When pregnant, water needs are greater than before pregnancy. Right now, not only you need fluids, but the fetus you are carrying too. Amniotic fluid and the smooth production of breast milk are influenced by optimal fluid intake.
If the fluid that comes out of the body through sweat, urine and feces is not replaced with adequate water intake, the body will become dehydrated. This situation will pose a risk to pregnant women.
What Is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a condition when the body lacks fluids. When the fluid in the body decreases, it will disrupt the mineral balance in the body so that body functions will be disturbed. Our body is mostly water, besides functioning to maintain mineral balance it also functions to lubricate joints, and eyes, smoothen the digestive organs, maintain healthy skin and remove metabolic waste in the body. Dehydration itself is usually caused by lack of fluid intake needed to replace fluids released by the body. Not only that, external factors also influence such as the weather and physical activity undertaken.
Not only does it cause mineral imbalance, dehydration will also cause other health problems. Some of the health problems caused by dehydration are:
- Cerebral edema. If the body has been dehydrated for a long time, then getting fluid intake, the body will draw as much fluid into the body’s cells as possible. This can cause the cells to swell and burst. This situation will be dangerous especially if it happens to brain cells.
- Shock from low blood pressure. Low body fluids will cause blood volume to decrease. Low blood volume will trigger blood pressure to fall, as a result of which oxygen flow to the blood will decrease.
- Seizures. Minerals in the body have a role to convey signals between cells. If electrolytes are disturbed in the body, signal transmission will be disrupted so that the effect will occur involuntary muscle contraction. Even the most severe effects are loss of consciousness.
The Dangers of Dehydration in Pregnant Women
So what are the dangers of dehydration that occur in pregnant women? When you are pregnant, fluids have an important role. In addition to regulating electrolyte balance, as well as helping to maintain the lubrication function, during pregnancy fluids have an additional function. During pregnancy in the early trimester, the volume of blood in pregnant women will increase which is useful for supporting the development of the little one in the womb, as well as for forming the placenta. Where the volume of blood depends on the balance of body fluids. Not only the placenta, amniotic fluid is formed from the water that the mother drinks. Knowing that, during pregnancy you must pay attention to fluid intake, lest you become dehydrated during pregnancy. If during pregnancy you are dehydrated, several health problems will be caused as follows:
Low Amniotic Water Volume
Amniotic fluid has an important role for growth and development baby. This clear liquid with a yellowish color becomes a place for the baby to live while in the womb. Amniotic fluid plays a role in helping your little one move while in the uterus so that it will support the growth of your little one’s bones. Not only that, amniotic fluid also has a function for lung development, protects the baby from pressure and shock, and maintains the baby’s temperature. If pregnant women lack amniotic fluid or oligohydramnios, it occurs due to late pregnancy, dehydration and torn membranes.
The low volume of amniotic fluid, especially at the early age of pregnancy, will interfere with the development of the fetus in the womb and can cause miscarriage. Meanwhile, if the gestational age is old, the lack of amniotic fluid will affect the time of birth, where the birth is premature. In addition, it will also cause defects in babies and complications during childbirth. Other pregnancy articles: Tips and How to Get Pregnant Fast
Dehydration problems during pregnancy can trigger Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are uterine contractions that last 1 to 2 minutes. These contractions will usually occur during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, but can also occur during the second trimester of pregnancy. If you have contractions like this repeatedly, it is probably due to dehydration. You must pay attention to optimal fluid intake, because dehydration during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy will cause contractions to trigger premature labor. (Also read: Less-than-six-month pregnancy )
Apart from some of the problems above, complications that will occur if you are dehydrated are low milk production, birth defects or defects in the nervous system.
Other Health Problems
Other health problems that will be caused if pregnant women are dehydrated are fatigue, constipation and so on. In addition, water has a role in maintaining kidney and liver function so that they work optimally. If there is not enough water in the body, it will be difficult to remove metabolic wastes because there is no water to dissolve metabolic waste. This situation will have an impact on the health of your baby’s liver and kidneys because they have to work hard.
Infant or Maternal Death
If the mother’s dehydration is severe, it can cause death to both mother and baby.
Signs of Dehydration in Pregnant Women
In order for you to avoid the dangers of dehydration during pregnancy, it is important to meet your fluid needs and be aware of signs of dehydration. To find out whether you are dehydrated or not, look at the color of urine. If the urine is dark yellow then you are dehydrated. Meanwhile, if the urine color is clear, the water supply is optimal.
In addition, pregnant women who often feel hot is considered a sign of dehydration. This is due to the difficulty of the body in regulating body temperature if it lacks drinking water. The effect is that the body will be vulnerable to overheating. In addition, it is important to know the signs of mild or severe dehydration so that it can be handled properly. Here are signs of mild and severe dehydration:
Mild to moderate dehydration
- Mouth sticky and dry
- The frequency of urinating is reduced
- Sunken eyes
- Little or no urination
- Urine is dark yellow
- Low blood pressure
- The heart beats fast, and breathes fast
- Feeling extreme thir
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Feeling confused and irritable
- Dry or wrinkled skin and less elasticity. When pressed, the skin surface will not return to flat as before
How to Prevent Dehydration While Pregnant
How to prevent dehydration during pregnancy is to drink enough water every day. Pregnant women should meet their water needs by drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water a day. It’s just that, if you do excess activity you should add the number of daily drinking doses. Especially if the weather is not supportive or hot, you can add more fluids that are lost through sweat. So, so that you can be well hydrated, then you can try the following tips. (See also: Characteristics of a Pregnant Person )
- When the weather is hot, it’s best to avoid direct sunlight.
- Avoid drinking caffeine-containing drinks such as tea, coffee and soft drinks. Because this type of drink is not considered a liquid to replace body fluids. This drink is actually a diuretic which will cause you to urinate more so that the risk of losing fluids will increase.
- If you are doing outdoor activities, you should use light colored clothes and not tight.
- If you experience morning sickness or nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, then you should drink it when you are not nauseous.
- If you don’t like drinking water, you can add frozen fruits like kiwi fruit, oranges to your drink to make it healthier and fresher. It is better to avoid consuming ice cubes because they are not yet clear about their ripeness and cleanliness.
This article is reviewed by Midwife Pevi Revina sTR. Keb