Dehydration during pregnancy is more than thirst. When a pregnant woman is dehydrated, it means that her body is losing water faster than it can absorb it. It can easily become dangerous.
Water is more crucial than ever when you are pregnant because it helps the placenta to form. Because the placenta is your baby’s powerhouse as it grows inside you, if you don’t drink enough water the effects can be serious. Later in pregnancy, water also helps in the formation of the amniotic sac.
Failure to deal with this effectively could potentially cause major problems. This is why it is essential to understand not only the symptoms of dehydration during pregnancy and their consequences but also how to prevent it in the first place.
The Importance of Hydration During Pregnancy
Pregnancy increases the amount of water our body uses in various ways.
- During pregnancy, your blood volume increases one and a half times. It can even double in some ladies. We carry around 90 ounces of blood in our bodies when we are not pregnant. A healthy pregnant woman, on the other hand, can have between 130 and 180 ounces of blood. Our blood pressure can get too low if we don’t drink enough water.
- Water is widely used by the placenta and amniotic fluid. The placenta and amniotic fluid may not develop properly if there is not enough water, which can lead to complications later in pregnancy.
- Too little water can cause a build-up of by-products. We use a lot of protein and minerals to build a placenta, extra skin, and, yes, a baby. These proteins and minerals leave small fragments in our urine that must be washed away. With less water, there is less urine and less possibility of eliminating these toxins.
- Many vitamins are known as water-soluble vitamins. Vitamins B and C can only be transported in water. You might not get enough of these vitamins if you don’t drink enough water, which could cause complications for your baby.
- We may not have enough fluid to produce breast milk if we are not drinking enough water. This is especially important if you are still breastfeeding a newborn baby or toddler during pregnancy.
What Causes of Dehydration in Pregnancy?
Dehydration occurs when your body loses water and other fluids faster than it can replenish them. As a result, your body may find it difficult to carry out its normal duties. You become dehydrated if you do not restore the fluids you have lost.
This is especially concerning during pregnancy. The placenta is made of water and transfers nutrients to your growing baby. It’s also found in the uterus and the amniotic sac. Dehydration during pregnancy can lead to a variety of significant problems, including:
- Birth defects
- Premature delivery
- Low amniotic fluid
- Poor breast milk production
- Neural tube defects
During pregnancy, your body consumes more water than usual. If you don’t make an effort to replace lost fluids, dehydration will become a problem.
Dehydration becomes much more common if you’re suffering from morning sickness, which makes it tough to stay hydrated. Vomiting can cause dehydration, electrolyte depletion, and stomach acid loss.
Overheating, which is another prelude to dehydration, might develop as your pregnancy progresses. Dehydration can also be caused by:
- Vigorous exercise, especially in hot weather.
- Severe diarrhoea
- Not drinking enough water
- Excessive sweating
Is Dehydration in Pregnancy Normal?
Yes. When all of the factors are considered, it’s not uncommon for a woman to get dehydrated while pregnant.
Signs of Dehydration in Pregnancy
If you’re dehydrated, your body will send you signals to tell you that you need to drink more water. One of the first signs you’ll notice is a change in the colour of your urine, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Your urine will be dark yellow instead of a more translucent tone if you are dehydrated. It could also have a strong odour attached to it. Start drinking more water as soon as you see this! Other signs and symptoms include:
- Dry skin & sticky mouth
- Feeling thirsty
- Dry lips
- Swollen tongue
If you start to feel any of these symptoms, drink plenty of water and get some rest. It’s also a good idea to phone your doctor and let him or her know what’s up. He or she may ask you to come in for a check-up just to make sure you and the baby are both doing well.
Dehydration can also cause severe symptoms. The following signs and symptoms may indicate that you need to get to the hospital right away:
- Sunken eyes
- Little or no urine
- Irritability and confusion
- Very dark urine
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
- Dry or shrivelled up skin
Never doubt your gut if something is wrong. See a doctor as soon as possible.
Dangers of Dehydration in Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, being dehydrated can be dangerous to both you and your unborn child. According to the American Pregnancy Association, dehydration during pregnancy increases the risk of not just low amniotic fluid but also neural tube abnormalities. You’re also in danger of having a baby too soon.
Because the baby isn’t getting the nutrition it 0…..needs, low amniotic fluid can impede his growth. Because there isn’t enough water to float about, a baby who doesn’t obtain enough amniotic fluid may lay against the uterus. This can result in birth defects such as malformed hands and feet.
Braxton-Hicks contractions can also be caused by dehydration. This is when your uterus becomes constricted. Braxton-Hicks contractions can be excruciating and can mimic actual contractions, even though they only last a minute or two.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms regularly, consider how much water you’re drinking because it could indicate that you’re dehydrated. When a woman is dehydrated, her blood volume reduces, which raises the level of oxytocin, the hormone that causes contractions. This causes some women to go into early labour.
When a woman is dehydrated during pregnancy, it might influence the quantity and quality of her breast milk. It is more difficult to create milk when the body does not receive adequate water.
Dehydration can cause heat stroke and heat exhaustion, as well as muscle cramps and urinary tract infections because it raises the body temperature. If you get very dehydrated while pregnant, you may need to travel to the hospital to receive IV fluids.
How to Avoid Dehydration During Pregnancy
It’s relatively simple to avoid a trip to the hospital while you’re pregnant… drink enough water. This is the most commonly recommended pregnant dehydration remedy.
How much is sufficient? It is suggested that you drink 10 glasses of liquid every day while pregnant. Water is the preferred drink, but you can also receive your daily dose of milk, vegetable juice, or other drinks prescribed by your doctor. You should not consume all of these drinks at the same time, as this will put too much strain on your kidneys. Instead, spread it out during the day.
If you’re in a hot area or engaging in rigorous activity (both of which you should avoid in the first place), you’ll need to drink even more liquids.
Dehydration can be avoided by avoiding activities that cause you to overheat. If you start to feel too hot, stop what you’re doing, drink some water, and take a break.
Caffeine-containing beverages, such as teas and coffee, should be avoided. Caffeine-containing beverages can cause dehydration by increasing the amount of urine you produce.
When you don’t feel like vomiting, attempt to drink liquids if you’re suffering morning sickness. This will assist you to avoid being dehydrated if you do become ill.
Many women think it’s difficult to drink enough water during the day. That’s why, when you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to keep a water bottle with you at all times. In this manner, you can drink throughout the day, no matter where you are, to avoid dehydration when pregnant… There are no more excuses!
Dehydration is a severe problem during pregnancy. It puts your health, your baby’s health, and both of your life in jeopardy.
The most important thing to remember is to keep yourself hydrated naturally during your pregnancy. If you’re having trouble keeping water down or you’re showing signs of dehydration, consult your doctor to see what you can do.
If you notice signs of severe dehydration, go to the emergency hospital right away. It’s preferable to be extremely careful than to face problems.