Dehydration During Pregnancy

Image of a pregnant woman showing signs of dehydration

Dehydration During Pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms and Prevention

Should you be concerned about dehydration during pregnancy? The answer is yes. Dehydration is the result of your body losing water faster than you are taking it in. It is a serious issue for the health and wellness of anyone, but for pregnant women, it is especially important to stay well-hydrated.

As a pregnant woman, you need more water than the average person, since water plays an important role in the healthy development of your baby. Water helps to form the placenta, which is what your baby relies on to receive nutrients during pregnancy. Water is also used to form the amniotic sac later in your pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to avoid dehydration during pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration During Pregnancy

A common sign of dehydration is “maternal overheating.” Having adequate water in your system will help you regulate your body heat; however, if you are not drinking enough water during pregnancy, you can be prone to overheating. A sign of being well-hydrated is having a clear urine color, as opposed to dark yellow.

If your urine is dark yellow, that’s a sign you need to increase your water intake.

Effects of Dehydration on Pregnant Women

Image of a woman experiencing dehydration during her pregnancy

Dehydration during pregnancy can lead to serious pregnancy complications, including neural tube defects, low amniotic fluid, inadequate breast milk production, and even premature labor. These risks, in turn, can lead to birth defects due to lack of water and nutritional support for your baby.

How Can I Prevent Dehydration While Pregnant?

Drinking plenty of water (at least 8-12 glasses a day) is key to preventing dehydration.  In addition, there are other steps you can take to make sure you and your baby are well-hydrated. Avoiding products that contain caffeine is a good idea, as caffeine can increase your urine output, thus leading to dehydration.

Another way to prevent dehydration is to avoid activities that can cause overheating, such as strenuous exercise or spending a lot of time in a hot environment. Exercise is considered healthy for expecting mothers, but strenuous exercise and lack of water intake can lead to dehydration.

Sources:

Mayo Clinic – Dehyrdration. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/symptoms/con-20030056 Livestrong The Effects of Dehydration in Pregnant Women on the Baby: http://www.livestrong.com/article/505961-the-effects-of-dehydration-in-pregnant-women-on-the-baby/

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