How Much Water You Should Be Drinking While Pregnant

Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Medical News Today states that the human body is comprised of approximately 60% water, making this liquid essential to many different biological processes. Additionally, water makes up 90% of the bloodstream — without it, the blood wouldn't be able to deliver life-sustaining oxygen to every cell of the body.

Water also benefits us in many other ways, including keeping our skin hydrated, regulating body temperature, providing a cushy layer within the spinal cord and brain, and helping dissolve important minerals that the body needs to function properly.

Your water needs don't diminish once you get pregnant. In fact, they increase during this time, per a 2002 nutrition column published in The Journal of Perinatal Education. Water serves additional purposes for the pregnant person, including helping build the fetus's circulation system (remember, the bloodstream is comprised almost entirely of water!), while also contributing to the presence of amniotic fluid.

The benefits don't stop here — water can also help alleviate constipation, which is a common side effect of pregnancy, while minimizing pregnancy-related swelling in the feet and ankles (per BabyCenter).

So now that the importance of drinking water during pregnancy has been established, just how much do you need to guzzle down on a daily basis? Here's what we know.

Shoot for an average of 10 cups of water a day

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) provides a guideline of 8 to 12 cups of water per day, or 64 to 96 ounces. This provides a comfortable average of 10 cups a day, or 80 ounces.

Meeting the water intake recommendations may be difficult depending on your pregnancy symptoms. WebMD acknowledges that those in the first trimester may struggle to keep down both food and water if they are experiencing extreme morning sickness and vomiting. In this case, just focus on taking small sips of water or ginger ale throughout the day as long as you can stomach it. That being said, if you aren't able to keep down any liquids at all, you'll need to seek medical attention as this can lead to harmful dehydration.

Healthline provides some tips for keeping your water intake up if you find it difficult to do so. Instead of drinking just plain water, consider adding some natural flavor, such as a slice of lemon or orange. You can also brew some herbal teas (as long as they're pregnancy safe and approved by your doctor!) to increase your fluid intake throughout the day. BabyCenter recommends ginger and peppermint tea for the added benefits of aiding in morning sickness and soothing digestive distress, respectively.