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Dehydration During Pregnancy: A New Mom's Prevention Guide

Staying hydrated is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. However, it’s even more important when you’re expecting. When you’re pregnant, your body needs extra fluids to produce blood, form amniotic fluid, and build new tissue. 

High water intake is also ultra-important during pregnancy to enhance your digestion, carry nutrients to the baby, and flush out any toxins and waste in your own body.

Becoming dehydrated when you’re pregnant can have severe consequences for both you and your unborn child. In this blog post, you will find everything you need to know about hydration while you’re pregnant. We’ve also included a few ideas, tips, and tricks to prevent hydration from affecting you and your little bundle of joy.

What Is the Importance of Hydration During Pregnancy?

Staying hydrated when you’re pregnant not only benefits your baby, it benefits you as well. There are three major benefits of making sure you drink water and other fluids that will keep you and your baby hydrated the way you should be.

Helps Your Unborn Child Absorb Nutrients for Healthy Development

One of the biggest benefits of staying hydrated is that it helps you supply your baby with a steady supply of much-needed nutrients. As a parent, you only want what is best for your little one, which begins with proper hydration.

Protects Against Urinary Tract Infections and Constipation

Your body goes through a lot of changes when you’re expecting a baby, especially in the third trimester. When you’re pregnant, you’re not only eating for two but cleansing your body of extra toxins as well. This causes your liver, kidneys, and GI tract to work overtime.

In addition, your growing uterus may put pressure on your bladder.

These changes make pregnant women more likely to experience urinary tract infections (UTIs) and constipation. Staying hydrated is a great way to defend yourself against these conditions proactively. 

Consuming an adequate amount of water will help your organs filter out toxins more efficiently, reducing your risk of developing an infection. In addition, staying hydrated aids digestion and will do wonders to prevent constipation.

Lowers Your Risk of Heat Intolerance and Fatigue

As your pregnancy progresses, you will become more susceptible to heatstroke and exhaustion. This is because, while you carry your baby, your body must work doubly hard to cool down both you and your child in hot weather. Pregnant women tire more easily, too, and you may notice increasing fatigue.

Staying hydrated is one of the best defenses against heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as fluids enable your body to regulate its core temperature better. In hot weather, you will lose a great deal of fluids in the form of sweat, your body’s natural cooling mechanism. 

It’s essential to replace those fluids by regularly drinking plenty of fluids.

Furthermore, adequate hydration can help with the fatigue that pregnancy can accompany pregnancy. Carrying a baby will inevitably make you tired and exhausted some of the time. Drinking plenty of fluids, or even an electrolyte-fortified drink specially designed for mamas, can help keep you on your toes.

Other Benefits of Drinking Plenty of Fluids when Pregnant

Reduce Swelling

You may notice increased swelling during pregnancy, especially in your feet and calves. Drinking plenty of water and healthy beverages will help flush your body with fluids, ultimately reducing swelling.

Soften Skin

Skincare is essential during pregnancy when your body will change faster than it ever has before! To reduce the risk of stretch marks and skin discomfort, especially on your growing belly, make sure to drink plenty of fluids and use moisturizer.

Decrease the Risk of Early Labor and Contractions

If you are severely dehydrated, your body will not be able to produce enough amniotic fluid, which is the liquid that cushions and surrounds your baby in the womb. A reduced amount of amniotic fluid may lead to early labor. 

Stay hydrated to reduce your risk of premature contractions.

Know the Signs of Dehydration

Becoming dehydrated during your pregnancy can come with mild or severe signs and symptoms. Learn these signs so that dehydration doesn’t catch you off guard.

Your Mouth is Always Dry

You may have heard the saying that once you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! A parched mouth is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration.

Thirst is a signal from the body that you’re dehydrated, so if your mouth feels dry, make sure to get a drink as soon as possible. This is among the earliest signs that you are dehydrated.

Head and Neck Tension

Your brain is mostly made of water. When you’re dehydrated, your brain loses water, which may actually cause it to shrink and pull away from the walls of your skull. 

This condition is what leads to the uncomfortable sensation of head and neck tension. Drinking water is an excellent way to help treat aches caused by dehydration. Consuming more fluids will help blood circulate throughout your body and alleviate your aching head.

Fatigue

Dehydration causes your blood pressure to fall rapidly as you lose fluids from your blood. This can reduce blood flow to your brain, making you feel confused and sleepy. Keeping your fluid intake up is a great way to maintain high energy levels.

Dark Urine and Infrequent Urination

During pregnancy, your growing uterus will press down on your bladder, causing the uncomfortable sensation that you have to urinate almost all of the time. However, if you’re dehydrated, your body has no water to pass. 

Therefore, if you notice that you don’t need to use the bathroom very often, consider that you are dehydrated.

Another clue is the color of your urine. Generally, you should check the color of your urine and expect it to be a light lemony yellow. If your urine is dark or cloudy, this is a sign that you are dehydrated and need to raise your fluid intake.

Other symptoms of dehydration to watch for when pregnant

  • Constipation
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Dizziness
  • Cracked lips
  • Dry eyes

Now that you know the signs, symptoms, and importance of staying hydrated while pregnant, it’s time to develop a strategy for staying hydrated to protect both you and your baby.

Staying Hydrated While Pregnant

It is well-known that pregnant women tend to become dehydrated easily, especially in their third trimester of pregnancy. Be especially vigilant in the hot weather and summer months, when the risk of dehydration is at its highest.

Drink Plenty of Water 

Because your blood volume increases during pregnancy, you will need to drink more water than you did before pregnancy to stay adequately hydrated. It is recommended that pregnant women drink ten cups of fluids per day. 

However, you may need to drink even more than ten cups if you have been exercising or outside in hot weather. Begin with a baseline of ten cups, and increase your water intake as needed.

Do you find plain water dull? It’s not uncommon to be uninterested in the taste of water. 

Luckily, there are other fluids available that you can use to supplement your hydration intake. It’s best to avoid drinks that are high in sugar, such as sodas and juices. Consuming sugars in excess can lead to diabetes and weight gain, as well as cause damage to your teeth. Instead, look for low-calorie, no-sugar-added beverages.

Electrolyte Drinks

Electrolyte drinks with a coconut-water base are wonderful, natural sources of hydration. Their electrolyte content makes them even more effectively hydrating than plain water alone, as your body needs electrolyte salts to efficiently absorb fluids.

This electrolyte drink is flavored naturally with coconut water and natural fruit juices, giving it a refreshing flavor that will be a thrilling break from plain water. Greater Than is gluten-free, 100% vegan, and organic, making it a special treat that an expectant mother can feel confident about putting into her body. 

This natural electrolyte drink is cleaner than artificial electrolyte drinks, helping to ensure that you’re not putting any chemicals in your body. This drink is the perfect way to get the required fluids you need as an expectant mom. It also combats fatigue and dehydration, making you healthier than ever before.

So what are you waiting for? Try our Trial 6-Flavor Variety Pack and find your fave! Perfect for parched pregnant women and breastfeeding moms looking for a boost. 

Make Great Than Part of Your Journey

There are many other ways to get the fluids you need to keep from becoming dehydrated when you’re pregnant. 

Adding electrolyte drinks to your day, drinking plenty of water, and even a moderate amount of fruit juices can all help you stay hydrated and feel your best. In addition, decaffeinated tea is a fantastic way to boost your fluid intake. 

Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet will nourish you and your baby while keeping you hydrated. As long as you’re drinking ten cups of fluid every day, you’re on the right track to stay healthy and hydrated. 

Make sure to remain vigilant, and notice the signs your body is giving you; when you are in tune with your body, you can stay one step ahead of dehydration and take care of your well-being.

Make sure to follow the tips and strategies above to ensure you and your baby are healthy during and after your pregnancy. However, if you start to notice signs and symptoms that you are dehydrated, it’s best to consult with a doctor and form a plan to address your condition. 

This concludes our compilation of strategies to stay hydrated while you’re expecting. Drink and eat foods with high fluid content, get your ten cups a day in, try to stay cool if you’re pregnant during the sweltering summer months, and you’re good to go! 

Staying hydrated will ensure that both you and the little bundle of joy you carry stay as healthy as can be.

 

Sources:

Heat - Reproductive Health | NIOSH | CDC

Amniotic fluid Information | Mount Sinai New York

Swollen ankles, feet and fingers in pregnancy | NHS

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