During pregnancy, you may be at risk of dehydration from morning sickness or lack of fluids during labour.
There’s so much to think about during pregnancy – your growing baby, your health and nutrition, the nursery … the list goes on. Maintaining adequate fluid intake is something that can get overlooked, yet there is the risk that you can become dehydrated if you don’t watch out for the warning signs.
Read on to learn about why women can be at risk of dehydration during pregnancy and breastfeeding and see how you can avoid becoming dehydrated simply by maintaining the right type of fluid intake.
Why do pregnant and feeding women need extra fluids?
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s more important than ever to maintain adequate fluid intake. Everybody needs plenty of water to maintain body temperature, digest food and lubricate tissues and joints; and electrolytes to retain fluid and maintain good nerve and muscle function. When you’re growing and then feeding a baby, these needs intensify.
It’s recommended that pregnant women should aim to drink about 12 glasses of fluids each day – slightly more than the amount for non-pregnant women.
What makes pregnant women more prone to dehydration?
In the early months of pregnancy, many women suffer from morning sickness. Even if it only makes you feel nauseous, it can reduce your fluid intake – you feel sick, so you don’t drink as much. If your morning sickness is so bad that it makes you vomit, then you can lose essential fluids and electrolytes.
During labour, you are also at risk of dehydration – particularly if it is a long one. Many women lose considerable amounts of fluid and electrolytes as they sweat through the process of giving birth.
What about breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding mothers should heed the ‘fluids in, fluids out’ rule. When you are breastfeeding your little one, you are losing more fluids than usual. To avoid becoming dehydrated, it’s important to replace these fluids during the day.
How to manage dehydration in pregnancy
To manage and relieve dehydration during pregnancy and breastfeeding, you should keep an oral rehydration solution like Hydralyte handy. Take Hydralyte when exhibiting the signs of dehydration according to dosage recommendations.
Hydralyte is scientifically formulated to contain the correct balance of glucose and electrolytes for rapid rehydration. The formulation is based on the World Health Organisation criteria for effective rehydration. Water alone, or sugary drinks, are not as effective as Hydralyte.
Note: If you have a pregnancy-related condition such as pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure or oedema, discuss your approach to managing dehydration with your doctor. If you are pregnant and experience vomiting and diarrhoea, please seek medical advice.