Dehydration is a problematic situation for any individual but is a cause of concern in pregnant women.
Pregnancy is a sensitive time when a woman must pay extra attention to her health to make sure she delivers a healthy baby.
Water is essential to life and the essentiality doubles up when you are pregnant and your baby needs water as much as you do.
Hydration in pregnancy is essential for the mother and the baby.
What causes dehydration during pregnancy?
In usual terms, dehydration is a situation where your body loses water more quickly than you can take in. in such a situation, your body can struggle to go about its normal functions.
Replacing lost fluids is essential or else you become dehydrated. Dehydration during pregnancy is a worrisome situation that must be taken care of.
Water is used to form the placenta, which passes nutrients to your growing baby. Other than this, dehydration during pregnancy can result in serious complications like:
- Neural tube defects
- Low amniotic fluid
- Premature labor
- Poor production of breast milk
- Birth defects
A dehydrated pregnant woman can harm herself and the baby. It is important to keep a check on your daily liquid intake. In situations like morning sickness, a woman tends to lose more water due to vomiting and that makes her even more dehydrated.
So water intake becomes even more crucial. Other causes of dehydration during pregnancy are:
- Morning sickness
- High humidity
- Air travel
- Exercising or exertion of any kind
Signs of dehydration during pregnancy
Dehydration with pregnancy is quite common and your body tends to signal you whenever it needs more liquid. Here are the common signs of dehydration during pregnancy:
- Thirst: Whenever we want water, we are thirsty. Our mouth gets dry and there is an urge for water. Do not neglect it when you are thirsty. Keep the target of drinking a fixed number of glasses each day.
- Dizziness or fatigue: If you feel very tired and energy less then its a sign that your body needs hydration. It is a clear symptom of dehydration in pregnancy.
It can also be the sign of lower blood pressure and water can correct that too.
- Headache: Headaches or migraine pains tend to get active when the body loses water. Drinking water effectively cures headaches and migraine pains. It is also a prominent symptom of dehydration.
- Urine check: Our water intake is directly related to our urination. A pregnant woman must check her urine pressure, color, and odor on every loo visit.
A low pressure, dark yellow odored urine is a sign that the body is dehydrated. Clear urine means you are treating your body with a good amount of water.
- Urinary Tract Infection: Pregnant women sometimes get UTI due to dehydration. So to keep the symptoms of UTI at bay, regulate your water intake.
- Braxton-Hicks Contractions: Dehydration during pregnancy can also trigger Braxton-hicks contraction. These are milder but similar to labor contraction but can be quite hurtful. It is a sign that you are not properly hydrated.
How to prevent dehydration during pregnancy?
Dehydration during pregnancy can be noticeable with clear symptoms your body sends and they must be taken care of.
It is imperative to cure dehydration symptoms on the primary level because of the severe symptoms, the more complicated it gets.
In extreme situations, a doctor’s consultation will be required and the patient will get admitted in the hospital for administering fluids.
Hence it is better to cure dehydration on the primary level by simply drinking lots of water and other fluids. To prevent dehydration during pregnancy situation:
- Keep target bottles of water to drink each day
- Drink lemon water in the morning for longer hours of hydration and it will also help with morning sickness.
- Avoid aerated drinks and caffeine as it makes the body more dehydrated.
- Avoid heavy exercises
- Whenever you step out in the sun or otherwise, always carry a water bottle.
Treatment for dehydration during pregnancy
Dehydration with pregnancy can easily be treated when your body starts to send signs of dehydration. Here are the simple ways by which you can treat dehydration during pregnancy:
- Water is life: The best and the most crucial way to treat dehydration is by keeping track of water intake.
Make sure you drink 10-12 glasses of water every day without a miss. Other than that you can take water-based fluids like lemon water, buttermilk, rose-flavored water, etc.
- Other drinks: Fruit juices, milk, soups, soft drinks, herbal tea, coconut water etc. can also accommodate hydration in the body. Say no to alcoholic drinks.
When to see a doctor?
Though dehydration is common in any individual it is a matter of concern in pregnant women. Many of our body functions are regulated by water and when a woman is pregnant, the need for hydration gets even higher.
Mild dehydration is okay and can be treated by drinking 2-3 glasses of water and relaxing for a bit.
But if the simple remedies mentioned above do not work and you start to develop serious symptoms like extreme weakness, UTI or feeling dry and dizzy and water intake doesn’t seem effective, you need a doctor.
Your doctor may advise you to get hospitalized to carry some tests and replenish your body with essential water and nutrients. It is not a major worrisome situation and is treatable.
But it is always better to cure the problem at the primary level itself.
Just like your daily supplements and a healthy diet, drinking lots of water is equally important. Make a habit of keeping a water bottle with you all the time, no matter if you are at home or outside. As long as you are drinking a good amount of water, your body and your developing baby will have what they need.