Monday, July 20, 2009


Two thirds of the human body is made up of water! Balance is obtained when you take in and excrete the same amount of water.

The summer is a time when many people become dehydrated from working and playing in the sun when the body loses fluid through perspiration and exercise. You may also be so busy you forget to drink water. For a pregnant mom, this is especially worrisome and if you have severe nausea in early pregnancy, you can dehydrate quickly. The main concern is that there might not be enough amniotic fluid produced and this can put the baby in jeopardy but of course it has negative effects on the mother as well. Your electrolytes are affected in dehydration and this causes malfunction of cells so transfer of fluids does not occur as it should. Blood pressure can also drop. This can lead to shock.

Inadequate hydration can also lead to contractions and preterm labor. If you start contracting, drink two full glasses of water and rest to see if they stop - a good indication that it was dehydration causing the problem. If they don't stop, call your doctor or go to your planned hospital L&D area if more than about 20-22 weeks' gestation. You may need to go to the ER if you are less than halfway through the pregnancy. It still could be due to dehydration and sometimes IV fluids are required to restore the correct fluid and electrolyte balance to your body. Hyperemesis Gravidarum occurs when "morning sickness" results in an inability to keep anything down, including water. It is a serious condition which requires early medical intervention. Antiemetics are available to help with nausea in pregnancy, so talk to your doctor even if you think it's normal to vomit regularly in the early weeks.

The common complaint of fatigue in pregnancy is often caused by inadequate fluid intake. Water truly is a miracle cure at times.

What are the signs of dehydration?
Some of the signs include:
  • Dark yellow urine (Ideally it will be almost colorless or very pale yellow)
  • More frequent contractions (May be "real" or "Braxton-Hicks")
  • Headaches
  • Thirst
  • Dizziness (especially when rising or bending over) and/or confusion
  • Constipation (the body conserves its water for vital needs wherever it can and will take from the bowels if not supplied otherwise)
  • Dry mouth/chapped lips and/or dry skin
What do I do to prevent dehydration?
  • Make sure you drink plenty of fluids. 8 oz/hour while awake would be ideal. If you are nauseous, try varying the temperature to see what you can best tolerate and keep a bottle of water with you for continual sipping, rather than gulping.
  • At first sign of thirst, listen to your body, and get something to drink. In summer, extra fluids are needed by all of us.
  • When traveling by car or bus, always keep bottled water with you. In the air, contact the attendant for extra water in the dry cabin air.
  • Other drinks also count, but avoid alcohol. Even the small amounts of caffeine in some sodas doesn't result in a serious loss due to diuretic effects. We used to caution to avoid these for fear they would aggravate water loss, but we now know it is minimal. Fruit juice also counts as part of your water intake. Beware of the extra sugar in regular soda and fruit drinks that will contribute to excess weight gain.
Enjoy your summer activities but don't forget the thermos, canteen, or bottled water. Best Blogger Tips

1 comment:

  1. The major cause of dehydration on pregnant women is morning sickness. You can prevent morning sickness naturally by adopting natural morning sickness cure one of which I can recommend is acupressure.


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