Most women need about nine glasses of liquid each day, and pregnant women may need more, according to MayoClinic.com.The amount you should drink each day depends on your weight, your activity level, where you live, and other factors. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have questions about how much you need to drink while pregnant. If you experience morning sickness, sipping small amounts of water or other liquids slowly may help reduce nausea. Getting dehydrated will make nausea worse.
Water is a great thing to drink when you are pregnant. It is refreshing, has no calories, and contains nothing artificial. It carries nutrients to all the cells in your body, helps all your organs function properly, and flushes toxins out of your system. If you get bored with plain water, try adding wedges of lemon or lime, slices of cucumber, or mint leaves to your water.
Low-fat milk quenches your thirst while also providing some of the calcium you and your growing baby need. It gives you plenty of protein, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, too. Avoid unpasteurized milk, though, as it may contain bacteria called Listeria that can cause serious illness, premature birth, and even miscarriage, according to the article, “Good Nutrition During Pregnancy for You and Your Baby” on the Cleveland Clinic website.
Decaffeinated Coffee or Tea
Limit your caffeine to no more than 300 mg per day during pregnancy, the amount found in two cups of regular coffee or three cups of regular tea, recommends the Cleveland Clinic. Decaffeinated coffee and tea provide good alternatives, though. If you like sweetener in your coffee or tea, the FDA has approved the use of aspartame and sucralose during pregnancy. You can also use real sugar or honey in small amounts.
Herbal tea offers another alternative to plain water or caffeinated tea. Herbal teas contain no calories (unless you add honey or sugar) and you can choose from many different flavors. Some herbal teas may even help with morning sickness; in their book Herbalism, Frances Buning and Paul Hambly recommend peppermint or ginger teas for this purpose. Keep in mind that some herbal teas should be avoided during pregnancy because they may cause premature contractions. Frances Buning and Paul Hambly recommend avoiding black cohosh, blue cohosh, barberry, feverfew, and golden seal tea while pregnant. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have questions about the safety of other herbal teas.
Beverages Best Avoided
Avoid or limit drinks high in calories, including soda, juice, sweet tea, and milkshakes in order to prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Avoid alcoholic drinks, which the article, “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” on MayoClinic.com, explains may lead to premature birth, low birth weight, or even fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition that causes mental retardation, learning disabilities, physical deformities, visual impairment, and behavioral problems.