Everything You Should Know About Dehydration In Pregnancy
Dehydration in pregnancy happens when one doesn't have enough water in their body to function with. It causes certain complications during pregnancy and should be avoided.
Dehydration in pregnancy happens when one doesn't have enough water in the body for it to function properly. Therefore, dehydration should be dealt with immediately.
Dehydration in pregnancy: how much water are you expected to take?
Your body draws fluids from different sources. So the fluids your body needs don't always come from water. Other sources include tea, juice, fruits, etc. But the difference is that these other sources provide you with not just water but calories. Hence, the better option is to draw your fluids from plain water.
Usually, pregnant women are asked to increase food intake. Therefore, the amount of water you should take can be calculated through the amount of food you take. So if you're eating 2000 calories a day, you'll need 2000 ml of water per day. If this calculation causes you confusion, just make sure you drink eight to ten glasses of water every day. That should cover for the extra fluid your body needs to function properly during pregnancy.
What could make you dehydrated while pregnant?
Below are some of the common causes of dehydration during pregnancy.
- Diarrhoea: There are changes to your hormone levels when you're pregnant. This changes in hormones can affect your bowel movement, causing you to pass stool more frequently. Consequently, the more you pass stool, the more your body loses water. And this water needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
- Morning sickness: A lot of women experience morning sickness during pregnancy. To be exact, about 80% per cent of pregnant women experience morning sickness. This comes with its symptoms, including frequent urination, vomiting, nausea, and sweating. Clearly, each of these symptoms causes the body to lose water, which leads to dehydration.
- Hyperemesis Gravidarum: This is a severe form of nausea and vomiting that occurs during pregnancy. It causes a pregnant woman to vomit throughout the day, making her lose weight. At that rate, the body will lose a lot of water, resulting in dehydration. This form of morning sickness is rare though.
- Fever: Other causes of dehydration during pregnancy include fever. Running too high a temperature can be responsible for the loss of water from the body. This is because it causes vomiting.
- Travelling by air: When travelling by air, the air in the cabins contain little moisture. To avoid dehydration, drink a lot of water during this time.
- Hot weather: Hot weather may cause you to be dehydrated during pregnancy. Typically, when the weather is hot we sweat a lot. The more we sweat the more water the body loses.
Signs of dehydration during pregnancy
Your body will always signal you when it doesn't have enough water to work with. Below are some of the signs you may notice.
- Thirst is one of the first and clear signs of dehydration during pregnancy. You will feel the urge to drink something. The problem is that most people ignore this sign, as clear as it is. They put it off to be dealt with later. Hence, other signs begin to show up because the thirst for water was not satisfied. Make sure you drink a glass of water each hour.
- When you urinate and the urine is yellow and has a strong odour, that's a clear sign of dehydration. You might want to drink a glass of water.
- Another sign of dehydration is a headache, especially the more severe version of it known as migraine.
- If you're dehydrated you might feel dizzy and lightheaded, as though you're standing on a very high place. This occurs due to a drop in your blood pressure caused by lack of water in your body.
- Organs like the mouth, nose, and skin become dry. These are all signs of dehydration. Also, your lips might begin to crack.
- Tiredness is another sign of dehydration.
The dangers of dehydration during pregnancy
If you keep leaving your body dehydrated during pregnancy, you risk the following:
- Urinary tract infection: This is simple math. The more fluid you have in your body, the more you urinate. The more you urinate, the more germs leave your system. But with less fluid in your body comes less urination. Consequently, fewer germs leave your body. And this can cause urinary tract infection. Therefore, don't hesitate to drink up.
- Migraines: Migraines are a severe form of headache. These kinds of headaches can go up to three to four hours. What's worse, you can't take certain medications to relieve it because of your pregnancy. So why not avoid it in the first place by drinking as much water as you can.
- Overheating: You risk overheating during pregnancy if you don't drink enough water to stay hydrated. Usually, during pregnancy, you weigh more and the body is already finding it hard to remove the extra heat. Don't make it harder for the body by not drinking enough water.
- Birth problems: There's something known as the amniotic fluid. This is what surrounds the growing baby. Also, it performs other important functions, including temperature control and protecting the baby. This fluid is balanced by the water the mother produces. By not drinking enough water, you risk disrupting the balance of the fluid, which can cause problems during pregnancy.
- Premature birth: Premature birth is when you give birth to the baby before the due date. Clearly, this isn't a good thing. One thing that can cause this is dehydration. Consequently, this might increase your blood volume, sending you into early labour.
If dehydration isn't serious it can be treated at home. But if you're experiencing severe symptoms, please see the doctor immediately. The doctor may prescribe intravenous therapy. This will help you regain the water and nutrients you may have lost.