Dehydration can be dangerous and unhealthy for anyone, but especially when you are pregnant. Most people need around 8 glasses of water a day, depending on the person and where they live. However, a pregnant woman needs even more than that. This can put women at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated. Here is what you need to know about preventing dehydration during pregnancy.
Why dehydration is dangerous
There are many dangers of dehydration during pregnancy. When the body is not properly hydrated, it can affect proper functions of the body and cause joint pain, cramps, constipation, headaches, sleepiness, and dizziness. Serious cases of dehydration can even cause you to pass out. When a woman who is pregnant becomes dehydrated, it can affect the health of her developing baby. This can lead to birth defects, preterm labor, and even affect breast milk production after birth. Some signs you are dehydrated and need to drink more water include feeling thirsty, dry mouth, fatigue, anger, dark urine, feeling hot, fever, cramps, and more. If you feel any of these signs, make sure to drink water immediately and relax until the symptoms subside.
Long-term dehydration can become even more serious for both a mother and her baby. Chronically dehydrated people can suffer from high blood pressure. This is very dangerous during pregnancy but can be treated. Left untreated, however, it can be potentially fatal. Dehydration can also damage the kidneys and form kidney stones and gallstones.
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How to stay hydrated
To protect both the health of a mother and her developing baby, staying hydrated should become a top priority. A woman needs to drink a lot more water than she did before she was pregnant. Here are some ways to help:
Keep track – Using an app or writing down how much water you drink can help you keep track to make sure you are getting as much water you need.
Set timers – To make sure you are drinking water consistently throughout the day, set timers to remind you when you need to drink. Drinking a cup first thing in the morning or right after you use the restroom are also important ways to help you remember. These are also times when your body needs more water most.
Keep a water bottle on hand – Having a full water bottle on you always is another great way to help you remember to drink throughout the day.
Add flavor – Another tip for preventing dehydration during pregnancy is to make drinking water more exciting by adding slices of fruit to your water. This is a healthy way to add some flavor. Flavor packets work as well but are not as healthy as using fresh fruit.