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Staying Hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids is more important now than at any other time in your pregnancy. Staying fully hydrated can help prevent uterine tightening, headaches, constipation, and dizziness. If you're well hydrated when you go into labor, you'll have more stamina than you would if your body lacked fluids. And remember that your baby needs water for her body and the fluid-filled amniotic sac where she lives. If you're hydrated, she will be too.

Eight glasses (64 ounces total) of water a day will keep you hydrated. Drink a few extra glasses if you exercise or if the weather is warm and you're perspiring heavily. If you're drinking enough water, your urine will be nearly clear; if you're not, it will be deep yellow.

Water is the best way to hydrate, but other fluids count in your daily tally, including milk, fruit juice, and decaffeinated coffee or tea. Most fruits and vegetables contain water. Tomatoes, for example, are 94 percent water by weight, and apples are 85 percent.

Wake up your taste buds with these substitutes:

  • Seltzer flavored with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice or a splash of cranberry juice.
  • Decaffeinated iced tea with a slice of fresh lemon and mint leaves.
  • Orange juice blended with ice chips.
  • A tropical fruit juice mocktail made with 1/2 cup of seltzer, 1/2 cup of juice (orange juice, papaya juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, or any combination of the four), and plenty of ice.
  • Frozen flavored ice. Choose ones made with 100-percent fruit juice.
  • Snow cones.
  • Ice-cold water flavored with a drop of vanilla, cherry, or peppermint. Use only a drop, though, because these flavorings are strong and contain a small amount of alcohol.
  • Iced café au lait made with decaffeinated coffee blended with skim milk and ice. Make it a mocha with a half spoonful of cocoa powder.
  • Hot chocolate. Make your own non-fat, less sugary version with a cup of skim milk, a tablespoon of sugar, and a teaspoon of cocoa powder (100-percent-pure cocoa, not hot cocoa mix).
  • Fruity iced tea. Try decaffeinated tea that's chilled with ice cubes made of orange juice and crushed strawberries or raspberries.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.