How to Deal With Dehydration During Pregnancy

Dehydration is a potentially serious medical condition that can be even more harmful if you are pregnant. It can cause complications such as reduced production of breast milk, lowered levels of amniotic fluid, and neural tube defects. In some cases, dehydration can even lead to premature birth.

This article will describe the importance of staying hydrated for pregnant women, as well as ways you can stay hydrated. This will include throughout-the-day tips as well as types of drinks and foods that can help.

Throughout-the-day tips

You should drink a minimum of 8-12 glasses of water each day while pregnant. Water is vital for a healthy pregnancy and impacts your baby’s development in several ways. For example, water is needed to form the placenta, which delivers nutrients to your baby. Later in your pregnancy, water helps to form the amniotic sac.

It is important to cut out caffeine, or at least have very little caffeine during your pregnancy because caffeine is a diuretic that makes you pee more than usual, and this loss of fluids through urination can increase your risk of becoming dehydrated.

Do your best not to become overheated. Try not to spend much time in hot or humid conditions, whether outdoors or indoors. Exercise is healthy and safe for you to do while pregnant, but long and/or tough workouts and other strenuous activities can cause dehydration, especially if you do not consume enough fluids while you exercise.

Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated, but you can also opt for fruit juice, milk, or soup.

If you are dealing with indigestion, drink between meals rather than while you are eating so that your indigestion does not get worse.

If you have morning sickness that is making you vomit, be sure to drink more fluids when you are not nauseous. If your morning sickness is so severe that you throw up any liquids you consume, you should consult your doctor.

In order to make it easier for you to stay hydrated, you can keep a water bottle with you as you go about your day. You can also write down how much you drank once you finished a drink. Even keeping the empty water bottles, you have finished and counting them can be helpful for you to stay informed about how much fluids you are getting.

You don’t need to gulp down fluids like you just ran a marathon in the desert, either. Even just taking a few sips of water or other fluid every 15 or 20 minutes, like many people do as they exercise, can help. Drinking a little bit of water every now and then is easier for you to accomplish than trying to down ounce after ounce.

You will know you are well-hydrated if your urine is clear or light yellow. If your urine is dark yellow, this indicates that you are dehydrated, and you need to start replenishing fluids immediately.

Drinks and foods

As mentioned above, water, natural fruit juice, milk, and soup broth are all good options for keeping yourself hydrated. However, there are some other options available.

If you are experiencing vomiting due to morning sickness, try drinking warm water or mild, caffeine-free teas. These will be easier on your stomach than cold water.

Sports drinks like Gatorade or other electrolyte-rich drinks such as Pedialyte are useful in rehydrating you and replacing electrolytes that your body loses when it eliminates fluids. Just be mindful of the amount of sugar in these drinks, as taking in too much sugar can make you urinate more and increase dehydration. It is a good idea to alternate between electrolyte replacement drinks and water.

In addition to avoiding sugar, you should also limit your intake of protein and salt. These also increase your urine output and cause you to become dehydrated or make existing dehydration worse. However, you do need some salt in your diet because it helps your body absorb the fluids you take in.

Do your best to avoid very dry foods. Instead, go for hydrating, nutrient-packed foods like soup and fruit salad. Berries such as strawberries and blueberries, citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, and melons like watermelon and orange melon contain lots of water. Other hydrating fruits include peaches, pineapples, and plums.

You can take oral rehydration salts (ORS) without having to worry about their effects on your baby. This is because the dose of most ORS is not high enough to do any harm to you or your baby. You can take these if you are not experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, but if you are having issues with these conditions, ORS may become a necessity for you.

Seek immediate medical care if your dehydration is not getting better or if you start to have contractions due to dehydration.

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