This post is sponsored by Stanley Brand. All thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands who support TCM!
If you told me I'd have trouble drinking water during pregnancy, I would've looked at you like you were crazy! Could water seriously bring on nausea and morning sickness for a pregnant woman?! Isn't clean water one of the best things we can do for our bodies?!
Yet, I developed a water aversion during the first trimester of pregnancy. Each time I'd reach for a sip, I'd feel the wave of nausea rising inside of me. I was beyond confused and mildly convinced I was making this up in my head, until I read about countless other women who experienced difficulty drinking water while pregnant too!
So how did I do it? How did I stay hydrated while pregnant despite being unable to drink water at the time? That's what I'm sharing with you today!
Table of Contents
Trouble Drinking Water During Pregnancy?
- How much water should you drink a day during pregnancy?
- My experience having trouble drinking water during pregnancy
7 Tips To Staying Hydrated While Pregnant!
How much water should you drink a day during pregnancy?
The recommendation is generally 8-12 cups of 8 ounces of water or 2.3 liters per day.
My experience having trouble drinking water during pregnancy:
I'm a huge water drinker. It's literally my favorite beverage. Nothing tastes better to me than an ice cold glass of CLEAN water.
TIP: If drinking tap water, pull your cities water report and see what contaminants and toxins are in it! Make sure to get a water filter that pulls that stuff out specifically and completely; otherwise opt for glass bottled water. Be especially wary of fluoride added to your city water and remove that. Maternal consumption of fluoride while pregnant has been found to decrease the child's IQ and is a potential neurotoxin.
Around 7 weeks pregnant I started to feel nauseous every time I took a sip of water. Can “morning sickness” really be brought on by water? Why was it so difficult to drink water while pregnant this time?!
I imagine it's how some women are saddened by a newfound aversion to a cheeseburger or chocolate cake or something they love while pregnant. That's what this felt like. My favorite “food” was not only longer an option – but also seemed to be causing me morning sickness/nausea.
I tried all the recommendations for water intake and reducing heartburn too:
- only small sips
- don't consume water with meals
- adjusting the temperature of the water I was drinking
- drinking upright/staying upright after drinking and meals
But nothing worked. With each sip of water, I'd inevitably experience some heartburn and nausea. By far the weirdest pregnancy symptom I'd ever had.
Here's how I stayed hydrated while pregnant and having trouble drinking water:
I assumed the heartburn must be related to a leaky gut which I'd been focusing on healing already. Afterall, it was so early in my pregnancy I thought there was no way the baby could be pushing on any organs causing the back up. Turns out hormone changes can loosen up muscles and cause reflux during any stage of pregnancy.
So once a week, I'd get an organic rotisserie chicken, and any other bones we had lying around (if my husband ate ribs or something, I just collect the leftover bones and store in the freezer) add them to my slower cooker, filling it to the brim with water, and add a splash of apple cider vinegar, carrots, celery, spices, and herbs. Set the slow cooker to low heat for the maximum amount of hours.
Once it's done, sift out the bones and pour the bone broth into a container. I love Stanley's Vacuum Food Jar since the lid converts to a cup and it keeps things hot or cold for 20 hours. This way if I run out, I can pack the broth with me and not worry about it spoiling.
I also store some broth in ice cube trays in the freezer. Fresh bone broth is usually okay in the fridge for 5 days, and I liked freezing some for those remaining 2 days. The ice cubes also make it easy to cook with the broth instead of water or oil!
From there, I sipped on or cooked with the bone broth. Many lunches and dinners at that time consisted of an ancient grain, broth, veggies, and crackers.
TIP: I'd add a good amount of salt to my soups.
I'm not normally a “salty” person but felt drawn to it during this time. Turns out it was my body's way of intuitively getting what it needed! Salt signals to the kidneys to hold onto water; giving you a better shot at retaining the little water you are getting into your system during this time.
Fresh Ginger Tea
For about 2 weeks one of my go-to's for staying hydrated was fresh – REAL – ginger tea. Not the store bought kind.
It's SO simple to make too! Just get a ginger root from your local grocery store, cut about a half an inch to an inch off. Squish the cut piece by pressing down on it with a cup, cutting board, or knife (this just breaks it up a little to release the juices). Then add it to a pot of water. You can bring it to a boil then let it simmer until you've reached your desired strength. I usually let it simmer for an hour since I like it a little spicy.
If you have chinese brown sugar that's the best with it! Otherwise honey is great too (and what I used). I literally brought my ginger tea with me EVERYWHERE. I love the Stanley Travel Mug because it fits 12 oz, keeps things hot for 5 hours, cold for 8 hours, and iced for 20 hours! It's easily packable, leak proof, and fits in our stroller cup holder (which is way harder to find compatible cups for than a car cup holder!).
Keeping hydrating foods on hand
Loads of fruits and vegetables are PACKED with water. You can see what I ate in a day during my first pregnancy here (I plan to do a follow up post with this pregnancy since it's obviously been a little different and my diet has changed some!).
Part of my diet changing this pregnancy had to do with our anti-inflammatory diet changes we made as a family (watch the IG story here!). I started to loosely follow “food combining” – learn more here – and had been feeling better than ever before in my life! In retrospect, I actually followed it during my first pregnancy too (I just didn't know there was a name for it) where I ate all raw in the morning and would slowly progress towards heavier and cooked starches/proteins later in the day. This was SO key for my body feeling it's best, while getting my water intake up to stave off headaches or lethargy.
Hydrating foods for pregnancy:
All of these foods have over 85% water content!
- kiwi (try golden kiwis so sweet!)
These foods help keep you hydrated. Plus they're packed with essential vitamins and minerals for you and baby! We pack up our Stanley Lunchbox with a variety of these to snack on throughout the day while at the park and beach.
I LOVE the Stanley lunchbox because of it's retro look but also because it's SO durable – totally kid proof! Plus there's a metal brock inside the lid that allows you to store a Stanley Vacuum Bottle or Mug too. It's pretty large (12.99L x 6.5W x 10H in) so it fits a ton.
The funny thing about staying hydrated and avoiding nausea while pregnant, is something may work amazing for a week or two, then you just can't even look at it. Which inevitably happened with both the soup and ginger tea.
So I finally caved and started drinking juices. I'm not a big juice drinker, since it's a lot of sugar without the fiber. Eventually I just gave in and drank the apple juice since I needed to hydrate.
About 4 weeks into my nausea battle I finally decided to go see an acupuncturist. Personally I don't think our bodies were made/meant to suffer through pregnancy. I fully believe if we are experiencing something there likely is a solution out there to make us more comfortable.
At this point my pregnancy constipation was pretty uncomfortable too (a mild/moderate side effect from dehydration). The acupuncturist suggested I take a magnesium citrate supplement to help get things going since I was definitely getting enough fiber in my diet. Each morning I'd mix my magnesium citrate powder with 8-12 ounces of water and have it as soon as I woke up and sure enough I started going again! This was also the BEST way I found to keep actual water down during pregnancy at that time.
Either way, the next day after seeing the acupuncturist my water aversion went away completely! I did struggle with a little nausea and heartburn about a week after the appointment for a couple days and then a week after that for a day (that's when I realized the prenatal was triggering it) but I've really been all clear ever since that appointment.
Other suggestions for staying hydrated while pregnant:
I only drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning. With my pregnancy constipation I wasn't about to drop that. If you enjoy more caffeine in your life, try some herbal tea alternatives or mushroom coffee to get your focus and energy fix without the caffeine. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and could be increasing dehydration.
Use a humidifier
During my first pregnancy, the humidifier was my BFF. Honestly, I was just too lazy to take it out this time but it is REALLY helpful if you're at hydrating dry eyes or nasal passages. Personally, my last pregnancy I kept sneezing at night and the humidifier was my saving grace keeping my nasal passages moist so I could actually stay asleep.
Why is it so important to stay hydrated while pregnant?
All the experts and doctors say it's not only important, but essential to stay hydrated while pregnant. I certainly am not qualified to go into the science of it. What I can share with you is my personal experience.
When I don't drink enough water I start to experience more headaches. I also get light headed and dizzy very easily, which requires me to lay down more often.
Also, this time I experienced pregnancy constipation during the first trimester – which is also a sign of mild/moderate dehydration.
In my eyes, water is the building block for our entire body to function effectively, which is why I was SO confused when I had trouble drinking water while pregnant this time.
But I'm happy to say that with these tips my water aversion always felt manageable, I didn't really go through any headaches or extreme lethargy, and was able to pretty much maintain my normal routine. Stanley makes an amazing line of durable products built for a lifetime of big and small moments to keep you and your family hydrated and nourishing yourself on the go! I hope these tips provide you with some relief like they did for me!