Doing everything you're "supposed to do" when you're pregnant can feel like a full-time job. Helping your body grow a human isn't easy, but there's one task that arguably sits at the top of the "must do" list: drink water. It's widely known that not drinking enough water, pregnant or not, can cause dehydration. The symptoms and effects of dehydration vary from person to person, but the toll it takes on pregnant women is especially concerning. So what happens if you don't drink enough water during pregnancy? Perhaps even more importantly, what can be done about it?
First, how much water are you actually supposed to be drinking when you’re pregnant?. “I advise my patients to drink one liter of water before noon and one liter before bed for a total of two liters per day [or, around 68 ounces],” Certified Nurse Midwife Jana Flesher tells Romper. That might seem like way more than you can handle, but just keep a water bottle nearby at all times and take little sips throughout the day. If you’re one of the unlucky moms who develops a mild aversion to water, you can help yourself stay hydrated by drinking “milk or a non-dairy nut beverage, like almond milk, [and] broths are excellent,” says Flesher. And maybe skip the ice cold stuff. “Warm or room temperature beverages actually hydrate the body more quickly,” Flesher says. “A cup of hot water with fresh-squeezed lemon, honey, and some grated ginger as an initial morning beverage can hydrate, settle nausea, and assist in moving bowels.” Foods that have naturally high water content (like watermelon, cucumbers, and iceberg lettuce) can help you to stay hydrated too, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It’s a great excuse to lie around like Cleopatra all day while being fed strawberries (also on the list of foods with high water content).
Joking aside, the effects of not drinking enough water while pregnant vary from woman to woman and some are very serious. It's important to be made aware of the potential complications associated with dehydration so it can either be avoided altogether, or early and potentially life-saving intervention can occur. So, with that in mind, here are seven things that could happen if you don't drink enough water while pregnant.