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What You Must Know About Dehydration during Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Dehydration – What You Must Know About Dehydration during Pregnancy

Pregnancy and dehydration- you can avoid dehydration during pregnancy if you’re aware of the causes. By drinking a lot of water, you can reduce the risks of dehydration and its side effects.

It’s important to remember that not drinking enough liquids increases your risk for developing preterm labour, low amniotic fluid, preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), maternal shock, and severe headaches.

But you don’t have to stay dehydrated and worried about dehydration. What you need is knowing how to stay hydrated and the warning signs of dehydration during pregnancy. So here is everything you must know to keep yourself hydrated during pregnancy and not worry about it anymore.

Water Balance in Pregnant Women

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Body water balance refers to the equilibration between body water gains and losses. In addition to the water found in fluid and food, the organism also gains water through metabolic processes.

An average woman loses 1.5 to 3.0 litres of body water per day while not pregnant. In addition to urine and skin losses, fecal and respiratory losses contribute to the losses.

A pregnant woman’s water requirements are significantly higher because of the increased body water and increased metabolic needs of the unborn child.

Importance of Staying Hydrated During Pregnancy

The body uses water for every process, including pregnancy. Water consumption increases in many ways during pregnancy.

Components of pregnancy weight gain at term

Image source: www.hydrationforhealth.com

Blood volume

Your blood volume elevates by one and a half times when pregnant. In some women, it can even double. Typically, we carry 2600 millilitres of blood in our bodies. A healthy pregnant woman can have anywhere from 3850 to 5000 ml of blood. Without enough water in your body, you could experience low blood pressure.

Placenta and amniotic fluid

Your placenta and amniotic fluid use up a lot of water when you are pregnant. In addition, if you do not drink enough water, the placenta and amniotic fluid may not grow properly, leading to problems later in the pregnancy.

Slow body metabolism and toxin build-up

Too little water can stop things from growing properly by causing a build-up of by-products. When we develop a placenta, extra skin, and a baby, we use many proteins and minerals. These proteins and minerals leave little parts of themselves that need to be flushed out in our urine. Less water means less urine and fewer chances to get rid of these toxins.

Absorption of water-soluble vitamins

A large number of vitamins are water-soluble. In addition, vitamins B and vitamin C are only transported by water. Unless your diet contains enough water, you may not be able to absorb these vitamins, causing problems for your unborn child.

Breast milk production

If you do not drink adequate water, you may not have enough fluid to enhance breast milk production. It is particularly important if you have a baby or toddler currently breastfeeding while pregnant with another child.

What Are Signs Of Dehydration During Pregnancy?

What happens if you don’t drink enough water while pregnant? You will experience several signs and symptoms. While some may be easy to recognize and linked to dehydration, you may not notice some others.

Your body becomes dehydrated when it loses more water than it consumes. We assume feeling thirsty means being dehydrated, but in fact, thirst is a symptom of late dehydration. At the point we feel thirsty, we are already dehydrated to a great extent.

It may be scary to think about dehydration and pregnancy together, but knowing the symptoms will make it easier for you to cope. As soon as you discover these signs and symptoms, you can take measures to prevent any complications created by dehydration.

The likelihood of being dehydrated is higher for people who sweat a lot, spend a lot of time outdoors or do not drink much water.

Symptoms of dehydration begin to appear in the body when you become dehydrated. Identifying them is essential.

“Maternal overheating” is often an indicator of dehydration. You need water in your system to regulate your body temperature; however, if you aren’t drinking enough water while pregnant, you are at risk of overheating.

A clear urine colour indicates that one is well hydrated, as opposed to dark yellow. Therefore, you should increase your water intake if your urine is dark yellow.

You can also experience these symptoms with mild to moderate dehydration:

You will also experience dry lips, eyes, skin, and throat when dehydrated because there is not enough fluid to keep them moist.

Due to your body restricting how much water leaves your body, you are more likely to get UTIs since there is insufficient water to flush out any bacteria found in the urine.

Also, because a hydrated brain can focus better, dehydration can cause a person to feel tired, dizzy and lose focus.

Other mild to moderate dehydration signs include

  • Sleepiness
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Headache
  • Constipation, hard stools, and hemorrhoids
  • Less elastic skin appearing thin or sunken
  • Decreased need to urinate

We need roughly two litres of water per day since every bodily metabolism requires water to function correctly. And you don’t need only pure water to stay hydrated- that’s just a myth. You can get these two litres, or four pints, from any food or beverage.

Drink water if you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, and try to rest. Calling your doctor and explaining your symptoms is also a good idea.

Dehydration during pregnancy can also cause Braxton-Hicks contractions. The contractions cause the uterus to tighten for only a minute or two.

You may experience these contractions in the second trimester, but they’re more common in the third trimester. When you notice many contractions like these, it could be a sign that you aren’t hydrating properly.

Generally, dehydration that is mild or even moderate can be managed and reversed through water consumption. In the case of severe dehydration, particularly in pregnancy, medical attention is needed immediately.

A worsening dehydration condition can make people feel less thirsty. Dehydration during pregnancy may manifest in many ways, including:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Irritability and confusion
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • A racing heartbeat and breathing
  • The babies’ movement patterns change
  • Parched mouth, mucous membranes, and skin
  • Low blood pressure, causing fainting or dizziness
  • Very dark urine
  • Little or no urine
  • The deficiency of hydration can cause organ failure and shock, which may harm the baby.
  • You should also monitor your skin. If your skin is shrivelled or overly dry, has little elasticity, or if it has a fold and does not “bounce” back, then you may be dehydrated.

If you exhibit any of the above symptoms, you must seek medical attention immediately.

What Causes Dehydration during Pregnancy?

Dehydration occurs when your body loses water more quickly than it can take in. Consequently, your body may have difficulty carrying out its normal functions. Without replacing the lost fluids, you become dehydrated.

A pregnant woman should be especially concerned about this. Water forms the placenta, which transmits nutrients to your growing baby. The amniotic sac also uses it.

What causes us to feel so thirsty during pregnancy? Partly it is due to the problems we discussed earlier – we use a lot more fluids than we usually do.

Due to the baby’s small size and the slow growth of our body during the first trimester, this might not be very obvious. Nonetheless, you will be amazed at how much more water you are carrying and using by the end of pregnancy.

While pregnant, we can lose fluids in several ways without even knowing it:

More Water Usage in the Body

During pregnancy, your body uses more water. A lack of fluid replacement automatically leads to dehydration.

Vomiting

The chances of dehydration increase even more if you have morning sickness. This happens when you experience vomiting, which makes your body lose more fluids than usual. Vomiting causes dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and acid loss in the stomach. When you vomit more, you have to drink more.

Severe Diarrhea

Diarrhea can cause you to become dehydrated quickly. During diarrhea, we tend to lose a lot more fluids than usual.

Maternal Overheating

Overheating can become a problem as your pregnancy advances, which can also lead to dehydration.

Water Retention

A lot of swelling can accompany the end of pregnancy due to extra blood and feeling a bit sluggish. Leg swelling, particularly, can sap water away from the rest of the body, causing dehydration.

While exercise can help you get rid of water retention, you will sweat a lot, causing dehydration.

Eating Habits

Feeling nauseous can make us skip meals or eat just dry crackers all day long. If you do this too often, you will dehydrate because you won’t get all the fluids from your food.

Other typical causes of dehydration include:

  • A vigorous workout, especially in warm weather
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Inadequate water consumption

Dangers of Dehydration During Pregnancy

Dehydration during pregnancy might be a severe problem for you and your baby. Here are some of the dangers of pregnancy and dehydration.

Migraines

When pregnant, migraines and headaches are tough to handle, especially because many of the drugs that usually help are not available to you. If you forget to drink enough water, you might experience headaches or migraines. Drink plenty of liquids as the first line of defence!

Overheating

Pregnant women are already more likely to experience overheating because they weigh more, and their bodies have a hard time removing the heat they create. Your sweating is probably more intense than usual, so even more water is coming out of your system. Ideally, you should drink 10 cups of water every day. It is easy when you add Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier to your glass.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Peeing is essential for keeping your urinary tract healthy. Failure to drink enough water will result in insufficient peeing, which is what causes urinary tract infections.

Pregnant women are more susceptible to getting a UTI, and dehydration may further exacerbate the situation. A study conducted on non-pregnant women has shown that dehydration can increase the potential for a UTI.

To eliminate germs and toxins, you need to stay hydrated. It’s a good thing Liquid I.V. can help you become hydrated more quickly than just drinking water.

Low Amniotic Fluid

Dehydration links to decreased levels of amniotic fluid in several studies. Your amount of amniotic fluid is directly correlated to the amount of water you drink during your pregnancy. If you do not have enough amniotic fluid, it can cause your baby not to grow properly and may even result in birth defects such as kidney or urinary tract problems.

Premature Birth

Have you ever heard people proclaim that you won’t have a baby prematurely? It could happen to you if you are dehydrated! The lack of hydration during the second and third trimesters can result in early contractions and the possibility of premature birth. Dehydration increases blood volume in your body, causing oxytocin levels to rise and perhaps causing early labour. While this is an extreme case, you can completely avoid it by staying hydrated!

Constipation

Due to hormonal changes, pregnant women experience constipation as a result of slowed digestion. Keeping hydrated helps the stomach digest food and eliminate waste.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

Dehydration is commonly known to trigger Braxton Hick’s contractions. A common first step in relieving these contractions is to drink more fluids.

Insufficient Production of Breast Milk

There isn’t enough fluid and electrolytes available in your body for breast milk production in a dehydrated state. Your child may not receive the vitamins and nutrients they need for proper development if you suffer from severe dehydration or chronic dehydration. Consequently, premature labour or congenital disabilities may occur.

How to Prevent Dehydration During Pregnancy

Dehydration during pregnancy presents several risks, so it is essential to be aware of and prevent them.

Drink a lot of water

Try to drink warm water or mild teas instead of cold water if you feel nauseated.

It is best to stop excessive sugar intake, too much protein, and too much salt, as these can cause increased urination. However, don’t completely remove salt from your diet. Salt is necessary for your body to hold onto water.

If drinking water still seems challenging, try marking a bottle of water and taking a sip every 15 to 20 minutes, just like when exercising. When you are tired, nauseous, and unable to drink enough fluids, you can do this to keep your fluid levels up.

Limit caffeine intake

Drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages might result in you losing fluid through your kidneys due to caffeine’s mild diuretic properties.

Avoid overly dry foods

You can stay hydrated by having soups and fruit salads when your nausea subsides. Soups and fruit salads contain a lot of water and minerals.

Wear cool and breathable outfits

When you struggle to stay hydrated, wear cool, breathable clothes, and avoid exercising so, you don’t sweat more than you need to.

Take ORS

Taking rehydration salts during pregnancy is also perfectly safe. In most cases, the dose of oral rehydration salts (ORS) is too low to cause any problems. So, if you are experiencing severe vomiting or diarrhea, you may need them.

When Should You Visit The Hospital?

The severity and mildness of dehydration can be hard to tell by yourself. In case you are having trouble feeling better after drinking water or electrolyte drinks, speak to an obstetrician or midwife.

The customer service line might be available after hours on weekends and other times. In the absence of these services, consider visiting urgent care or a medical center.

If a pregnant woman experiences the following symptoms of dehydration, she should go to the hospital:

  • When you notice your baby’s pattern of movement changes
  • You are leaking fluid or bleeding
  • They feel contractions that they believe may be signs of premature labour
  • You are suffering from a severe medical condition like kidney failure
  • Vomiting or experience diarrhea for more than 12 hours
  • No longer sweat despite drinking fluids
  • The urine produced is very little or non-existent
  • Feel faint, confused, or have a seizure
  • A pregnant woman with hyperemesis gravidarum or another medical condition

The doctor should seek emergency treatment if the symptoms of the woman constitute a medical emergency.

A medical professional may treat dehydration with intravenous fluid administration (IV). Electrolytes, such as sodium and magnesium, can also help dehydrated pregnancy women absorb fluids properly.

Those who need critical monitoring in the hospital may remain there for several days.

In a Nutshell

Dehydration is possible for anyone, but pregnant women are at an increased risk. In most cases, dehydration is a short-term inconvenience that you can correct by drinking more fluids. Although dehydration can also lead to several complications during pregnancy, people should take it seriously.

Hydration is the best way to prevent mild, moderate, and severe dehydration. When you’re away from home, bring a water bottle with you. Try to monitor how much water you consume. Providing that you’re drinking the right proportion of water every day, your body and your growing baby will be able to meet their needs.

Overreacting to dehydration is safer than ignoring a problem that could cause the baby harm. No matter how uncertain you may be about whether your symptoms are severe enough to visit a hospital, you should seek emergency care regardless.

Pregnancy and Dehydration- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much water you should drink while pregnant

Similar to the recommended two litres per day during pregnancy, the amount of water needed isn’t always an exact science. You should take between 6 and 8 glasses of liquids every day in addition to your meals, including water, milk, juice, soup, and any other fluids.

As opposed to the typical recommendations, these six to eight glasses do not include any water found in solid foods like fruits or caffeine-containing beverages like tea, cola, or coffee. For people with active lifestyles or in warmer climates, the amount they need will likely increase by a cup or two.

During the second and third trimesters, you might find yourself getting much thirstier again, so remember to adjust based on your needs.

You should remember that the more you drink, the less you want to consume calories from drinks.

Avoid drinking more than two or three glasses of juice, soda, or full-fat milk per day.

Can dehydration cause miscarriage?

Moderate or severe dehydration may cause a threatened miscarriage. Severe dehydration during pregnancy can induce serious complications such as blood clots, neural tube defects, and seizures. There are not yet any medical studies or evidence that directly connects dehydration and miscarriages.

Can dehydration cause spotting in pregnancy?

Although not common, dehydration can cause spotting in pregnancy. Experts believe some women experience spotting when dehydrated, as their hCG levels temporarily stop increasing. Once rehydration is reached, hCG levels level out and spotting may stop.

How can I hydrate myself fast while pregnant?

Taking rehydration salts during pregnancy is also perfectly safe. In most cases, the dose of oral rehydration salts (ORS) is too low to cause any problems. So, if you are experiencing severe vomiting or diarrhea, you may need them.

Also, you can use Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier to help you become hydrated more quickly than just drinking water.

Is it hard to stay hydrated pregnant?

Preventing dehydration doesn’t have to be complicated. The best way to stay adequately hydrated during pregnancy and postpartum is to drink plenty of water daily. Get between eight and 12 glasses of water daily.

If drinking water still seems challenging, try marking a bottle of water and taking a sip every 15 to 20 minutes. When you are tired, nauseous, and unable to drink enough fluids, you can do this to keep your fluid levels up.

Furthermore, keep a bottle of water out at your desk at work, so you remind yourself to sip it, or keep one in your purse or vehicle, so you are never without water.

Alternatively, you might like to drink a glass after brushing your teeth or right after you wake up.

I hoped you enjoyed this blog post. Let us know what you think about this topic in the comment section below.

I also have some other similar healthy pregnancy topics that could be helpful in your 9-month journey.

What food can kill a baby when pregnant

How to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy fast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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