Sodium During Pregnancy

6 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

Sodium During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the most vital yet subtle phase in a woman’s life. When you come to know that you are carrying a new life inside your body, a mixed feeling of excitement and vulnerability shrouds your mind. The first and most important step towards motherhood is to take good care of your physical and mental health. This can be achieved with the help of a balanced diet. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of sodium during pregnancy.

A balanced diet contains all the essential vitamins and minerals in the right proportion. Sodium is one of the essential vital macro-nutrients that has a good part to play in the journey of pregnancy. It forms the backbone of the development of the fetus and is crucial for the balance of electrolytic fluids present in the human body. Even though it has a bad name, Sodium is essential for both the mother and child. Sodium deficiency in the body can have ill – effects on the birthed child as well as the mother’s health.

In This Article

What is Sodium?

Sodium is an electrolyte that is mainly found in the blood vessels and body fluids around the cells. It is present outside the cells. It helps in maintaining body fluids that are essential to keep our body balanced and maintain homeostasis.

Sodium absorption in our body takes place in the colon. Sodium balance in the body is mostly related to water because our body contains 70% water. The kidney helps to regulate the sodium balance in our body. Research shows that the daily requirement of sodium is necessary for the proper functioning of the body. It is essential for the heart, liver, and kidney. It prevents low blood pressure.

Why is Sodium Necessary During Pregnancy?

why sodium during pregnancy

A pregnant woman must include sodium in her diet. During pregnancy, your body works not only for yourself but also for the little one inside your womb, the amount of body fluids increases during pregnancy. Thus, sodium intake is necessary to maintain the body fluids and proper stability of the body. It is essential for the brain development of the child. It is one of the most important macro-nutrients that should not be missed just because of the health conceptions related to sodium.

Health Benefits of Sodium For a Pregnant Woman

There are myriad benefits of including sodium as far as pregnancy is concerned for the overall development of expecting mother and child-to-be. The health benefits of Sodium are as follows.

  • Removes excess carbon dioxide.
  • Transmit electric impulses in nerves within the body.
  • Improves teeth quality.
  • Prevents dehydration and improves fluid retention.
  • Improves skin at the cellular level by eliminating toxins.
  • Prevent cramps.
  • Possess electrolytic properties that balance ions in the body.
  • Prevents bloating.
  • Maintains heart muscles for necessary contraction and relaxation.
  • Prevents low blood pressure.
  • Vital for the development of the placenta and fetus.
  • Helps in the development of glial cells that are present in the membrane of the placenta.
  • Assists in achieving homeostasis and osmoregulation.
  • Essential for the building of nerves, muscles, and protein regulation.
  • Aids in improving memory, retaining focus, and better concentration in babies than in those who have low sodium levels.
  • Helps in many functions like regulating enzymes and hormone production.
  • Supports blood pressure regulation and organ functioning in the human body.

How Much Sodium is Optimal During Pregnancy?

Sodium should not be off limit during pregnancy. The intake of dietary sodium should be optimal. It should be kept in balance. The daily dietary intake should neither be more nor less than 1500 mg /day before and after pregnancy. It should be consumed by your health conditions and checked during regular intervals.

Care should be taken that it should not be consumed more than 3000 mg/day. It can lead to side effects during the last trimester of pregnancy. If you feel that you are unwell after the consumption of sodium, then you should consult your doctor and follow his/her advice.

What Happens if You Consume Too Much Sodium While Pregnant?

Too Much Sodium While Pregnant

If you consume too much sodium, then it can have long-term effects during pregnancy. Over-consumption of sodium has many ill – effects which can be harmful to both the mother and child in the long run. The pregnant woman should take help from the doctor before indulging in high sodium-rich foods. The side effects of consuming too much sodium are as follows.

  • Hypertension
  • High blood pressure
  • Increase in blood volume
  • Cognitive memory loss
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Stomach issues, sometimes even leading to cancer
  • Effects on fetal brain development
  • Low birth weight at delivery
  • Memory loss in a child after birth
  • Skin issues like psoriasis
  • Allergies

[Read : Know Everything About Your Baby’s Brain and Nervous System]

Foods Rich in Sodium

Foods Rich in Sodium

It is highly recommended that pregnant women should consider natural foods that are rich in sodium content and cut down on artificial sodium sources such as junk foods.

Foods rich in sodium are as follows:
Food Items Nutritive Value
Coconut Water 252 mg per 100 gm
Pineapple 2 mg per 100 gm
Apples 1 mg per 100 gm
Cranberries 1.1 mg per 100 gm
Beetroot 65 mg per 100 gm
Celery 88 mg per 100 gm
Carrot 69 mg per 100 gm
Fish 61 mg per 100 gm
Cod 54 mg per 100 gm
Olives 735 mg per 100 gm
Cheese 621 mg per 100 gm
Egg 124 mg per 100 gm
Unsalted nuts 5.3 mg per 100 gm
Yogurt 36 mg per 100 gm
Chicken 82 mg per 100 gm
Spinach 126 mg per 100 gm
Salmon 59 mg per 100 gm
Sweet Potato 55 mg per 100 gm
Sunflower Seeds (salted) 174  mg per 100 gm

[Read : Drinking Coconut Water During Pregnancy]

Are Sodium Supplements Required During Pregnancy?

If you don’t face any problems during chicken or poultry consumption, then there is no requirement for supplements. However, if you suffer from excessive sodium consumption and completely rely on a plant-based diet, then the pregnant woman should consume sodium supplements. Sodium supplements may be necessary if a pregnant woman has one or more of the following conditions.

  • Hyponatremia
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Genetic Disorder
  • Brain fog
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic pain

So, you must have known by now the importance of sodium for pregnant women. Cutting off Sodium from the diet is not the solution at all.

The key to managing Sodium levels in the body is to maintain a sufficient balance in the diet. By knowing what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy. It is sufficient to take care of the amount of sodium that you consume so that you are not on the dangerous side.

Sodium is a blessing in disguise for a pregnant woman. This article highlights the importance of Sodium during pregnancy

By eating a regular amount of sodium that is prescribed by the doctor and physician and by following all the protocols religiously you can ensure the right sodium consumption when pregnant.


1. Can Excess Sodium Cause Miscarriage?

Excessive sodium intake during the last trimester of pregnancy can cause ill effects listed below:

  • Trigger Inflammation.
  • Preeclampsia.
  • Adverse pregnancy conditions lead to miscarriage or death.

It is advisable to keep track of sodium consumption during pregnancy because excess sodium consumption can have a detrimental effect on the mother as well as the child.

2. Can Too Much Sodium Affect my Baby?

A pregnant woman who consumed too much or too little sodium can affect the overall development of the baby. The heart and kidney may not function properly after the birth of the child leading to several health conditions like cardiovascular disease and kidney-related problems.

3. How is Sodium Important For The Baby?

Sodium is a macro-nutrient that has many benefits for the development of the baby.

  • Aids in brain development.
  • Promotes nerves transmission and impulse.
  • Helps with muscle contraction and relaxation.
  • Provides stability.

4. Does Pregnancy Affect Sodium Level?

Physiological changes are common in a pregnant woman. Sodium levels can be affected which can cause mild hyponatremia. It can be due to the following reasons.

  • Excessive water consumption.
  • Excessive ADH Hormone release and secretion.

It is normal during pregnancy and can be reduced with the help of the proper guidance of a doctor. The sodium intake should be checked during a regular period. It is highly recommended to consume home-cooked food to combat the sodium level.

Read Also: Copper During Pregnancy

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.