Dehydration In Pregnancy
Eight glasses of water a day. Half your bodyweight in ounces. Avoid coffee, carbonation, sugars, salts. We as a society hear it all! Multiple ways that water is needed in the body, and how much to indulge in to properly function. It’s not an easy feat! Think about HOW much water you drink daily. Now think about how much MORE water you need now that you are developing an offspring in the womb. A womb that is solely made up of…fluid! Dehydration in pregnancy is a critical factor and while it’s sometimes a struggle to achieve, keeping hydrated while pregnant is a top priority.
Why is Hydration Important
Hydration in general is important in general. In pregnancy, the level of importance is off the richter scale. Our bodies are made up of around 60% of water. This means that over 50% of our functioning is by the help of the fluids in our bodies. Some of the important tasks of water that fuel the body are: regulating body temperature, keeping moisture in the eyes- nose-and-mouth orifices, and carrying oxygen and nutrients to the blood cells. Staying hydrated is essential for elasticity in the skin. This may help aid in keeping those “tiger stripes” (aka stretch marks) from brewing. Hydration also lubricates joints in the body, and provides for less strain on the liver and kidneys as they flush out toxins and waste from the body.
Why is Dehydration Bad for Pregnancy
The opposite of staying hydrated, is being dehydrated. Dehydration is when one loses more fluid than they take in, and the body doesn’t have enough fluids to perform normal bodily functions. In pregnancy, dehydration is muy mal; and can result in heightened pregnancy complications. Complications that can stem from having dehydration in pregnancy include low amniotic fluid (the fluid that the baby is surrounded by in the womb), premature labor, birth defects, and inadequate breast milk production. Braxton-Hicks can be brought on by experiencing dehydration.
How to Stay Hydrated During Pregnancy
Let’s talk about HOW to combat dehydration in pregnancy by staying hydrated. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to drink water like a camel…for the most part. As difficult as it may be, limiting the intake of caffeine is one way to keep hydrated. Caffeine can create the need to urinate more frequently therefore causing dehydration. Limiting activities that cause overheating. While exercise is encouraged in a healthy pregnancy, excessive sweating is water escaping the body. This is water that will need to be diligently replenished to continue to allow one to remain healthy and keep the body flowing. Consult your nutritionist or provider on how much water intake you should be partaking in for safe growth of you and the baby.
Dehydration in pregnancy is vital to the health and growth of the baby. Some signs that one may be experiencing dehydration are: headaches, fatigue, abdominal cramping, dry mouth, stiff joints, and urine that is dark yellow. Find ways to intake your daily needed amount of fluid by adding fruits or cucumbers to your water. Pick out a special water bottle that “cheers” and encourages you as you go about the day. Grab an accountability partner to check in with at the end of the day. Treat yourself after achieving a milestone daily. Love a soda? Drink 3 glasses of water, then reward yourself with a carbonated beverage with lunch. Be creative and have fun with it!