avoid all alcohol


1. Montgomery KS. Nutrition column an update on water needs during pregnancy and beyond. J Perinat Educ. 2002;11(3):40-2.

2. Zhang N, Zhang F, Chen S, Han F, Lin G, Zhai Y, He H, Zhang J, Ma G. Associations between hydration state and pregnancy complications, maternal-infant outcomes: protocol of a prospective observational cohort study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2020 Feb 7;20(1):82.

3. Derbyshire E, Davies J, Costarelli V, Dettmar P. Diet, physical inactivity and the prevalence of constipation throughout and after pregnancy. Matern Child Nutr. 2006;2(3):127-134.

4. Thomas DR, Cote TR, Lawhorne L, Levenson SA, Rubenstein LZ, Smith DA, et al. Understanding clinical dehydration and its treatment. J Am Medical Dir Assoc. 2008 Jan 1;9(5):292–296.

5. National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council, 2013.