Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Dehydration can impact people for a wide variety of reasons. When a woman is pregnant it can be especially difficult to maintain proper hydration levels. Dehydration during pregnancy can negatively affect both the mother as well as the fetus.
What causes pregnancy dehydration?
Both hormonal and physical changes in the body during pregnancy can cause a loss of fluids and electrolytes, which can lead to dehydration.
The process of maintaining proper hydration while pregnant is compounded by the increased need for water due to the increase in maternal weight. The average woman has approximately 5-6 liters of water in the body, whereas a pregnant woman may have as much as 9 liters. The extra water is necessary to protect the fetus as well as to aid in the production of more blood that sends nutrients to the developing baby.
Morning Sickness symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, increased sweating and more frequent urination can all lead to dehydration. Morning sickness impacts pregnant mothers differently. Some expectant mothers feel the impact for a few weeks, whereas others feel ill for the majority of their pregnancies.
Sometimes pregnancy related illness is so severe that it is categorized as Hyperemesis, a rare condition that affects about 2 percent of expecting mothers. The symptoms of Hyperemesis are often confused with those of morning sickness, but they are much more severe and last throughout the pregnancy. Symptoms include severe vomiting, extreme nausea and the inability to keep down foods.
Diarrhea during pregnancy can be caused by sudden dietary changes, increased hormone production or sensitivity to certain foods that some women experience during pregnancy. During the third trimester, diarrhea is more common, especially nearing the due date. Diarrhea results in a severe loss of water and electrolytes, and it is one of the leading causes of dehydration. Replenishing water and electrolytes following an episode of diarrhea is critical to prevent dehydration.
What Are the Complications of Pregnancy Dehydration?
Constipation: Hormonal changes experienced by expecting mothers slow the digestive process, which leads to constipation. Staying properly hydrated helps the stomach digest food and create waste.
Urinary Tract Infections: Pregnant women are more susceptible to UTI, and dehydration may increase the risk of UTI. For instance, in studies of non-pregnant women, some results have shown that dehydration makes women more susceptible to UTI.
Lower Amniotic Fluid: Several studies have found that dehydration can decrease amniotic fluid levels.
Braxton Hicks contractions: Dehydration is widely considered a trigger for Braxton Hicks contractions, and often, drinking more fluids is a first-course of action to ease these contractions.
How can IV Therapy Help with Pregnancy Dehydration?
When an individual drinks water, it has to filter down through their whole digestive system before it can be absorbed. IV hydration works differently. The fluids are going directly into the bloodstream, where they can have an immediate impact on your body's hydration levels. You can absorb more fluids intravenously and those fluids start working faster to help patients feel better. This is especially important for expectant mothers that may be too nauseous to maintain proper hydration levels with oral liquids.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Vitamin supplementation is for wellness only, and not intended to cure or treat disease.