Short answer: Filter thee water, then boil it before consuming it during pregnancy.
When you are pregnant, you are more aware and discerning about what you eat and drink in general and water is important. You are advised to drink a lot of water and fluids during pregnancy as well. You need to be careful of the water you drink.
Typically, filtered & then boiled water is safe to drink during pregnancy.
But it’s possible your tap water might contain high levels of lead. Galvanised water pipes use lead. Unfortunately, these are very prevalent in India's water supply infrastructure and in our buildings especially the older buildings.
Lead can have adverse effects on everyone, but children and unborn babies face the greatest risk. Exposure to high levels of lead during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and cause low birth weight and developmental delays in the baby1.
Here are some suggestions to avoid/minimize the likelihood of lead in tap water:
- Have the cold water tap run for about 30 seconds. If you suspect lead in your pipes, you could let the water run for longer - 35 seconds to 2 minutes.
- The longer you have not used the tap, the more the chances are that lead content is high when you first open the tap. So, if you have not opened the tap for a long time, (for example after a vacation or in the morning), you might need to open the tap for a longer time. This will ensure that you drain out the first gush of water which is high in lead content.
- Do not drink the hot water from your pipes or use it in cooking. The hot water might contain more lead than cold water.
In addition, you should get your filter serviced regularly to ensure that it continues to work properly. It does not remove lead but can remove other impurities.
Now, you can relax and enjoy that glass of filtered, boiled water.
1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, "Screening for Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children and Pregnant Women: Recommendation Statement", December 2006. Originally published in Pediatrics 2006;118:2514-18. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD