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1:37 min| 828,275 views
It can be difficult for many women to keep water down during pregnancy, but it's important to stay hydrated. Find tips for getting enough fluids, and learn the signs of pregnancy dehydration.
Jeannette Lager, M.D., MPH, is an assistant professor in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF. Passionate about developing our future healthcare leaders, Dr. Lager is the director of Medical Student Education and the clinical clerkship director for obstetrics and gynecology at the School of Medicine.
Drinking enough fluids is important because it helps prevent common problems in pregnancy such as hemorrhoids, constipation, and bladder infections. In the last trimester, dehydration can trigger preterm contractions.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women should drink about ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This may seem like a lot, but my recommendation is to bring a water bottle and to try to sip throughout the day.
You can tell if you're getting enough water if your urine is pale yellow. And if it's dark in color, you may be dehydrated.
Some tips to help you increase your fluid intake include the following: adding a lemon or other fruit to the water, adding juice to your water, eating ice-cold popsicles or warm broth. But it is important to limit caffeine. Not only does it make you have to run to the bathroom more often, but we also recommend limiting caffeine to 200 mg per day.
Some women are concerned that if they drink too much water that they will retain more fluid, but that's actually not the case. Additionally, it is normal to have some edema or swelling of the feet and ankles. But if you notice that one leg is larger than the other, especially if it's red or warm, you should immediately contact your doctor because it may be suggestive of a blood clot.
If you're persistently lightheaded, have decreased urination despite drinking water, those are both reasons to call your doctor.
In summary, your goal is to stay hydrated and have ten glasses of fluid per day.
Video production by Paige Bierma.