Dehydration During Pregnancy

(Last Updated On: August 6, 2018)

Dehydration can happen to anyone. But when you are pregnant, you are at much great risk. Everyone loses a substantial amount of fluids and nutrients, especially on a hot day. If not replaced by drinking an adequate amount of water, dehydration can be the result.

However, during pregnancy, your body is using a significant amount of water. Staying hydrated becomes even more critical to ensure you and your baby are healthy.

Dehydration can be dangerous to both mom and baby understanding the causes of dehydration, being able to identify the warning signs, and having a few preventative measures to assist with staying hydrated during your pregnancy is key.

lack hydration pregnant

Causes of Dehydration in Pregnancy

Morning sickness

Vomiting from morning sickness can last for weeks to months. This can cause dehydration.  

Some moms-to-be are lucky enough make it through an entire pregnancy without morning sickness. If you aren’t as fortunate, drink additional water and electrolytes to replace what you lost. This will rehydrate your body and you will start feeling better.

Diarrhea

As unpleasant as it is to talk about, it’s even more unpleasant to have. Diarrhea can be a significant contributor to dehydration.

Often, diarrhea causes you not to feel well. So eating or drinking is the last thing you want. Try sipping small amounts of water slowly to get you back on your feet and feeling better.

Hot weather

Not drinking enough during periods of warm or hot weather can cause dehydration to happen suddenly. If you are exerting yourself, excess sweating can lead to water loss. If you don’t replace it, this can lead to dehydration.

The effects can be intensified by hot and humid weather that causes you to sweat even more.

Overexertion

You might be surprised. But even in cooler weather, dehydration can happen with strenuous activity.

If you need to do demanding work or activities, wait until the cooler parts of the day.

Typically, it’s cooler earlier in the morning or later in the evening.

Signs of Dehydration

How Do I Know if I am Dehydrated?

Signs of dehydration are the same whether you are pregnant or not. The symptoms of dehydration usually begin with your body telling you that it needs more water. So listen to what it’s saying.

Drinking more water should alleviate these symptoms. But if you feel uncomfortable or you are dehydrated for an extended amount of time, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor just to be safe.

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and lips
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Decrease urination or darker color urine (clearer urine means better hydration)
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Trouble concentrating or headache

Potential Problems Caused by Dehydration While Pregnant

Dehydration can cause potential complications during your pregnancy. It can get serious if you allow your dehydration to continue for prolonged periods.

Serious spine and brain birth defects or low amniotic fluid volume could develop from prolonged dehydration. Premature labor or prolonged Braxton Hicks contractions are both potential risk factors as well.

Something that seems relatively simple, but when pregnant can become much more pressing. Knowing the warning signs and how to prevent or reverse your symptoms is vital to a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Avoiding Dehydration

When pregnant, your body requires more of everything to support your growing baby. That includes fluids especially water to replace what you lose naturally. When pregnant you lose even more, so you need to drink more.

There are a few things you should avoid to assist in keeping dehydration away.

  • Avoid Caffeine

It’s a good idea to avoid caffeine it can act as a mild diuretic stripping your body of vital fluids and nutrients it needs during this time.

    • Avoid Soda

Even though soda is technically a fluid, you don’t retain as much good fluid value from soda as you would if you drank the same amount in water. Plus the sugar and sodium in it can make severe dehydration worse.

  • Reduce Salt

Dehydration usually ends up with an imbalance of sodium levels in your body, avoiding salt can help to decrease your risk of dehydration. Plus, a low sodium diet is better for your blood pressure, especially during pregnancy.

When pregnant there are a few things you can do to keep from becoming dehydrating.

  • Drink plenty of water

Drink plenty of water regardless of the temperature it is essential for your pregnancy. As a general rule, you should get about eight to twelve 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

If you are extremely active, you want to increase your consumption a bit.

  • Eat High Water Content Foods

Munch on foods that help you stay hydrated. Some examples are watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, or celery. These have a water content of 90% or higher.

These and many more high water content foods can supplement your diet with the extra water you need.

  • Stay Indoors

When possible, stay indoors or in the shade on hot days. Or at least during the hottest part of the day to avoid overexposure.

If you are going be outside, pay particular attention to how you feel. Keep your water bottle handy, so you can hydrate often.

Conclusion

Women require more water when pregnant. Avoiding dehydration is essential for both you and your baby during pregnancy. Carry a refillable bottle with you and track how much water you drink daily, especially if you are out running errands, having fun with friends, or shopping for your baby’s new crib. It’s easy to lose track. You will feel much better if you are adequately hydrated and can enjoy your pregnancy more.

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