How To Handle Dehydration During Pregnancy?


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Do you know that dehydration results in loss of nearly 2% of the body’s water content?

Dehydration happens when water is eliminated from the body at a rate that is more than you replace back. It basically means you are not drinking enough water. At any time, dehydration is a serious condition. So one can imagine how bad it can be, when an unborn baby is also subjected to it!

Dehydration During Pregnancy:

Dehydration takes place when the body eliminates more water than what it usually replaces Water is crucial for good health. But the sad truth is, most of us do not drink the required amount of water a day. This will cause dehydration to creep up and wreck your system. It will later lead to other complications like heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps.

It has been found out that prolonged dehydration that is, drinking less water for years and years – is the root cause of many cancers and tumors. Especially during pregnancy, dehydration can cause some pretty serio

us symptoms and side effects, to the mom-to-be and to the fetus too. That’s why it’s vital for the pregnant woman to know about the causes, risks, preventive measures and remedies about dehydration.

Risks Of Dehydration During Pregnancy:

During the first trimester of pregnancy, there arise two risks with dehydration.

Effect on the mother – Dehydration caused by morning sickness can lead to nausea, thus creating a dreadful cycle. When you feel nauseous, you do not feel like drinking more water and get more nauseous, means you feel more dehydrated and cannot drink anything, and it causes more severe nausea. And if the pregnant woman does not take enough fluids to avoid dehydration, she requires hospitalization where IV fluids are the solution.

Effect on the baby – If there are no enough fluids in the body, there will be no enough amniotic fluid supply to the baby. And this will directly affect the growth of the baby. A deficiency in the amniotic fluid can make the fetus lie against the uterus rather than floating in the sac. It can, therefore, lead to physical deformations of the hands and feet.

During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, dehydration can cause the risk of premature births. Dehydration is one among the three reasons for contractions during labor. The other two reasons include bladder infections and full term birth of the baby.

How dehydration leads to premature birth – During dehydration, the blood volume decreases causing an increase in the levels of oxytocin (the hormone responsible for contractions) leading to premature labor. Rehydration can only avoid it.

Dehydration also causes an increase in the body temperature that may further cause complications like heat exhaustion, muscle cramping and other heat related issues. If you are constantly dehydrating, the nutritional values of the milk change.

Dehydration during pregnancy is very common and you can avoid it when you follow the right measures. There is no better tip and remedy than taking plenty of water for this problem to go away. If this issue is due to nausea, talk to the doctor and get medical assistance.

[ Read : Is It Safe To Drink Warm Water During Pregnancy ]

Signs And Symptoms Of Dehydration During Pregnancy:

Some of the symptoms of dehydration are clearly visible, but some of the symptoms are unnoticed and this is because these symptoms are common during pregnancy.

  • Thirst – The initial and the most unnoticed sign. Do not neglect if you are thirsty, listen to your body and drink water. Maintain a routine of drinking water often, at least one glass an hour.
  • Dizziness – Feelings of dizziness, vertigo or lightheadedness, usually when standing, kneeling or bending over. It happens due to the drop in blood pressure because of dehydration.
  • Headache – Headaches, particularly migraines is another major symptom of dehydration. Make sure you consume enough water to handle the condition.
  • Urine that is dark yellow in color and with a strong odor.
  • Dry mouth and nose
  • Swollen tongue and chapped lips
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Feeling of palpitation
  • Fainting
  • Weakness
  • Dry skin, which has lost its elasticity
  • Lack of concentration
  • Constipation
  • Piles
  • Urinary tract infections

Factors That Increase The Risk of Dehydration During Pregnancy:

Lack of enough fluids – During your pregnancy, check with your health care provider or Gynecologist to know the best water intake regime. It is because complications can occur with drinking excess water as well. Your water intake level will depend on your trimester, activity level, weight, age, climate and also the season. You will be more susceptible to dehydration during the warmer seasons.

Vomiting – Many pregnant women may experience vomiting in the first trimester due to morning sickness. They also suffer from nausea that might lead to dehydration.

Air Travel – Air in the cabin contains little moisture, and it can cause dehydration in your body. You should try to stay hydrated by taking your water when traveling. Many of the airline restrictions won’t allow to carry water bottles, but some flight attendants are fair enough to allow.

Humidity – Hot weather and humidity can cause sweating and, therefore, lead to dehydration in the body.

[ Read : 10 Energy Drinks During Pregnancy ]

Preventing Dehydration During Pregnancy:

One of the best ways to avoid dehydration is drinking plenty of water, especially if you are pregnant. The most prominent reason for fatigue in pregnant women is due to dehydration. This causes the energy levels to plummet, which will make you feel dull and lethargic; to avoid this, make sure you drink enough water every day.

  • Do not drink too much of water at a stretch, try to spread it throughout the day. Drinking large quantities of water at the same time puts pressure on your kidney, so avoid doing it.
  • Water is the elixir of life, so there are no risks or side effects involved! But drinking it faster and in close intervals can be dangerous. Make sure you give at least an hour’s gap between drinking water by the cup.
  • Drinking a cup of water (150-180 ml), for every hour you are awake, is a great way to get your daily quota of H2O.
  • If you are finding it difficult to drink plain water, try adding a few slices of lemon, cranberry, watermelon or orange in your everyday diet.
  • Liquids like soup, juices and smoothies also are a part of the daily water requirement for the body. So if you find drinking plain water to be boring, drink them instead!
  • Avoid caffeine related products, processed fruit juices and sodas as the ingredient can increase your urine output, causing dehydration.
  • Avoid activities that produce more heat like performing strenuous exercises and spending long time in hot weather.

If you are finding it really difficult to keep yourself hydrated, talk to your doctor and get the right advice.

[ Read : Lemon Water During Pregnancy ]

It would be better if you simply follow the above preventive ways so as to avoid a pound of cure later. If your dehydration is because of any above risk factors, it is best that you consult your health care provider of gynecologist immediately. Also, confirm whether the energy drinks you may consume are safe to take or not.

Do you have more ideas on how to battle dehydration during pregnancy? Please share with us and we will be happy to know them.

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