Drinking Water During Pregnancy

Drinking Water During Pregnancy

Water and Hydration Plays an Essential Role in Healthy Development

Staying hydrated during a pregnancy is extremely important because you’re keeping hydrated for two not one. Water and hydration has a significant role in the health of fetal development. If you’re pregnant, the recommended amount of water that should be ingested is eight to twelve glasses per day according to Healthline.

In the Healthline article Symptoms of Severe Dehydration During Pregnancy, it discusses the importance of hydration and why. If a woman is losing fluids quicker than she is taking in, then normal bodily functions and dehydration will ensue.

Drinking adequate amounts of water during pregnancy is so essential because water is used to create the placenta which in turn, delivers nutrients to the developing baby. Water is also utilized in the amniotic sac so dehydration can lead to troubling complications during pregnancy such as defects in the neural tube, inadequate amniotic fluid, premature labor, lack of breast milk production and birth defects.

Consistent vomiting or morning sickness for a prolonged period of time can also lead to dehydration as the body loses fluids in large amounts. Overheating during a pregnancy can cause a heat regulation issue if you aren’t drinking enough water. As well, if exercise is done in extremely hot weather and if excessive sweating occurs, both the mother and baby will lose fluids. Other symptoms such as severe diarrhea and fever can be the cause of dehydration during a pregnancy too.


Mild, Moderate and Severe Dehydration Signs During Pregnancy

Similar to people who are not pregnant, the mild, moderate and severe signs of dehydration are the same. The only difference is that a baby is affected as well. Mild and moderate signs of dehydration are: dry mouth; sleepiness; thirst; inadequate urination; headache; constipation; and light-headedness.

It’s necessary to be aware of dehydration during pregnancy because it can bring on Braxton-Hicks contractions before the baby is due. This may occur in the second or third trimester. Although mild and moderate dehydration can be corrected by simply drinking more fluids, severe dehydration will need medical attention if you’re pregnant. Severe dehydration includes: excessive thirst; irritability; confusion; inadequate urination; dark urine; rapid heartbeat and breathing; dry shriveled skin; and low blood pressure.


Preventing Dehydration During Pregnancy

Preventing dehydration during pregnancy involves a conscious effort and awareness concerning what is happening with your body every day. Drinking eight to twelve glasses of water per day is the recommended dose of fluids as mentioned before. This could include herbal teas or homemade drinks where lemon and lime are added to water. If nausea or diarrhea are the cause of dehydration, then drink fluids in between these two states of discomfort. If the dehydration is severe, then hospitalization may be required where an intravenous of fluid is given to help replenish the mother’s electrolytes. It’s best to stay away from caffeine since it is one of the drinks which actually causes dehydration through frequent urination. It is also recommended to completely stay away from any alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Excessive alcohol consumption during pregnany can lead to a condition known as fetal alcohol syndrome in the baby. 


When Hospitalization is Necessary

With respect to this article Can dehydration affect pregnancy in Medical News Today, severe dehydration can lead to complications in a pregnancy. Dehydration can cause nutrient deficiencies blocking consistent optimum health of the mother and baby. A pregnant woman should be taken to the hospital if severe dehydration occurs which may present in any of these symptoms: pattern of the baby’s movement changes; bleeding or fluid leaks; contractions; diarrhea or vomiting exceeding 12 hours; sweating ceases; inadequate urination; dizziness or confusion.

One of the most difficult medical conditions for pregnant women is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum which involves severe nausea and vomiting, weight loss while pregnant, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and light-headedness. It usually occurs in the first trimester. This condition if unchecked can lead to prolonged health issues for both the mother and baby. The cause of Hyperemesis Gravidarum might be due to quick rising serum hormone levels (human chorionic gonadotropin) or HCG and estrogen. Some women are hospitalized if this condition arises so that severe dehydration and weight loss is kept in check.


Nutrition During Pregnancy

Advice in the Mayo Clinic article, Pregnancy nutrition: Healthy-eating basics, suggests that eating a healthy diet is the best way to ensure healthy growth and development for your baby. A healthy diet of whole grains which gives the body energy adds B vitamins and minerals to the diet. Fruits and vegetables are necessary as they supply fiber to assist digestion and add other essential vitamins for the mother and baby. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and beans add protein, iron, and B vitamins. If there are no allergies to dairy, then consume dairy products which add calcium for the baby. However, there are substitutes that can be used in place of dairy if the mother is lactose intolerant. For fats, sweets, and oils, use nuts, seeds, avocadoes and for sweets try using other naturally sweet products like dates, raisins or trail mix.

Drinking water during pregnancy is vital since water is the transport mechanism which delivers nutrients from your food to the baby. Furthermore, water prevents constipation which some women have a problem with during pregnancy along with hemorrhoids, swelling, and urinary or bladder infections. The Institute of Medicine’s requirement for pregnant women is to drink 2.4 liters of fluids daily. The fluids can be water, juices, tea and homemade drinks. But avoid drinks with high sugar content as it will cause weight gain.


The Hydration-Dehydration Balance

Whether you’re pregnant or not, dehydration has serious side effects as a result of not drinking enough fluids, especially water which is the best drink you can ingest. There is a delicate balance between hydration and dehydration but it’s even more apparent during pregnancy since there is a second human being in development to consider. Know the symptoms of dehydration which can be mild, moderate, or severe, and act according to the severity of how bad the dehydration is during pregnancy. Always carry a bottle of water in case thirst emerges during daily activities and appointments.



Symptoms of Severe Dehydration During Pregnancy

New Health Advisor
Dehydration During Pregnancy

Medical News Today
Can dehydration affect pregnancy

Mayo Clinic
Pregnancy nutrition: Healthy eating basics


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