But, if you've read even this far then you are probably as desperate as I have been to figure out how to not drink only coffee throughout your day.
Confession: One particularly long day after my third baby was born, it was evening and I realized I had only had coffee to drink ALL DAY LONG. I quickly solved that problem... with a gin & tonic. But don't worry, that's not one of my 'tips'. Just know that we are all there in the trenches, doing the best we can to not wither away like a worm on a sidewalk in August.
Back to business. Hydration is important. In pregnancy a lack of hydration can lead to excessive Braxton Hicks contractions; it can cause your care provider to fear 'low fluid levels' (a serious but wildly overused diagnosis often leading to the proposition of induction); it can just make you drag along, as if the third trimester weren't trying enough already.
After birth, hydration is just as important as your body is adjusting back to pre-pregnancy hormone levels, replenishing itself after the labors of... you know, and as you build and maintain an awesome milk supply for your sweetest babe.
Even for those that are not pregnating or post-partuming hydration is extremely important. You may have recently seen this story about a woman consuming one gallon of water a day for a month and her awesome results.
Truth: Water is good for us.
Truth: Most of us struggle to get enough.
Tip #1: Flavor It
After I had my last baby I had a daily ritual of brewing three quarts of extremely weak herbal tea each morning. I am able to drink a lot more water if it has a little flavor to it (a habit picked up from my Crystal Light days which are long gone, thank goodness) and I got double benefit by using herbal teas like red raspberry leaf and mother's milk that are so nourishing to the postpartum body. I enjoyed my tea both warmed and cooled, and would use two tea bags for three quarts of tea. Nowadays I'm using lemon juice to seal the deal and come summertime I may turn to cucumbers for the ultimate refreshment.
Tip #2: Use a Straw
Some people aren't straw people, but I am. For some reason it's easier to suck down a lot of hydration through a straw. I'm partial to my wide, glass straw that is reusable and helps more liquid travel quickly. If you are not a straw person then I guess my tip for you is: Don't Use a Straw.
Tip #3: Set Up for Success
Like I mentioned in #1, I had a morning ritual for my tea, which got all my liquids front and center for the entire day. By having my goal amount of water sitting out every time I pass the counter, I am much more likely to swig more down throughout the day. I also set little goals for myself like "drink one quart before lunch", or, "after I finish this quart I can have my coffee". Note that coffee incentives should only be used when you are going to have your coffee whether you drink your water or not. Do not - I repeat, DO NOT start drinking coffee in an effort to drink more water. You will lose and Starbucks will win.
So, that's it. Go forth and be hydrated!