Dehydration in Pregnancy

There are so many reasons to stay hydrated during pregnancy, but recently a personal experience prompted me to write about it here. 

Dehydration can cause:

1st trimester

Not enough amniotic fluid for baby (which could lead to other serious developmental problems for your baby)

2nd and 3rd trimester

Preterm labor

muscle cramps

vomiting

head aches

chapped lips

infrequent or dark colored urine

dry mouth

dry skin

heat exhaustion

fatigue

weakness

dizziness

excessive thirst

increased fetal heart rate

increased maternal pulse

fainting

heart palpitations

confusion

These things are not in any particular order, and shouldn’t be thought of as a completed list.  While all things are true for dehydration you will not likely experience all of them either… even one sign of dehydration needs to be taken seriously.  Your bodies ability to care for your baby is seriously compromised when you have not got enough fluid in your system.

One of the reasons pregnant women become dehydrated easily is because their blood volume is changing and increasing and this takes more water to do than what you are probably used to drinking in a day.  Take time to focus daily on how much water you are drinking, it can make you feel so much better, and increase the chances of a good outcome on your goal toward a full term birth.

If you find yourself dehydrated here are some things you can do to fix the problem before it becomes too serious (although if the problem already is serious don’t hesitate to go to the ER for some additional fluids).

Drink water (preferably not iced)

sit in front of a fan

take a bath (not too hot or too cold)

suck on ice chips

place a wet towel around your neck or on your shoulders, any area of exposed skin

suck on Popsicles, preferably real fruit juice or sports drink ones

have a Gatorade or other carbohydrate/electrolyte drink

avoid exposing skin to excessive cold like ice packs

a spray bottle or mister might be helpful if outside

remove or loosen clothing

 

Above all else, you must drink at minimum 64 ounces of water a day (this does not include highly sugared or carbonated drinks as they don’t really hydrate you) That is two quarts, or four to six large glasses of water depending on the size of your cups.  Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go, and refill it often. 

Summer heat and humidity causes our bodies to loose water pretty easily, not to mention the constant demand of the baby growing inside you, please take good care of yourself this summer!

 

 

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